Country practice can do you the world of good. Lauren Ahwan reports
DOING a regional work placement before graduating from tertiary study can demonstrate your resilience and resourcefulness to future employers.
It can also make finding work placements easier, away from the competitiveness faced by students hoping to get experience at larger, more popular city establishments.
University deputy vice-chancellor Professor Pip Pattison says a regional placement can give frontline experience students would not get otherwise, and in a very different setting.
“There’s no doubt you have to be more resourceful – there’s not always the modern technology that there is in the city,” Pattison says. “There’s also not always the extensive network of support … so it can build resilience and self-awareness.
“Employers look for those qualities. They are looking for people that can rise to the challenge and I think going on a (regional) placement shows you can do that.’’
University nursing and midwifery head Carol Grech says regional placements offer better opportunities to learn skills in a wide range of areas.
“Students placed in metro hospitals are allocated to a particular unit or ward and opportunities to be involved in a diverse range of experiences may be limited,’’ she says. “Students placed in regional and rural health services often become part of a small interdisciplinary team delivering a wide range of health services.”
Simone Armstrong, 21, completed an animal management program in outback Northern Territory as part of her studies to become a veterinarian.
Armstrong, who combines study with vet nursing says the NT experience was intense.
“In the city, it’s much more structured and more delegated – if you’re doing surgery, you’re just doing surgery, not feeding and nursing as well,’’ she says. “They were long hard days and, if the work wasn’t done … then you have to stay back and do it.
“I just had to step up to the plate. But (the experience) grew me so much and I’m so much stronger in my capabilities than I was before.’’
STEPPING UP: Veterinary student Simone Armstrong with Chuck, did a work placement in the NT. Picture: BOB BARKER