Clinical Placements information

Page Last Updated 06 May 2021 4:21pm

Currently, the Victorian Department of Health remains supportive of clinical placements in medical/nursing/midwifery/allied health fields continuing. As such, we are supporting ongoing clinical placements until further notice.

However, you should not undertake a clinical placement at a health service or residential care facility if you have undertaken a placement, worked at or volunteered at a hotel quarantine site and/or other port of entry within the last 14 days. This is the latest advice from the Department of Health.

If you have worked in quarantine hotels or ports of entry in the last 14 days please inform your placement provider. We also encourage you to disclose any work in hotel quarantine to your course coordinators so that they can support you and advise on any potential impact on course progression due to your exclusion from placement.

Students should not be participating in any activity related to the administration of COVID-19 vaccines to others (including training) as part of their placement. For students who are considering opportunities to participate in the administration of COVID-19 vaccines as an independent citizen, please see our Surge Workforce page for further information. Note: This does not apply to pharmacy students undertaking placements in fourth year, who will be involved in some aspects of the preparation of the COVID-19 vaccination, in accordance with direction from the Pharmacy Student Experiential Placements Team.

Victoria’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout - Phase 1

Australia's COVID-19 Vaccine Roadmap includes medical and tertiary students with placements in healthcare settings in Phase 1 of the vaccine roll-out.

We have been notified that under Victoria’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program Implementation Plan, students with placements in the following healthcare subgroups will be vaccinated as part of Phase 1a (which has commenced):

  • COVID-19 testing staff;
  • COVID-19 hotel quarantine staff; and
  • Hospital staff who work in intensive care units, emergency departments and COVID-19 wards.

Medical and tertiary students with placements in other healthcare and hospital settings are included in Phase 1b.

All other tertiary students are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine with the balance of the adult population in Phase 2b, unless you belong to one of the identified priority groups:

  • Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander peoples (Phase 1b);
  • Individuals with an underlying medical condition, including those with a disability (Phase 1b); and
  • Critical and high risk workers (Phase 1b)

Priority groups are identified by considering current public health, medical and epidemiological evidence on who would be most affected if they contracted COVID-19.

In line with current health advice, the University strongly recommends and encourages participation in the national COVID-19 vaccination programs by staff and students across all of our campuses.

COVID-19 vaccination will become a routine requirement of participation in any clinical placement once the vaccine has been made available to Australia’s adult population.

In the meantime, COVID-19 vaccination may be a requirement of participation in some clinical placements and you should continue to follow the advice of your placement provider.

COVID-19 vaccination program for Monash University clinical placement students

If you are undertaking a clinical placement in semester one, 2021, you are eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccination directly with Monash Health, regardless of which healthcare provider you are placed with. All Monash University students with a clinical placement in 2021 will be granted access to this program –  further details will be provided to you via your course leaders.

FAQs

Q. I am currently on placement. Can I continue my placement between now and when I get vaccinated?

Generally, yes. Most clinical placements are continuing during the vaccine roll-out.

However, COVID-19 vaccination may be a requirement of participation in some clinical placements during the roll-out. You should continue to follow the advice of your placement provider, who may request that you leave your placement if you have not been vaccinated.

If you are asked to leave placement, please advise your course coordinator.

Q. I don't live near a Monash Health vaccine hub. What can I do?

Some students may be based at a rural site for their clinical placement and are therefore unable to travel to metropolitan areas. We encourage you to take up the opportunity to obtain a vaccination if offered by your rural placement provider, or alternatively you could approach your local GP to discuss your vaccination as an individual classified in Phase 1b.

Q. Will the Monash Health vaccination program be offering the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine?

The Monash Health vaccination program aligns to current government health advice. Monash Health intends to offer all clinical placement students aged under 50 years the Pfizer vaccine.

Q. I have been offered the AstraZeneca vaccine by my placement provider, what should I do?

All decisions about vaccination should be made in consultation with your GP and in line with government health advice.

Please review the latest advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

ATAGI recommends that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is preferred over the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in adults aged under 50 years.

The COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca can be used in adults aged under 50 years where the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks for that individual and the person has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits.

People who have had the first dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca without any serious adverse effects can be given the second dose, including adults under 50 years.

Q. Can I choose not to get a COVID-19 vaccination?

COVID-19 vaccination will become a routine requirement of participation in any clinical placement once the vaccine has been made available to Australia’s adult population. In the meantime, COVID-19 vaccination may be a requirement of participation in some clinical placements and you should continue to follow the advice of your placement provider. All decisions about vaccination should be made in consultation with your GP and in line with government health advice.

Q. I already received my first COVID-19 vaccination dose from my GP, do I have my second with Monash Health?

If you have started your vaccination course with your GP, or current placement provider, you should receive your second dose from the same provider.

According to the latest advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), people who have had the first dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca without any serious adverse effects can be given the second dose, including adults under 50 years of age.

All decisions about vaccination should be made in consultation with your GP and in line with government health advice.

Q. Where does it say on the eligibility form that students on clinical placement are in Phase 1b?

This is stated on page four of the form, under ‘people currently employed on a paid or unpaid (volunteer) basis’. The list includes healthcare workers in a clinical setting (including students on placement) who are eligible for vaccination in Phase 1b.

Q. What proof do I need to provide Monash Health that I am on a clinical placement?

You need to complete and sign the Eligibility Declaration on page one of the eligibility form and bring it with you to your vaccination appointment.

Q.  I’ll be going on clinical placement in semester two, 2021. Am I eligible to be vaccinated in Phase 1b?

Currently, Monash Health are only vaccinating students in Phase 1b who are undertaking placement in semester one, 2021. We’ll provide further updates for students with clinical placement in semester two, as information becomes available.

Staying safe on placement

The health, safety,  and course progression of all our students, including those completing approved course-related clinical placements, is our top priority.

  • If you're on placement and you enter environments with patients who are known or suspected to have COVID-19, you must have completed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) training and be wearing appropriate PPE.
  • You are to follow the advice of your placement site coordinator or supervisor on the use of personal protective equipment, social distancing, and hygiene measures.
  • Given that there is risk of exposure in all placement settings, you can choose to opt-out of placement and we will support you to re-engage with placement later in the year by extending the time available to complete your placement unit/s.
  • If required for course completion, we will support any student who opts-out to re-engage with placement later in their course by extending the time available to complete their placement unit/s.
  • We are currently prioritising placements for our senior students to facilitate their course progression towards accreditation and registration.
  • For students of all years, we will reschedule catch-up placements in 2020 and 2021 where possible. This will depend on the discipline-specific requirements and the availability of placements.
  • Students in clinical placements should only be at the health service provider premises solely for clinical experience. This is the contractual arrangement between the provider and the University. No coercion or pressure, perceived or real, is to be placed on students to perform work or activity for any roles outside their clinical placement.