University of New England nursing students take up Coledale clinic placements

FUTURE NURSES: From left: Bree Turner, facilitator Kristi Latimore, Terri Heywood, Jennifer Dryburgh, Shelly Plasson and Kristyn Grubb from UNE's Coledale Health and Education Clinic. Photo: Gareth Gardner 181016GGB08

FUTURE NURSES: From left: Bree Turner, facilitator Kristi Latimore, Terri Heywood, Jennifer Dryburgh, Shelly Plasson and Kristyn Grubb from UNE's Coledale Health and Education Clinic. Photo: Gareth Gardner 181016GGB08

NURSING students from across the region and the world are lining up to get ‘hands-on’ learning experience at the Coledale Clinic.

Future nurses from Nepal, Russia, Taiwan and the Philippines have previously taken up practical placements through the University of New England’s (UNE) Coledale Health and Education Clinic over the years.

Clinical facilitator Kristi Latimore said they also get students from Tamworth who have no idea about the facility.

“The students get to know their patients and learn about holistic care for the patients,” Ms Latimore said.

While the clinic is for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal patients, Ms Latimore said nursing students come out with an appreciation for indigenous health campaigns.

“They can see firsthand the burden of chronic illness in Aboriginal communities,” she said.

"And they can appreciate why things like ‘Close the Gap’ are so important.”

Shelly Plasson is in the second year of her nursing degree with UNE and is currently completing a placement at the Kenny Dr clinic.

“There’s so many advantages here, we’re hand in hand with the medical staff,” Ms Plasson said.

“For other placements, you might just be following a nurse.”

In the midst of a major tree change, Ms Plasson moved away from the city opting to pursue a career with “more meaning” and have a positive effect on the community.

The second-year nursing student said the Coledale clinic “doesn’t feel like a doctor’s surgery and the community-centred focus offered a positive way to give back. 

“It’s a safe place for the community, they may come in and just want a chat or have a cup of coffee or students may come in after school,” Ms Plasson said.

“It’s a safe place and it’s like a big family.

“If there was no centre like this it would be really, really sad.”

In keeping with their ‘hands-on’ approach, nursing students at the Coledale clinic are encouraged to take part in ‘health promotion’.

Next Friday, the nursing students will host a stress-less day for the community.

The event will feature Tai Chi, meditation and activities aimed at reducing stress in people’s daily life.

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