Choosing and Completing Study in Occupational Therapy: The Stories of Māori
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Māori make up 4.1% of registered occupational therapists in New Zealand (personal communication, M. Kenning, 17 April 2019). Recruitment and retention of Māori in occupational therapy are major issues. Effort has been put in by various organisations which may have contributed to the increased number of Māori in the profession from 2% in 2008 (Te Rau Matatini, 2009). There is still a large disparity between current numbers and what is needed (Gray & McPherson, 2005). Further research into this could support efforts to recruit Māori into the career and could also support the retention of the current Māori occupational therapy students and professionals. Through the use of a Kaupapa Māori methodology and the methods of pūrākau and narrative inquiry, this research will investigate Māori occupational therapists’ experiences of why they chose to study occupational therapy and their experience of completing the programme. Māori culture, identity, government policies, social relationships, past education, career choices and tertiary institutions are of particular interest. A Pū-Rā-Ka-Ū method of analysis has been used to draw out the common themes. From this three connecting themes were identified and are discussed in depth of how they can be used for the recruitment and retention of Māori occupational therapists.