Going back to 'the village': the effect of UDRH allied health student placements on rural practice intentions.

Annie Farthing, Tony Smith, Keith Sutton, Sabrina Pit, Daniel Terry

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Background
Medical workforce research shows rural undergraduate student placements impact positively on graduates taking up positions in non-metropolitan locations. However, little is known about the impact of such placements on allied health students. This presentation profiles allied health student placements at the 11 University Departments of Rural Health (UDRH) in Australia and examines the impact on students’ intention to enter rural practice after graduation.

Methods
Under the Australian Rural Health Education Network (ARHEN) Student Survey Working Group, staff from all UDRHs collaborated to develop a student placement evaluation questionnaire that included 21 common questions. Data collected between July 2014 and November 2015 was aggregated and analysed for demographic information, length and type of placement, satisfaction with various aspects of the placement, and future intention to work in a rural or remote area.

Results
In total, 1,536 allied health students responded. The largest disciplines were Pharmacy (17.5%) and Physiotherapy (16.8%), followed by Dentistry (11.1), Speech Pathology (9.6%), Dietetics (9.24%) and Occupational Therapy (9.18%). The sample was 76% female and 13 respondents (0.85%) identified as Indigenous. The majority of students had placements of 5 weeks to 3 months duration (49.3%) and were placed in Public Hospitals (38.0%) and Community Health (35.2%) settings in locations classified as MMM 3 to 5 (81.7%). Overall satisfaction was high at 91.8%. Before placement, 55.2% said they intended practicing in a rural location after graduation. After their placements this had increased to 65.0%, demonstrating a positive net gain in students’ intention to enter rural practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2016
EventServices for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health National Conference 2016 - Port Lincoln Hotel, Port Lincoln, Australia
Duration: 27 Oct 201629 Oct 2016

Conference

ConferenceServices for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health National Conference 2016
Abbreviated titleSARRAH 2016
CountryAustralia
CityPort Lincoln
Period27/10/1629/10/16
OtherIt takes a village

Keywords

  • Rural
  • Workforce
  • Clinical placement
  • Allied health personnel
  • Student experience
  • Remote

Cite this

Farthing, A., Smith, T., Sutton, K., Pit, S., & Terry, D. (2016). Going back to 'the village': the effect of UDRH allied health student placements on rural practice intentions.. Abstract from Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health National Conference 2016, Port Lincoln, Australia.