Health students making house calls to Yalgoo PS
Allied health students on rural placement have been making frequent trips to check up on some of the Mid West’s most remote kids.
More than an hour’s drive from the nearest GP clinic, Yalgoo Primary School is visited by students in a variety of disciplines — speech pathology, occupational therapy and audiology.
“The regular visits and resulting reports form important information about our students ... I get a report usually within three days, so the information is current and useful,” Yalgoo Primary School principal Geoffrey Blyth said.
The rural outreach program has been run by the WA Centre for Rural Health for the last five years. Students based in Geraldton make the two-hour trip on a weekly basis, which Mr Blyth said was “almost as important as the tests themselves” as the kids become familiar with the students.
“It has been great to work one-on-one with the kids there, particularly as they do not have people come and visit the school on a regular basis, but we are there every week,” occupational therapy student Sarah Oborne said.
The program cuts both ways.
The rural experience, WACRH director Professor Sandra Thompson says, makes for well-rounded practitioners once they leave university, as well as providing care that remote communities wouldn’t otherwise get.
“Coming out to Yalgoo has been a good learning experience,” speech pathology student Claire Symons said. “During our visits we see several school students for assessment or therapy, do lots of observational work, meet with the principal and the teachers, before returning to Geraldton in the afternoon.”
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