Health students broaden horizons through hands-on learning in remote QLD


Allied health students on clinical placements in rural and remote North West Queensland get to experience a sense of community and unlimited learning opportunities, according to third year Bachelor of Occupational Therapy student Hope.

She said completing her seven-week placement with the Queensland Department of Education in Mount Isa had encouraged her to consider choosing a career path in rural and remote areas.

“Having the ability to help provide support to community members where health care is not as easily accessible and readily available, is another factor that has influenced my perspective of working in rural and remote areas,” Hope said.

Hope’s placement was coordinated by the James Cook University (JCU) Murtupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health Centre, which delivers rural training experiences for medical, nursing, midwifery, dental and allied health students.

“There were so many great experiences during my placement, but I think the opportunity to visit various schools in Mount Isa and on outreach was a highlight,” she said.

“As an occupational therapist in the Department of Education our main role is to ensure the needs of students with disabilities are met to influence their occupational performance within the school environment.

“Our purpose is to promote students’ successful participation in daily tasks of school life and ensure they have an equal opportunity to access an education they are entitled to.”

Apart from her clinical experiences, Hope said she enjoyed the social aspect of a rural placement compared to metropolitan areas. She made lifelong friends, attended trivia nights, did road trips, experienced sunsets at The Granites and barbecues by Lake Moondarra.

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