IAA is pleased to announce that Emma Quigley, audiology student at Flinders University is the recipient of the 2019 Judith Boswell Scholarship.
Emma's reflection on her clinical placement, assisted by the scholarship is as follows:
I feel very fortunate to have received the Judith Boswell Scholarship, which allowed me to take part in a rural placement. Block placements provide an opportunity to develop clinical skills through observation, discussion with professionals, and hands on experience, and I believe having the opportunity to experience this in a rural setting truly enhanced my learning. This was my first of two block placements for my degree. My placement consisted of time spent alongside audiologists at Australian Hearing as well as attending interprofessional education sessions and conducting school hearing screenings alongside other professionals through the University Department of Rural Health, both located within Broken Hill.
Upon arriving in Broken Hill I discovered that within rural settings often an audiologist’s role involves more than one specialty, covering both paediatric and complex client caseloads as well as requiring a solid understanding of different cultures within their community. As a student this was highly beneficial as it meant I was exposed to a wider range of clients all with differing needs.
I feel that through having placement in Broken hill I have become more open to working in a rural location, knowing both what a difference it makes to the lives of those who live in rural communities as well as the advantages it could have on my own learning as a professional. I was amazed at the cooperation between organisations within the community, in particular the measures put in place to provide access to services for those in smaller surrounding communities where often resources were limited.
Through the University Department of Rural Health, I was also able to meet and interact with students from other disciplines. This enhanced my understanding of the roles of other disciplines as well as being able to share with them our role as audiologists. Building this relationship between disciplines and learning how our roles overlap in a rural setting is important for ensuring each client gets the care they need through the correct referral pathways.
I would highly recommend rural placements for anyone looking to challenge themselves and expand their clinical skills. It is a chance to become more familiar with other cultures, new environments and to gain a better understanding about the barriers to accessing health services in a rural setting, of which I believe is an integral part of anyone’s professional development. I am therefore very grateful to Independent Audiologists Australia for their contribution which allowed me to be part of such an enriching experience.