Increasing health student education in rural, remote areas
TO PROVIDE opportunities for nursing, midwifery and allied health students to learn more about rural practice and enhance cultural capability, Southern Queensland Rural Health (SQRH) and the Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporate for Health (CACH) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
A collaboration between the University of Queensland, the University of Southern Queensland, Darling Downs Health and South West Hospital and Health Service, the SQRH team works with a vast range of health providers to implement a broad raft of strategies and help build a sustainable rural health workforce.
SQRH Director Associate Professor Geoff Argus and CACH CEO Kerry Crumblin said they were pleased to sign the MOU together at CACH on November 18.
Assoc Prof Argus said the MOU creates a platform to grow an important relationship.
"SQRH supports nursing, midwifery and allied health students in their rural placements and a major focus for us has been to increase student exposure to the many and varied opportunities in rural practice," he said.
"CACH provides essential primary health services for Cunnamulla and surrounding areas and presents an excellent learning opportunity for health students."
Ms Crumblin said while CACH had hosted student placements in past years the team had limited capacity to build student supervision into their programs.
"We are very keen to support the next generation of rural health staff and also to increase their knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues and services," she said.
"The MOU with SQRH means we can share resources to better educate emerging rural health professionals."
The MOU document sets out a number of agreed activities including:
• Provide opportunities for CACH staff in SQRH facilitated training
• Access to training materials developed by SQRH as identified
• Provide access to SQRH training facilities for shared training activities
• Provide opportunities for student placements for third year nursing/midwifery students and fourth year allied health students
• Provide opportunities for students to enhance cultural capability (for example visits to significant cultural sites and linkages to cultural mentors)
Both Assoc Prof Argus and Ms Crumblin said the collaboration would extend across the fields of research, clinical education and promotional activities.