HESTA Scholarship supports Monash Nursing and Midwifery Students

With the support of a HESTA scholarship, three of our Nursing and Midwifery students undertook a rural placement in Victoria.

HESTA supported these scholarships to highlight the importance of access to health care regardless of location and for the support of students who incur additional costs and expenses such as accommodation and travel when undertaking these placements.

The six-week placements were across Mildura and Robinvale where students had the opportunity to complete their mental health placements at the Mildura Base Public Hospital in both the inpatient ward and community settings. In Robinvale some students were based at a Murray Valley Aboriginal Cooperative helping to run COVID-19 vaccination clinics for the rural community, assisting the doctors with minor procedures, doing nursing outreaches to the local schools and gaining an insight and experience in the day-to-day running of a rural general practice clinic. This placement covered a wide range of fields from district nursing, to working in the urgent care centre, working with the diabetes educator and gaining invaluable experience and knowledge with other allied health practices. Students were able to spend time with the podiatrists, occupational therapists, the health promotion team and social workers.

‘One of the funniest times during placement was creating a health promotion video for the local early years centres teaching them about dental health and hygiene. We used puppets that were stuffed animals with human looking teeth that looked very out of place, thankfully the children weren’t scared of the puppets.' – Jade, nursing student.

Placements enable students to gain invaluable clinical experience but also confidence in their skills and knowledge already learnt and the experience of seeing the provision of health care in various settings gives our students a true understanding of the difficulties some patients can face obtaining the right care when it is not on your doorstep.

‘I believe this placement has given me a valuable insight into what healthcare is like in the rural setting. I was able to see, and be a part of how the multidisciplinary team work together to meet the holistic needs of the community. This experience has given me the confidence in interacting and caring for patients of varying cultures as well as a greater appreciation for the healthcare system.’ - Katie, nursing student.

The scholarships awarded by HESTA helped alleviate concerns students had in applying for the important rural placements.

‘The HESTA scholarship was a huge help and also motivator for me to apply for the rural placement. With the support from HESTA I was able to comfortably live and experience everything that working in a rural town has to offer, whilst still being able to pay my rent and bills at home. Without it, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity.’ – Kirra, nursing student.

About HESTA

With more than 900,000 members and $66 billion in assets, HESTA is the only industry fund dedicated to people working in health and community services.