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Hands on health

Monday, 02 April 2012


Hands-on learning is an important part of a university student’s education, particularly when the skills they learn could one day save a life.

Undergraduate students involved in the Interprofessional Ambulatory Care (IpAC) Program at ECU are getting the chance to gain essential experience while also helping real-life patients.

The program was established in 2010 as the result of $4.6 million from the Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Health and Ageing, Increased Clinical Training Capacity Program funding.

Students perform client assessments, support and evaluate the progress of each patient, all under the supervision of a team of experienced professionals from a variety from health disciplines.

Patients from the Northern Suburbs Stroke Centre, CRS Australia and Women’s Healthworks have all utilised the unique program.

Ms Priscilla Symes from the Northern Suburbs Stroke Support Group praised the IpAC program for changing the lives of clients involved.

“Participants have said how much they enjoyed the program and how it has helped their improvement. Patients felt confident and stronger and learned a lot from the students, who are eager to help us improve,” Ms Symes said.

For nursing student Nicole Murray, IpAC has provided an invaluable insight into the practical side of the nursing profession.

“As a nursing student and future registered nurse I now feel confident that I will be able to refer patients to different areas for their specific health needs,” Nicole said.

“I believe IpAC is an incredible practical placement; it delivers constructive and relevant learning in an environment that nurtures developing students from wide variety of professions. I was lucky to have been offered this experience and have learnt invaluable lessons that will stick with me for my entire career.”  

ECU’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Advancement), Professor Cobie Rudd said IpAC offers the wider community the chance to be involved in the education and development of our future health workers.

“This unique project offers health discipline students the opportunity to participate in the improved health of community members,” Professor Rudd said.

“Students are learning from qualified professionals in a safe and client-centred environment, where community members have access to a holistic care package program.”

The IpAC program is currently looking for participants for their care package programs. Clients can make individual appointments by contacting or phoning 6304 3581. Clients do not need a GP referral to take part in the program.

Groups are also welcome to register their interest with appointments made on a one-on-one basis.

For more information visit the IpAC webpage.


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