TROHPIQ is proud to have a fantastic team of nursing and allied health students working to improve engagement with rural health. To get an idea of what our members get up to in their respective courses as well as the rural health opportunities available, read statements from our management team below.
Thomas Lynch – ACU Paramedics Representative
My name is Thomas and I’m currently a third-year student at ACU Macaulay Campus (Brisbane) studying a combined Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Paramedicine degree (4 years total). During our studies we of course undertake placements, and in one of our third-year nursing subjects we are given the opportunity to undertake a placement of our choosing (rural/remote, emergency etc.), while in paramedicine there is a high chance of being sent to work in the rural/remote setting if one is successful in obtaining a place in the Graduate Paramedic Induction Program (GPIP).
Being a national university, ACU offers rural placement scholarships (Canberra) and the Jodie Michelle Reid Memorial Scholarship (national). I think it’s important to be involved in, and have a good knowledge of, rural and remote healthcare because it provides a broader and deeper understanding of healthcare and reminds us that we may not always have access to hospital “luxuries” when undertaking patient care. Recognising this, professional organisations such as The College of Paramedicine and Paramedics Australasia have excellent e-learning resources available for members, and discussions of rural and remote healthcare feature frequently in their conferences and education nights.
Krishn Parmar – UQ Pharmacy Representative
Rural pharmacy is a growing sector of this health profession. Available through community and hospital pharmacies, there are plenty of rural health opportunities within the degree such as placements during 3rd and 4th year. Rural hospital pharmacy also provides plenty of opportunities for clinical skills. It allows pharmacists to recognise referrals and refine their scope of practice. Rural pharmacy is extremely rewarding and gives the chance to experience all kinds of clinical and business situations whilst helping harder yo reach communities.
TROHPIQ trips and skills days are good opportunities for rural experience. For example, the Cherbourg trip allows students to learn about a community that they may potentially work in and allows a deeper understanding of the importance of rural pharmacists. Additionally, rural internship funding is also provided by the 6CPA agreement. Getting involved in TROHPIQ can help find preceptors and future employers through networking events held throughout the year. There is also a great placement map available on NAPSAs website to find preceptors who are enthusiastic about rural pharmacy.
Katrina Humphreys – ACU Nursing Representative
Australian Catholic University (ACU) Health Sciences faculty at its McAuley (Brisbane) campus offers Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Nursing/Paramedicine, Bachelor of Midwifery, Bachelor of Nursing (Enrolled Nurses) and Bachelor of Paramedicine undergraduate degrees. Supernumerary clinical placements are organised by the ACU Clinical Placement Office team who also support students in navigating the relevant mandatory documentation required. Any ACU student interested in rural and/or remote placements should express their interest to the ACU Clinical Placement Office team as soon as practicable. While requests are not guaranteed and may be dependent on whether a pre-existing agreement exists, the team will endeavour to achieve a positive result. Additionally, from time to time ACU advertises scholarships that are available to its students to assist with costs associated with rural and remote travel and accommodation (e.g. ACU National Student Association – Student Travel and Training Grant). In addition, the Australian College of Nursing and CRANAPlus (the Centre for Remote Area Nurses) regularly advertised scholarships for nursing undergraduates undertaking remote placements. For further information on course structure and information refer to www.acu.edu.au
Sidonie Connell – QUT Nursing Representative
The university program I am a part of is QUT’s Bachelor of Nursing which is a three year course resulting in employability in general and specialist areas such as emergency medicine, paediatric care and mental health. The course is world-recognised and involves up to 800 hours of clinical placement, with the opportunity to undertake some of this in rural and remote settings throughout Australia and globally.
I believe that it is important for students to be involved in rural and regional health so that they can broaden their healthcare horizons. It is also vitally important to be exposed to such so that our future healthcare professionals understand that even in this modern day and age there are still many people in rural and remote Australia who do not have the health care opportunities that people in urban and city areas of the country take for granted.
Maginnis Connell – Occupational Therapy Representative
Occupational therapists work to improve people’s meaningful engagement in daily activities. OTs work with people with mental health challenges, physical and intellectual disabilities, and various injuries. It’s a diverse field, with services provided in schools, hospitals, outpatient rehab centres and a range of other settings. All graduating OTs must have completed 1000 hours of clinical practice as part of their degree. As a part of this, OT students at UQ complete two ten week blocks of placement (one in third year and one in fourth year). When selecting placement preferences in third year, all students are encouraged to consider rural placement, and approximately 20-25% of students take a placement outside of Brisbane. Rural placement gives students the opportunity to work with a broader range of clients, and encourages resourcefulness and creativity, as rural centres often don’t have the resources available in city clinics.