Is RAHC a recruitment agency?
RAHC is not a recruitment agency. RAHC is a not-for-profit programme funded by the Australian Government, under the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory (NT) initiative to strengthen health workforce activities in remote NT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The programme was set up to recruit, culturally orientate and deploy urban-based health professionals to enable the provision of increased primary health care services to assist in addressing the shortfall in health service delivery in remote Indigenous communities in the NT.
Who does RAHC employ?
RAHC has placements available for General Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Dentists, Dental Therapists,
Dental Assistants and Audiologists.
Do I need to leave my current job to work with RAHC?
No, RAHC placements are offered only as casual, short-term positions. This enables health professionals to maintain their professional and personal obligations at home whilst participating in efforts to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders health.
How will I be employed by RAHC?
Individuals can be engaged as either a casual employee or an individual contractor of RAHC.
To be engaged as a contractor, an individual will be required to supply a current Australian Business Number (ABN) as well as submit evidence of their own professional indemnity insurance.
Employees and contractors will be paid on a fortnightly basis into an individual’s nominated bank account.
Do I need any experience in remote or Indigenous health care to apply for a RAHC placement?
No. As you will be joining experienced teams, there will be clinical and cultural mentors available for guidance
What registration is required?
All health professionals must be registered in Australia and your registration must be valid throughout the period of your placement. In addition, General Practitioners must be eligible to obtain a Medicare provider number.
What is the eligibility criteria to become a RAHC health professional?
The eligibility requirements for your profession can be accessed through your specific craft group page via the
How long are RAHC placements?
The minimum duration for a RAHC placement is three weeks and the maximum is 12 weeks.
Where will my placement be located?
All RAHC placements are located within NT Top End and Central First Nation's communities.
All RAWR placements are located in Australia-wide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
What level of remuneration can I expect?
Each health clinic will advise RAHC of the proposed base rate which will vary depending on the location. The health professional will be advised of the rates applicable to the location seeking the services.
In the majority of instances, remuneration will be a flat fee which is inclusive of all allowances.
Will RAHC cover my travel costs?
RAHC will arrange travel from your point of origin to the community and return. Travel will be arranged from the nearest major airport and we ask individuals to arrange their own travel between their home and the airport.
For distances greater than 100km from the nearest major airport, RAHC will assist in arranging appropriate travel to
Who will arrange my accommodation?
Accommodation for the duration of your placement is provided by the health service you are working for. Most of the accommodation is a furnished house or unit with cooking facilities.
In some instances you may be required to share with a fellow health professional deployed to the same location.
How will RAHC support me during my placement?
RAHC is committed to offering support right throughout your placement. The complete list of support is available on the Supporting You page.
Do I require any particular vaccinations to work in remote areas?
It is important to consider your current vaccination status because you will be associated with an increased risk of some vaccine-preventable diseases. Furthermore, health care workers may transmit infections such as influenza, measles, rubella, varicella and pertussis to susceptible patients.
The NT Centre for Disease Control (CDC) lists below the recommended immunisations for health professionals working in remote communities:
- Annual Influenza Vaccine
- Hepatitis B Vaccine
- Hepatitis A Vaccine
- Measles, Mumps and Rubella
- Varicella Zoster
- Diphtheria Tetanus Pertussis (single dose of Boostrix)
- Tuberculosis (TB) Screening
Whilst Tuberculosis (TB) screening is not an immunisation, it is strongly recommended that all remote health professionals establish a baseline TB screen. Such screening is compulsory every two years for all Northern Territory Department of Health (DOH) staff including contractors and health professionals. It is also a requirement for the majority of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services as well.
Such screening for Department of Health and Families staff is a compulsory component of employment conditions. These guidelines cover staff, volunteers and students.
Do I need to bring any medical equipment?
The majority of medical equipment will be supplied in the community health care centre.
However many of our remote area nurses and midwives bring:
- their own stethoscope
- a torch, and
- a nursing pouch, if they use these routinely in their regular job.
What facilities are available in the communities?
Each community has different facilities and services available. For a complete list of facilities available in your assigned community, please refer to the specific community profile on the Where we Work page.
Can I drink alcohol whilst on a placement?
Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and bush camps are dry — alcohol is prohibited. These laws are typically strictly enforced.
However some communities may have a permit system where residents can apply to have a nominated amount of alcohol with them in the community area. It is strongly recommended that you do not bring alcohol with you into the community to ensure you do not breach any laws that may be in place.
The consumption of alcohol whilst working in the health care centre or during on-call shifts is unacceptable and may result in the termination of your RAHC placement.
Is there a uniform or dress code?
No, there isn’t a specific RAHC uniform. However you will provide with one free RAHC polo shirt which you are encouraged to wear during your placement. Extra shirts are also available to purchase, please contact your RAHC Regional Coordinator for further details.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities may also have certain expectations about the way you should dress. As a health professional, they may reasonably expect you will dress in a way that reflects this role. The dress code is particularly important when meeting or treating older members of the community and in the company of members of the opposite sex. To dress inappropriately can cause offence and shame, resulting in community members passing comments behind your back and avoiding contact.
Please visit When What You Wear Matters page for further information.
Do I have the skills and experience to transition into remote PHC nursing?
To improve your prospects of being accepted for a placement by a health service, we recommend you consider the following approaches to supplement your current experience (this list is by no means exhaustive) in addition to the minimum credentialing criteria:
Gain experience in two diverse clinical areas. We would suggest a minimum of six months experience in areas such as:
general practice or other PHC environments and community nursing
rural hospitals which frequently have only one or two nurses on duty with a doctor on-call.
When looking at the above list, primary health and community health practice will be seen as one area, and acute and emergency care as another area. Building skills in diverse areas will provide a good grounding for remote area nursing.
Increase your clinical assessment (head to toe assessment) skills, including of the:
airways and lungs
chest and cardiac
All nurses are expected to have cannulation and venepuncture skills.
Recognised immunisation course.
Minimum 3 years’ experience.
You will be expected to drive a manual 4WD ambulance safely and competently in most remote clinic placements.
What is my role when working in the remote clinics of the NT?
- You will be directed by the Health Centre Manager as to your specific role in the clinic but in most cases, you will be allocated a consult room and see adults and children who attend the clinic for treatment. A remote setting is a diverse, unique and challenging environment clinically, culturally and emotionally.
You are expected to work as a PHC nurse and in a majority of clinics, you will be on-call for Emergencies.
There is an expectation that best practice for remote area nursing is to complete a Remote Emergency Course (REC), a Maternity Emergency Course (MEC) and Pharmacotherapeutics Course. Many remote clinics regard this as a prerequisite to work remotely. Some are happy to accept that you are working towards gaining these qualifications. To learn more about these courses, please visit:
If you are concerned about being on-call, the best options are to get experience in an emergency department or to up-skill for managing trauma and emergency presentations e.g. chronic respiratory conditions, cardiac, paediatrics, burns and other trauma.
Be very clear of your scope of practice. Follow the health services policies and procedures. Many clinics do not have a resident General Practitioner (GP), they are nurse-run clinics with 24-hour phone access to the District Medical Officer (DMO) or another alternate on-call medical officers.
You are required to work with the Central Australian Rural Practitioners Association (CARPA) manual, this is your ‘bible’ and outlines your legal guidelines. You can now access the CARPA manual online.
Be aware that health records are computer based, not paper based. The NT Department of Health (DoH) allows access for non-government employees to their eLearning site. This site has relevant courses, including some on the medical information system used.
RAHC does provide staff in a number of town clinics which have a higher capacity to support staff. We do attempt to place HPs in a supported situation.
Be aware that the high turnover of staff in the remote setting can often change the circumstances of a community’s or clinic’s ability to support a new-toremote PHC nurse.
I still want to work remote but don’t meet the criteria. Is there any other option for me if I am not credentialed with RAHC?
Yes. The DoH offer longer-term supported placement contracts to nurses who apply to their N2 and N3 positions. These positions are highly supported and HPs are not expected to do first on-call until deemed appropriate. You can contact DoH directly if you are interested in one of these positions or when they are offered throughout the year.
On the other hand, once you have gained the extra skills and experience suggested above for a remote clinical setting, RAHC would be delighted to assist you with your application to work with us. Remember, there are scholarships available through many professional nursing bodies, including ACN, for which you can apply for assistance with training courses.