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Paving the way for a career in Rural Victoria

pictureRyan Toohey, a Physiotherapy student at Latrobe University was awarded a Rural Clinical Placement Grant to assist with the costs of his 5 week clinical placement at Western District Health service in Hamilton. RWAV through the Future Workforce Program provided 18 grants to medicine, nursing and allied health students who completed their clinical placements in rural Victoria in 2016.

Ryan’s clinical placement enabled him to learn about assessment and treatment of acute and post-acute stroke sufferers and the difficulties they face in everyday life living in regional areas such as Hamilton. He also had the opportunity to work at the Hamilton Special School where he was able to interact with children with special needs, broaden his understanding of a variety of neurological disorders and syndromes.  He was able to provide them with treatments which were both entertaining and effective. Ryan had the opportunity to be part of an allied health team on an acute hospital ward where he liaised with a variety of health professionals to problem solve appropriate management for patients. He said it helped him “realise the importance of discharge planning for patients at a regional health service, due to the lengthy transport that each patient may have to undertake to go home to their family or to another health service, depending on their current state of health”.

Ryan found his placement rewarding and said he felt like his treatment “contributed to the improvement of patients’ quality of life, which is a great feeling to have”. His advice to fellow students is to take on a rural clinical placement because “you will enjoy the close knit community that will support and guide you.” He also recommends them to learn about nearby towns and other medical services in the area as it will help them when developing discharge plans for their patients.

He is glad to have completed his 7 years of university and is looking forward to pursue his passion of traveling for a little while in South American and Europe. On his return Ryan is excited to start his career in Physiotherapy and knows he will “really enjoy the experience if he found an opportunity in rural Victoria”.

For more information on our Future Workforce Program please contact futureworkforce@rwav.com.au or call 03 9349 7800.

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