Realising our value through Clinical Education: Health students’ experiences of clinical placements in Indigenous contexts

Alison Nelson, Kate Odgers-Jewell

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearch

80 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The teaching of “cultural competency” in relation to Indigenous Health is a requirement or aspiration of all Australian universities offering health programs to broaden student’s knowledge and promote culturally responsive care (Universities Australia, 2011). However, content is often taught in isolation from practical experiences and has the potential to promote only negative aspects of Indigenous health. In addition, health professionals report experiencing anxiety or inadequacy about working in this area (Wilson et. al, 2015). The Institute for Urban Indigenous health has worked with local universities to develop clinical placements which are used to provide practical experience in a scaffolded Indigenous health learning environment. This presentation will describe the clinical placements offered to students by IUIH and describe the change in attitudes and beliefs of students throughout the course of their placement.

Method: Student placement experiences are evaluated using 20 five-point Likert items relating to students’ perceptions of the learning environment, skills development, awareness and self-development, supervision and their overall experience. Two open-ended response items on the positive and negative aspects of the practicum and how these impacted students’ learning are also collected.

Results from the IUIH student database indicate an increase from 30 students/year across three disciplines to over 370 students/year across 20 disciplines. In addition, student clinical hours have increased by 440% over the past 8 years. Survey results will be reported in detail but indicate areas of strength and potential for growth and improvement.

Discussion: Service-learning experiences in urban First Australian contexts are shown to equip the emerging workforce with supportive networks, experience in culturally-responsive service provision and supported opportunities to develop ways of thinking, doing and partnering with First Australians towards optimising health and well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
EventThe 13th National Allied Health Conference - Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre., Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 5 Aug 20198 Aug 2019
Conference number: 13th


ConferenceThe 13th National Allied Health Conference
Abbreviated titleNAHC 2019
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Realising our value through Clinical Education: Health students’ experiences of clinical placements in Indigenous contexts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this