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Posts Tagged ‘rural health care’

Monday, May 15th, 2017

UQ to provide major boost to regional health

Regional communities and future health professionals studying through The University of Queensland are big winners from a multi-pronged $54.4 million Federal Government initiative.

In Queensland, UQ will lead the establishment of a University Department of Rural Health (UDRH), providing a major boost to education, training and research in rural south Queensland for nurses, midwives and allied health workers.

UQ to provide major boost to regional health

UQ will lead the establishment of a University Department of Rural Health (Photo credit: UQ)

Three new medical training hubs under UQ control will also be established in Central Queensland, Wide Bay and South West Queensland, operating with an aim of retaining doctors in regional areas.

Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences Executive Dean Professor Bruce Abernethy said research indicated students who experienced rural practice were far more likely to return to work rurally once qualified.

“For the local communities, this is part of a long-term strategy to address maldistribution of the health workforce,” Professor Abernethy said.

“Rural and remote regions of Queensland and Australia often face challenges in attracting and retaining qualified health professionals.

“Students on rural placement will discover the diverse range of professional opportunities available in regional areas, thus enhancing the sustainability and viability of rural health care services.”

UQ joined with the University of Southern Queensland and the Hospital and Health Services of Darling Downs and South West in the successful bid to establish the Southern Queensland Rural Health UDRH.

The UDRH will help provide rural experience to student nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, dieticians, and exercise physiologists.

Commonwealth funding has also been awarded to provide additional clinical, academic and administration staff at UQ’s three regional medical training hubs:

  • Central Queensland: located at Rockhampton, with sub-units at Gladstone and Emerald
  • Southern Queensland: located at Toowoomba, with sub-units at Charleville in south-west Queensland
  • Wide Bay: located at Bundaberg, with sub units at Hervey Bay and Theodore.

UQ Faculty of Medicine Acting Executive Dean Professor Robyn Ward said the hubs would offer doctors rural opportunities at all stages of their medical training.

“This will facilitate postgraduate training opportunities, including specialties, so doctors can stay in regional communities for training and not have to return to the city,” Professor Ward said.

“The Department of Rural Health and the training hubs will build on the high quality education and training experiences already offered by UQ’s Rural Clinical School.”

Announcing the funding, Assistant Minister for Health Dr David Gillespie said regional and rural health training not only addressed workforce shortages and service expectations, but was also essential to regional economic growth.

UQ Rural Clinical School

UQ Rural Clinical School is funded through the Australian Government’s Rural Clinical Training Support (RCTS) Program to address health workforce shortages in rural and regional Queensland. To achieve this mandate, UQRCS aims to lead and direct the rural health agenda through the highest quality education, training, research and community service.

Now in its second decade of operation, UQRCS is able to demonstrate a positive impact on the medical workforce in the region and elsewhere.  Studies demonstrate that a student who has experienced the Rural Advantage with UQRCS is 2.5 times more likely to work in a rural area when compared with other UQ medical graduates.

About the UQ Medical Program

The UQ Faculty of Medicine conducts a four-year, graduate-entry medical program, the Doctor of Medicine (MD). The faculty is a leading provider of medical education and research in Australia, and with the country’s largest medical degree program, they are the major single contributor to Queensland’s junior medical workforce.

Program: Doctor of Medicine
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: January
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: Applications are assessed on a rolling admissions (first come, first served) basis. It is recommended that applicants apply as early as possible to increase their chances of timely assessment. This program can fill quickly!

Apply to the UQ Doctor of Medicine!

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Find out more about UQ Medicine. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Courtney Frank at courtney@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Friday, March 24th, 2017

JCU Dentistry engaging rural communities in oral health

James Cook University was established as Australia’s university for the tropics, and therefore focuses on programs that are particularly relevant to the tropical world. JCU Dentistry was established in 2008 in response to the challenges presented by the oral health needs of rural and remote northern Australia.

JCU Dentistry students are connected to the community

JCU researchers say children in rural Queensland are three times more likely to be admitted to hospital for dental problems than in other parts of the state. To help improve oral health education, JCU partners with communities in research to try to make services work better for people living and working in rural and remote areas.

The university sends its health professional students, including JCU Dentistry students, to remote and rural regions on placements, and to do outreach in schools, and encourages its graduates to return back to rural and remote areas to work after graduation.

Apply to JCU Dentistry directly from high school

If you’re interested in improving the health of people who live in tropical, rural, and remote places, then the Bachelor of Dental Surgery program at JCU might be for you. This five-year undergraduate degree provides students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to become competent practitioners of dentistry. While it is a broad-based program including all aspects of dental practice, it also has a special focus on issues of special concern to the northern Australian region, particularly those relating to tropical, rural and Indigenous practice.

JCU Dentistry engaging rural communities in oral health

Learn more about JCU dentistry

JCU Dentistry accepts applications from high school graduates or from those who have completed university studies.

Program: Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)
Location: Cairns, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: August 30, 2017

Apply now to JCU Dental School!

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Learn more about JCU Dentistry! For more BDS program information, contact OzTREKK’s Australian Dental Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

JCU researchers say rural children’s oral health in question

James Cook University researchers say children in rural Queensland are three times more likely to be admitted to hospital for dental problems than in other parts of the state.

The team from JCU’s Anton Breinl Research Centre for Health Systems Strengthening, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, looked at three rural communities within 400 kilometres of Townsville. The names of the towns have not been publicly released.

JCU researchers say rural children's oral health in question

Dr Karen Carlisle (Photo: JCU)

Dr Karen Carlisle said although these communities were better served than those in more remote locations, access to services was still an issue for many community members.

“Children under 14 were three times more likely to be hospitalised for dental conditions when compared to residents of the rest of Queensland,” she said.

Dr Carlisle said JCU researchers had been working in the communities for a number of years and suspected overall oral health was poor, but now they had the hard data to back this up.

She said they had some unexpected results, too.

“Indigenous persons living in Queensland as a whole are already more than three times as likely to be hospitalised for a dental condition than non-Indigenous people,” said Dr Carlisle. “But this pattern worsened only slightly in the particular rural communities we looked at.”

The researchers said that parents or caregivers play a crucial role in influencing children’s oral health and rural children under 14 years may not be accessing public oral health services in proportion to their need. They said strengthening health promotion though schools, community events and primary health care is vital.

Co-author Professor Sarah Larkins said there were a number of recognised reasons for the poor oral health of rural communities and that the social determinants of health play a major role.

“There are problems with the retention of the oral health workforce in rural areas and reduced availability of oral health services. There may be less access to fluoridated water and the social determinants of ill health, such as poverty and low levels of education, are all more prevalent in rural and remote areas.”

She said the stoicism of rural people and difficulties in accessing care tended to encourage them to tolerate oral health problems until they became acute.

Professor Larkins said the findings highlight the vital importance of a collaborative approach to planning and service delivery to improve oral health for rural communities.

JCU partners with communities in research to try to make services work better for people living and working in the bush. This extends to frontline engagement too.

“The university sends its health professional students, including dentistry students, to remote and rural regions on placements, to do outreach in schools and encourages its graduates to return back to rural and remote areas to work after graduation,” said Professor Larkins.

Dr Felicity Croker said the communities JCU has focused on have been very receptive to working with students and academics.

“They have really taken charge of improving the oral health in their community, particularly for the younger members of their community.  Engaging these communities in changing the direction of their own health care means that the changes are more likely to be appropriate and sustainable.”

By Prof Larkins

JCU Bachelor of Dental Surgery

The BDS program at JCU is a five-year undergraduate degree that provides students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to become competent practitioners of dentistry. It is a broad-based program which includes all aspects of dental practice but also has a special focus on issues of special concern to the northern Australian region, particularly those relating to tropical, rural and Indigenous practice.

Program: Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)
Location: Cairns, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: August 30, 2017

Entry requirements

1. High School

These qualifications are considered on an individual basis, subject to satisfying prerequisite requirements.

  • A minimum of 92% average from grade 12 subjects.
  • Completion of prerequisites in English, Calculus, and Chemistry at a grade 12 level or higher.

2. Partially or fully completed undergraduate degree

A high level of academic standard is required for entry.

  • Students need to have met the prerequisite subjects at least at the high school level to meet the prerequisite requirements.
  • A minimum of 80% cumulative average across all university studies is required.

Please note the DAT is not required for entry into the Bachelor of Dental Surgery program.

Apply to JCU Dental School!

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Learn more about JCU Dental School! For more information, contact OzTREKK’s Australian Dental Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Providing healthcare in Laos prepares Griffith nursing student

Providing healthcare in a developing country wasn’t something Rachael Ovington expected to be doing while studying a Bachelor of Nursing at Griffith University.

But it was an experience she will never forget and will take with her when she seeks employment as a full-time nurse next year.

Providing healthcare in Laos prepares Griffith nursing student

Bachelor of Nursing student Rachael Ovington spent time in Laos helping provide healthcare. (Photo credit: Griffith University)

Rachael is one of almost 50 third-year Griffith Nursing students to travel to Laos this year as part of work integrated learning placement within the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Griffith University was the first university health team to administer healthcare in in this rural district of Laos Laos, commencing work with this community Development Project in 2010.

“Being able to provide healthcare to people that have nothing and no access to health services because they live rurally really made me appreciate the healthcare we have in Australia and made me want to do so much more for them,” Rachael said.

“The community were really excited and happy to see us and so grateful and appreciative that we were there to help.

“This experience helped build my nursing skills in general as you have to do everything manually so your assessment skills need to be strong.  It also made me more aware of cultural sensitivities, which I will take with me well into my career.”

Rachael said her group, who were supervised by two Griffith staff members and two volunteer nurses, found many people to be suffering from colds and flus and physical injuries caused from manual labour.

She said they also provided a lot of health education to the children such as oral hygiene and hand washing, as well as teaching correct methods for lifting large objects safely.

“We took a bag of donated clothes to every village we went to, which we fundraised before we left,” she said.

“It was quite cold when we were there and to see some kids walking around with no shoes and in clothes that were too small was heartbreaking.

“We couldn’t do everything but we did the best we could.”

Griffith School of Nursing and Midwifery International Programs Director Hazel Rands said students who travelled to Laos were in a unique position and would be looked upon favourably by future employers.

“This experience is unique because it is recognised as clinical hours by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority and it enables student to be challenged by the extremes of poverty, poor communication and working with limited resources,” she said.

“Griffith seeks to prepare our students to become global citizens and this three-week experience allows them to see another healthcare system, live in a challenging environment, learn about themselves and acknowledge the unique set of skills that they have to offer as health professions upon graduation.”

Rachael is due to graduate at the end of 2016.

Nursing at Griffith University

The Griffith Nursing is committed to the development of nursing practice, theory and research in positive and visionary ways. The school is also committed to the development of graduates imbued with a solution-focused philosophy who will make a positive difference in nursing, midwifery and health care. Through developing research, consultancy and continuing education opportunities, Griffith seeks to serve the nursing and midwifery professions, the health care system and the broader community.

Program: Bachelor of Nursing
Location: Logan, Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intakes: February and July
Duration: 3 years

Apply to Griffith University Nursing School!

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Learn more about Griffith Nursing School. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Nursing Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com for more information!