Two final year pharmacy students have found the appeal of rural work and recently returned to be supported by the Western Australian Centre for Rural Health (WACRH) in Geraldton for a second round of clinical placement.
Pharmacy students Matthew Vuksanovic and Mitchell Briotti from Curtin University both requested to have their second placement rurally back with WACRH, having completed their first placement with WACRH earlier this year.
Pharmacy students from Curtin University are required to complete two sets of six week work placements in their final year of study. They are required to make placement preference of a community or hospital pharmacy in a rural or metropolitan location.
Vuksanovic completed his first six week placement in Karratha at the two community pharmacies, Pharmacy 777 and Pharmacy Help. Briotti completed his first placement in the hospital pharmacy of Geraldton Hospital.
For their final clinical placements of six weeks, both students have returned to WACRH in Geraldton. Vuksanovic this time working at the Geraldton Hospital pharmacy and Briotti at Optimal Pharmacy Plus Northgate.
When asked why they chose to return to WACRH for their second and final placement, both students listed a multitude of reasons.
At nearly 21 years of age, Briotti was keen to get a taste of rural pharmacy before graduating at the end of the year.
‘There is so much more offered by WACRH that is not available in other rural placements such as professional development opportunities, support by an experienced supervisor and quality accommodation.’
‘I have also enjoyed the social activities with other health science students, access to study areas and bikes to get around town,’ said Briotti.
Vuksanovic recommends that going on a rural placement is one of the best things you can do while you are still young.
‘I have really enjoyed working on the busy wards of the Geraldton Hospital and the satisfaction of being valued in an inter-professional team, working with doctors, nurses and others at the hospital’.
‘I have been exposed to a vast array of medical conditions, including the complexities of indigenous health problems.’
‘Both of my placements with WACRH have opened my eyes up to so many different ways of practicing pharmacy,’ Vuksanovic says.
‘WACRH offers pharmacy students a unique opportunity to undertake clinical placements in rural areas while also getting the opportunity to experience things you wouldn’t normally get to experience during a typical placement,’ says WACRH’s Rural Pharmacist Liaison Officer (RPLO) Cathy Hargreaves.
‘It is encouraging to see students return to WACRH which reinforces that we are providing quality clinical placements in a unique learning environment,’ she said.
WACRH offers a range of placements for health science students with a unique and rich focus on rural clinical and community experiences. WACRH’s placements and programs aim to develop work-ready rural health professionals.
WACRH aims to improve rural, remote and Aboriginal health through research, education, workforce development, student support and community service activities.
Photo caption: Matthew Vuksanovic and Mitchell Briotti are fourth year Pharmacy students from Curtin University who are completing their second rural placement with the Western Australian Centre for Rural Health (WACRH) in Geraldton.