Physio student shares knowledge and experience

Tuesday 15 Aug 2017

A Charles Sturt University (CSU) student has taken her enthusiasm to become a health professional to high school students in the Top End.

Bachelor of Physiotherapy student Ms Amy Reif at CSU in Orange was one of six university students selected nationally to take part in the Northern Territory (NT) Rural High School Visits Program, funded by the Australian Government under the PHN Program.

Ms Reif said, "Based primarily in Darwin, we visited six different high schools to present to groups of students from Years 10 to 12.

"We discussed our journeys towards becoming a health professional, worked through a problem-based learning scenario, and discussed barriers to university including money, marks, moving, motivation, and mates.

"I took the school students through a workstation with 'tools from my trade' such as a TENS machine, wobble board, crutches, x-rays, tendon hammers, and anatomical models."

Among the aims of the annual program is encouraging teenagers in the NT to remain at school and consider health careers and options available to students through tertiary education.

"The feedback we received from the school students showed we had either converted students into wanting to study one of our health disciplines, or encouraged the students to simply consider applying for university, which was a fantastic outcome.

"During our time in Darwin, we also toured the Royal Darwin Hospital with local doctors and travelled south to Katherine for a night to visit an Aboriginal Medical Service, the Katherine Hospital, and two high schools.

"As part of our own learning, we participated in 'clinical speed dates'. We were able to have a one-on-one discussion with someone from our health disciplines about career pathways and working in rural and remote areas.

"This was extremely beneficial as I'm at the stage in my final year of university where I need to consider employment opportunities for next year.

"I am very interested in remaining in a regional area, whether that is in a hospital environment or private practice.

"I am now seriously considering applying for physiotherapy jobs in the Northern Territory now that I have participated in this program.

"I am also employed by the Australian Army Reserves, so transferring to the Australian Regular Army as a full-time physiotherapist is potentially on the future agenda also.

"I loved the experience in the NT and encourage other Charles Sturt University students to get involved in the program next year.

"Being surrounded by people who are all so passionate about expanding healthcare in rural and remote Australia was incredibly inspiring and something I will never forget."

CSU offers its Bachelor of Physiotherapy through the University's School of Community Health at Albury-Wodonga, Orange, and Port Macquarie.


Media contact: Fiona Halloran , (02) 6933 2207

Media Note:

The Northern Territory Rural High School Visits Program is an annual program. It is an Australian Government initiative through the Northern Territory PHN.

Photo: CSU student Ms Amy Reif at her physio workstation at Darwin High School.