Date - 20 June 2019
With the establishment of in-house allied health services at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Toowoomba (SVPHT), the facility has embraced the opportunity to provide allied health student placements in 2019. SVPHT Allied Health Manager Kathryn Frame said St Vincent’s Hospital had long hosted nursing students and valued the role of training health professionals in the private sector.
“In October 2017 St Vincent’s employed a Dietitian Jennifer Shirtcliffe and this meant that dietetics students could conduct placements here as well as complete special projects on patient nutrition. Then in July last year occupational therapy services began in-house and we now have the opportunity to host occupational therapy students as well,” she said.
Kathryn said both she and Occupational Therapist Lauren Brimblecombe agreed that student supervision ensured a strong critical appraisal of their own service delivery and processes.
“We’ve found the patients really enjoy having students here and are keen to find out about their course. An added bonus is that student supervision increases the profile of allied health services as a whole,” Lauren said.
Two third year Occupational Therapy students, Shardia Raymond and Evan Kidd, from Southern Cross University agreed their placement was invaluable for “hands-on” learning.
Evan said his previous placements were exclusively observational and he enjoyed being busy on the wards at SVPHT, working on referral processes and completing various assessments under supervision.
On her first hospital placement, Shardia said she felt very supported and the positive interactions with patients was a highlight.
Both students, who have SQRH accommodation for their six week placement, agreed they would consider taking a job in a regional or rural area to continue the rewarding diverse work involved in rural practice.