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Remote placement inspires Curtin physiotherapy student

Media release

A Curtin University student has had an inspirational experience as one of the first to take part in a new clinical placement program in Mount Magnet and Geraldton.

Physiotherapy student Georgia Palchak of Wembley Downs spent five weeks working with community health agencies in the remote Murchison towns as part of Curtin’s landmark interprofessional education (IPE) curriculum.

She said working with agencies such as the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service and the WA Country Health Service was fantastic.

“This is a great opportunity to work in Aboriginal healthcare to learn about Aboriginal culture and cultural security,” Miss Palchak said.

“I highly recommend this placement to other students. It gave me the opportunity to participate in a wide range of physio-related activities and community programs that I would not have the chance to participate in on a more traditional placement.”

She was particularly impressed by the openness and friendliness of the community, becoming involved in the local football academy and even the after-school care program.

“Everyone in both Geraldton and Mount Magnet was so warm, welcoming, helpful and supportive,” she said.

The Geraldton/Mount Magnet placement is part of Curtin’s innovative Interprofessional Practice Program, which places students across a range of allied health disciplines in a variety of community settings where they can learn with, from and about each other.

The result is graduates who are better able to work holistically to meet the needs of the community.

The Combined Universities Centre for Rural Health, which provided the staff supervision and student accommodation, coordinates the program in collaboration with Curtin.

Curtin’s IPE fieldwork coordinator Keryn Bolte said the recently launched program would see students from a range of undergraduate degrees, including dietetics, public health and physiotherapy, working together.

“The support we have had for the program from the Geraldton and Mount Magnet has been overwhelming,” Ms Bolte said.

“Not only the health services but community services, such as the Shire of Mount Magnet Council, local police and schools, are enthusiastic about the students coming so they can share their experiences with them.”

Contact:

Keryn Bolte, IPE fieldwork coordinator, Curtin University
Tel: 618 9266 9132; Email: keryn.bolte@curtin.edu.au

Hillary Lambert, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 9085

Web: http://curtin.edu.au

Twitter: @CurtinPR