Scholarship winners in 2014 reflect on their experience

Occupational Therapy WIL in Hervey Bay

Hannah said

‘I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude in response to the granted scholarship. This opportunity has reduced financial stress and has allowed me to participate in activities whilst I have been on my 4th year Occupational Therapy placement. The duration of my placement was 10 weeks at Hervey Bay Hospital in acute and community stroke rehabilitation.

I usually work at the local McDonald’s store near my university. As I had to travel for my placement, I had no source of income within the time of my field work placement. Thankfully, I was provided with cheap accommodation, however, this was approximately 45 minute drive away from Hervey Bay Hospital. The rising cost of petrol is assumedly a financial burden on everyone; of course this was no different for me. This scholarship essentially enabled my transport to and from the hospital. Thank you.

It’s not uncommon for university students to buy packaged and processed foods, for example, two minute noodles. This is because these foods are cheap and much more affordable than fresh, nutritious products. This scholarship had allowed for an increase of budgeting when grocery shopping. I was able to affordably buy fresh products, fruit vegetables and heathy meats. In turn, this undoubtedly increased my attention, concentration and ability to perform my best on placement. Thank you.

I’ve always tried to keep up a physical fitness regime, although, the 45 minute drive added almost another 2 hours onto my already 9 hour working day. This did limit daylight for outside fitness as it too dark once I returned home to be walking/jogging the streets in an unknown area. This scholarship allowed me to participate and become a member of the local gym. This was not only rewarding as it maintained physical and mental health, but it also provided me the opportunity to meet new people and attain a social aspect of my time in Hervey Bay. Thank you.

As an Occupational Therapy student, I thoroughly believe in a balanced healthy lifestyle. This scholarship enabled a relaxation and leisure during my time on placement. I was able to sight see sounding areas, learn about the history of the towns and experience new places. For example, I had one particular leisure Saturday spent in Rainbow Beach. Two peer students and I packed a lunch, a ball and a non-fiction text and enjoyed a picnic. This again was enabled financially as of the rising cost of petrol to see sounding areas is tightly budgeted. Supporting this opportunity allowed a regain of strength, energy and focus for learning on placement. Thank you.

Lastly, learning is a never ending opportunity on any placement. Learning in an acute setting can also be overwhelming with additional information that is required for fast, efficient performance. This scholarship aided my learning as I was able to purchase recommended text books within the early weeks of placement to gain ongoing knowledge on diagnosis’ and conditions and how they can effect a person’s function. This has been and is predicted to be forever valuable. Thankyou.

This scholarship has been nothing short of a much appreciated blessing. I would like to add that I very much enjoyed my learning opportunity at Hervey Bay Hospital. I had learnt a wealth of knowledge with limitless more to seek. My supervisors were phenomenal to learn from.

With all my true thanks


Medical Radiation WIL in the Riverina

Jessica said

‘In January 2014 I commenced my fourth and final year of my Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Nuclear Medicine). The year comprised thirty-six weeks of work integrated placement over two clinical sites. During the first eighteen week block I was positioned at the Albury Base Hospital with Regional Imaging Border and continued the second placement block at Regional Imaging Riverina in Wagga Wagga. During this time I managed a fulltime study load, undertaking Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Ultrasound in addition to practicums. I recently completed the requirements of my course and am due to graduate in December, gaining full registration as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist.

The work integrated learning approach adopted throughout my course offered invaluable hands-on experience in the clinical setting and encouraged a seamless transition into the workforce. The opportunities posed to students by such placements build independence as well as team building skills, but most importantly shape the student into an equipped professional. My placement experience did just this, offering a supportive learning environment where I could enforce best practice and enhance theory based concepts of Nuclear Medicine. It tested and strengthened my abilities in clinical decision making and broadened my exposure to different patient demographics and procedures by conducting my placement over two sites. A job largely dependent on time (in scanning delays and radiopharmaceutical decay etc.), time efficiency was an important aspect that could only be learnt through this hands-on style of education. Furthermore, the benefit of a multi-site placement was the opportunity to network and learn differing techniques off many health professionals including nuclear medicine physicians, radiologists, radiographers, nursing and reception staff – all aiding in the process of molding a student into a professional.

Undertaking such an involved and at times demanding workload as a fulltime student during an unpaid residential year was coupled with the burden of living, travel and study costs. The Australian Collaborative Education Network scholarship enabled me to continue my WIL placement, offering me the opportunity to be involved in many Continued Professional Development (CPD) presentations and activities that would have otherwise been unaffordable as a student. It aided in the costs of travel and living, as well as relocation between clinical placement sites. In addition, the scholarship assisted in the cost of many study materials, learning texts, placement uniform requirements and more importantly access to online medical journals such as the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences in which I have been published and rely on heavily for research in the field of nuclear medicine.

Concluding my residential year it is now my ambition to further my qualifications in the field of Sonography and continued research. I would like to extend my appreciation to the Australian Collaborative Education Network for providing me with the honor of becoming an ACEN Scholarship recipient in 2014.’

Nursing WIL on Kangaroo Island

Amy said

‘I would like to thank the Australian Collaborative Education Network for the scholarship I received to aid with my rural nursing placement at Kangaroo Island Health service from the 8th September to October 31st.

My placement was on Kangaroo Island which is difficult to get to and from, requiring travel via a ferry, and required me to stay on the Island for an eight week period and source my own accommodation. This scholarship greatly helped me with covering the costs of accommodation and transport, without it I would have really struggled to cover these expenses and may not even have been able to complete my placement here.

This placement has given me an insight into rural healthcare, and the challenges that can arise not having access to the same resources as metropolitan health services. I learnt about, how at times it can be a difficult process to transfer a critically ill patient to the mainland with the Royal flying Doctors and Medstar, and the importance of liaising with these services. Throughout me placement I was given many different learning opportunities and experiences including caring for a palliative patient, assisting a midwife with a birth, cardiac management, complex wounds and blood collection. I feel I was able to gain confidence in the skills and understanding I had prior to my placement and have further passion and desire to work in rural health and am looking forward to my future nursing career in rural healthcare.

Once again thank you for the provision of this scholarship it has helped me greatly.’