Training partnership in SA

A South Australian provider has established a partnership with UniSA to conduct interprofessional work placements at its sites.

Health science students from UniSA will get valuable aged care experience as the result of a new partnership with South Australian provider, Helping Hand.

The agreement has established 110 clinical education places for students doing courses in nursing, physiotherapy, pharmacy, podiatry, occupational therapy and exercise physiology.

The students will be involved in interprofessional learning during their placements in metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia.

The arrangement has been supported by $1.8 million in funding from the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, under a program designed to develop innovative placement options in aged care.

UniSA’s Dean of Health and Clinical Education Professor Esther May said the students would benefit from learning in a client centred aged care workplace.

“Through gaining experience in interprofessional activity, students will gain a better understanding of working as a team, with the clients being an important member of that team, which results in safer and higher quality care,” she said.

“Over the longer term, this project will help provide work-ready professionals keen to work in the aged care sector, which is going to be increasingly important with Australia’s ageing population.”

Helping Hand Aged Care’s director of research and development, Megan Corlis said the organisation recognised the importance of investing in interprofessional student training.

“For the students, it is good to be working with other students from different disciplines because it helps them to understand what other professions do,” she said. 

“It helps them to develop good practices early on in their profession and they can carry those on when they end up registering or enrolling.”

Ms Corlis said it was important to give students the opportunity to work with older people in an enriching environment.

“At the moment, there is strong anecdotal evidence that if you can give the students a positive experience of aged care, they will be much more likely to go on and have a career in that area,” she said.

“So good clinical supervision is absolutely critical. One message we need to send to people taking on students is needed.

“We do see that we have a responsibility to make the students ‘elder friendly’, wherever they end up working whether that’s in hospitals or in the community or aged care.”
 

Tags: doha, education-and-training, helping-hand, unisa,

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