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.
Roman Angel – Speech Pathology Representative
My name is Roman and I’m in my second semester of the Masters in Speech Pathology Studies program at UQ. Speech pathologists help people with language, speech and swallowing disorders. Speech pathology students at UQ are required to do more than 600 hours of clinical practice. The UQ Speech Pathology program allows you to do several of your placements in rural areas of Queensland and the Northern Territory. Clients in rural and regional areas have particular needs and expect certain skills from their service providers. Even if you don’t plan on working in rural areas, undertaking a placement in a rural area helps you develop competencies that can help you in your career wherever you practice.
TROHPIQ runs several events throughout the year that can also provide rural experiences. One example is the annual trip to Cherbourg, an Indigenous community 3 hours north of Brisbane, where in past years we have visited the hospital, community centres and schools, and also learned about local history.
Gabrielle Upton – UQ Pharmacy Representative
Hello! My name is Gabrielle and come 2019, I will be completing my 2nd year of a Bachelor of Pharmacy at the University of Queensland. I was raised in the rural town of Charleville, Queensland, thus my passion for rural pharmacy stems from here. I am also a Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Recipient through the 6CPA, which allows me to focus on my studies whilst I am at university. I see the Pharmacists and other medical staff in Charleville as role models in my community and I hope to one day provide a high level of care to those in these rural areas.
Rural Pharmacy is extremely rewarding and allows you to gain a variety of skills that you may not learn in a more metropolitan area. Even though not everyone has been raised in these areas, rural placement is a fantastic way to experience pharmacy practice, to learn more about these communities and how pharmacy plays a vital role in the health of the population.
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 – Allied Health Co-Chair
I am currently in my fourth and final year of a bachelor of occupational therapy (honours). Throughout my degree, I will have completed 700 hours of rural OT placement, and I can’t recommend going rural highly enough!
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.