That’s why the La Trobe Rural Health School has dedicated Health Placement Travelling Grants to financially support students, to ensure they get the most out of their rural health experience.
Rebecca Bigham, from Bendigo, is studying paramedicine and recently undertook placement in Mildura for her course.
“I was placed in Mildura, 400km from my residential address, where I was to undertake placement in the Mildura Base Public Hospital Emergency Department. I found the experiencing very educational and positive overall. I was able to learn what happens to patients when paramedics take them to the emergency department, allowing me to have a better understanding of patient care from start to end. The travel grant supported my placement experience, as I was able to afford student accommodation.
Coming from a regional area herself, Rebecca says she is very keen to work in a regional or rural community upon graduation.
“I want to work in a community where I can have a positive impact. I understand the limitations people can have to accessing healthcare in rural and regional areas, as well as the disparities that exists in these populations.
“I want to get a job with an ambulance service immediately! After four years of studying paramedicine, I am more excited than ever to start working in the profession I have dreamed about ever since that first conversation with the discipline lead at my year 12 careers night!”
Similarly, Ebony White a Nursing student from Broadford, says she is determined to work in a regional community upon graduation.
“I enjoy solving the challenges being in a regional area presents to healthcare. The support and the environment that both healthcare workers and patients in regional areas receive from their community is fantastic.
Ebony says receiving a travel grant allowed her to really focus on her placement experience. She undertook placement at Castlemaine Health, 122 kilometres away from her home.
“The grant allowed me to take time from my current employment and focus on my placement experience. For example, instead of having to work in between placement shifts to support myself, I was able to stay close to the hospital and take time to study some of the procedures I had experienced while on placement.
“On placement, I have enjoyed being able to learn from nurses who have the experiences and skills to help me feel confident when I am nursing. I feel as though every time I have a conversation with a nurse on placement, or at uni, I am picking up little leaves of wisdom.”