Student News

Benefit of a Rural Placement

By Keenan Anderson, Physiotherapy Student

Keenan Anderson AHRCPSPHaving the opportunity to complete a rural placement is one that I will cherish forever. The placement taught me the value of understanding and respecting individuals from an array of cultures and ethnicities. The placement taught me that as a health professional I need to plan my interventions and interactions for each specific individual as opposed to applying a blanket approach to health care. Completing my placement in a rural setting exposed me to a slew of indigenous communities that would otherwise be unavailable to see in a metro setting. The work in these communities highlights how hard work is as a health care worker in remote settings and exposes how important yet scarce remote allied health professions truly are. The rural placement allowed me to develop my communication skills to extremely high levels and detailed the importance of non-verbal communication when interacting with patients of varying cultures and ethnicities.

Completing a rural placement also has the benefit of allowing an individual to experience life away from home and understand the rigors of working as a health professional whilst also having to self provide, a component that I cherished and one that makes you realize how lucky we are to have loved ones around us in a metro setting. The final benefit of having completed a rural placement is beginning to understand the importance of being able to succeed as an autonomous allied health worker. A rural placement requires you to think holistically as a health care professional as a whole as compared to purely a physiotherapist, as often in these rural settings you are required to be not only the physiotherapist but an educational pillar for an entire community.

Keenan received funding through the Allied Health Rural Clinical Placement Support Program to complete a four week clinical placement in Broome. 
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