Coun­try prac­tice can do you the world of good. Lau­ren Ah­wan re­ports

The Courier-Mail - Career One - - Front Page -

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

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