Healthcare is provided in a variety of contexts and it is important students are exposed to this variety in order to enrich their learning experiences and to better understand the range of career opportunities available to them post graduation. Extended settings provide a variety of opportunities including:
- General Practice : general practice is the mainstay of primary health care in Australia, offering a positive learning setting for students from medicine, nursing, and a range of allied health disciplines including dietetics and pharmacy.
- Aged care : both community and residential aged care settings provide positive learning settings for students, particularly nursing and are beneficial for interprofessional learning for other disciplines. Well planned placements can be useful for physiotherapists, dietetics and pharmacists and other allied health professions with adequate supervision and well considered learning objectives.
- Private hospitals : the caseload and case mix in private hospitals is usually quite different to that of public hospitals. Placements for nursing, medical and allied health professionals can be very positive with good planning and supervision.
- Private practice : provides particular challenges for planning student placements particularly around patient choice and scheduling. In many cases placements in private settings occur as part of an overall placement attached to the particular health professional who may work across several settings. Private settings are often more suited to students in their final years.
- Community based settings : community based settings provide care for a range of people predominantly requiring sub-acute care such as chronic conditions, mental health, drug and alcohol, child and family health. Placements can be very useful if well planned with appropriate supervision across a range of disciplines. Community based settings can provide settings for enhanced interprofessional learning opportunities, particularly in primary health and post acute settings.
- Medicare Locals : some Medicare Locals provide direct service provision in addition to program management and make ideal placements for students. In addition Medicare Locals are able to use their primary health care networks to facilitate placements across a variety of service provision settings.
- Aboriginal Health Services : provide great potential for clinical placements. Interprofessional collaboration is high in these services. Clinical placements may need to be arranged to ensure exposure to visiting health professionals to ensure adequate exposure to clinical care.
- Community Pharmacies : provide exposure to medication management and clinical interventions related to pharmacists role in primary health care.