Rural Health Experience Frequently Asked Questions

What will my days be like during the RHE?
Students spend the majority of their RHE shadowing a variety of health professionals in the hospital and/or surrounding community. These shadowing experiences include those of the students’ disciplines AND those that are not. This provides an opportunity to witness how interprofessional teams work together in a rural facility as well as how healthcare is delivered at multiple levels.

A typical day will begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m., although some adjustments may be made depending on the rotation and other events available during your stay.

The RHE also provides opportunities for students to meet with hospital administration and/or human resources to discuss their professional interests and future opportunities at their site.

Where will I be staying?
If available, a student will be matched to a site within commuting distance to their hometown or current residence. If housing is needed, each site is responsible for providing accommodations. Therefore, housing will be different for each site. Some sites own apartment-style housing while others will secure bookings for local hotels.

Where will I get my meals?
Like housing, meals will be dependent upon the site. Some sites can offer in-house options while other sites may provide reimbursement or giftcards to locations within the community. Sometimes networking meals will be scheduled with administration or other hospital representatives.

When will I complete my RHE?
Once a site has approved their match, students will be connected with their site contact(s) by email. Students will work with their site to schedule the dates of the RHE- therefore, the schedule can be tailored to the needs of student! The majority of RHEs are scheduled M-F.

How do I apply to the program?
Each applicant must submit the following to be considered for the program:
1. Completed application
2. Personal statement that describes your interest in the following:
a. Rural Healthcare
b. Interprofessional Collaboration
3. Current CV or resume
4. Letter of recommendation- faculty instructor preferred
5. A non-refundable $25 application fee (see application fee section below)

Documents may be submitted by mail or through email. Checks can be sent by mail with the application documents or mailed separately if the documents are emailed. PDF is the preferred document type for electronic submissions. Contact information is provided on the application form.

What does the application fee cover and how can I submit the payment?
The application fee covers costs for faculty time dedicated to the selection process of preceptorship students. Upwards of 60 applications are reviewed by a selection committee for the program each year.

At this time, checks and money orders are our only acceptable methods of payment. Students MUST make checks out to the “University of Illinois.” We WILL NOT accept any other payment type or checks made out to another entity.

What should I wear?
Dress for your experience depends on the work environment. Plan to wear business casual attire unless notified otherwise. Scrubs may be available for certain rotations, so students who have these are welcome to bring them.

An example of business casual attire for men would include khakis/dress pants, a button-up or collared shirt, and clean dress shoes. An example of business casual attire for women would include a knee-length skirt or dress, dress pants, a modest blouse/top, and clean closed-toed dress shoes. No jeans, shorts, open-toed shoes, short dresses/skirts, tank tops, t-shirts. Body tattoos must be covered and jewelry worn at a minimum.