The National Rural Health Students' Network (NRHSN) represents 29 Rural Health Clubs (RHC) with over 9000 members located at universities throughout Australia. The NRHSN is a multidisciplinary Network.

Rural Clinical Placements

Rural clinical placements are increasingly considered a vital component of the education of university students in health science courses across Australia. Although the original impetus came from shortages in the rural medical workforce, shortages in rural nursing and allied health professionals have also been recognised. Targeted strategies to encourage future rural practice should ideally begin prior to student graduation from medical and health science university courses. 

With the growing emphasis on multi-professional and team-based healthcare it is becoming increasingly important to support students across all health disciplines. Current support is believed to favour medical students with less assistance being provided for the other health disciplines. The aim of the present study was to compare the support given to medical and health science students going on rural clinical placements to identify potential barriers and areas for improvement.

Dr Joseph Turner and Dr Jonathon Lane undertook a study to determine barriers faced by medical, allied health and nursing students in undertaking rural clinical placements.  Eligible survey participants were the 385 NRHN members who attended the 7th National Undergraduate Rural Health Conference (NURHC).  379 completed surveys were seperated into medicine (26%), nursing (28%), pharmacy (11%) and allied health disciplines (35%).

Early Barriers for University Rural Clinical Placements authored by Joseph V. Turner and Johnathon Lane was published in Education for Health, Vol 19, No. 3, November 2006.


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