Sky high opportunity for uni students

April 19, 2024 BY

Learning opportunities: Laura Howard took part in a placement with the Royal Flying Doctor Service Victoria where she worked with children from rural communities. Photo: SUPPLIED

SPEECH pathology students from Federation University Australia have had the opportunity to work with the Royal Flying Doctor Service Victoria.

One student who worked with the organisation on placement was Laura Howard, who is currently undertaking a masters in speech pathology and working as a literacy interventionist.

As Ms Howard has experience as a primary school teacher, she has an interest in working with children.

While undertaking placement with the RFDS, Ms Howard provided speech and language screeners to three and four-year-old children.

She then interpreted the results and presented them to parents.

“I gained knowledge about a range of speech and language assessments suitable for kinder aged children, including how to administer the assessment, score and analyse the results,” said Ms Howard.

“I also learned about the role of the RFDS in the area and developed my knowledge of age-appropriate language and speech developmental milestones.”

Federation University Australia students have participated in placement with the Royal Flying Doctors Service Victoria. Photo: SUPPLIED


RFDS Victoria primary health care general manager, Dr Melanie Trivett, said the program allows students to gain confidence working in rural areas.

“Rural placements allow students to experience not only the clinical aspects of a rural health professional’s role but to also experience the benefits of a rural lifestyle,” she said.

“It is important that students are well supported during these placements.

“A great experience could be difference between bringing a future health professional to a rural community or not.”

Ms Howard said she is looking forward to a career in speech pathology and to use the knowledge she gained on placement.

“The placement provided an opportunity for me to expand my knowledge about the healthcare system and speech pathology service delivery in rural Victoria,” she said.

“It also gave me hands on experience and an opportunity to work with an age group, that I had not yet had any experience.

“The placement further provided direct access to an experienced speech pathologist, who offered advice and shared resources I will be able to use when I graduate.”