Supported by a HESTA scholarship, three of our nursing and midwifery students have undertaken a rural setting in Victoria.
HESTA has supported these scholarships to highlight the importance of accessing healthcare regardless of location and to support students who incur additional costs and expenses such as accommodation and travel when undertaking these placements.
The six-week placements were across Mildura and Robinvale where students had the opportunity to complete their mental health placements at Mildura Peace General Hospital on both the inpatient and community ward. In Robinvale, some students have settled in the Murray Valley Indigenous Cooperative to help run COVID-19 vaccination clinics for the rural community, assist physicians with minor procedures, do outreach to nursing for local schools and gain insight and experience into the day to – run public rural clinic for daily practice . This placement covered a wide range of areas from district nursing, to working in an urgent care center, working with a diabetes educator and gaining invaluable experience and knowledge with other health practices. Students were able to spend time with podiatrists, occupational therapists, health promotion team and social workers.
One of the funniest times during the placement was to create a health promotional video for local early years centers to teach them about dental health and hygiene. We used dolls which were stuffed animals with misplaced looking human teeth, and luckily the kids weren’t afraid of dolls. – Jade, nursing student.
The placements enable students to gain invaluable clinical experience but also confidence in their already acquired skills and knowledge, and the experience of seeing healthcare provision in different settings gives our students a real understanding of the difficulties some patients can face in obtaining appropriate care when they are not on your doorstep.
I think this placement has given me some insight into what rural health care is like. I was able to see how the multidisciplinary team works together to meet the overarching needs of the community. This experience has given me confidence in interacting and caring for patients from different cultures as well as a greater appreciation for the healthcare system. Katie, a nursing student.
The scholarships offered by HESTA have helped alleviate students’ fears when applying for important rural placements.
The HESTA scholarship was a great help and also motivator for me to apply for rural status. With the support of HESTA, I have been able to live comfortably and experience all that working in a rural city has to offer, while still paying rent and bills at home. Without it, I wouldn’t have had that chance. – Kira, a nursing student.
With more than 900,000 members and $66 billion in assets, HESTA is the industry’s only fund dedicated to people working in health and community services.