JCU physiotherapy students must successfully complete 1000 hours of supervised clinical experience to graduate. Prior to commencing placements students must have successfully completed all pre-clinical subjects.
The 1000 hours include six five-week placements distributed over two semesters. Three placements occur in Semester 2 of third year, making up the first Clinical Education subject (PS3007 / PS3107) and three placements occur in Semester 1 of fourth year, making up the second Clinical Education subject (PS4001/PS4101).
The six placements include Acute care (two placements), Neurology/ Rehabilitation, Musculoskeletal practice, Rural practice, and a non-prescribed elective placement for example in paediatrics, women’s health, spinal cord injury, burns, private practice, animal physiotherapy and other specialist areas of interest to the student.
The Musculoskeletal placement exposes students to acute and chronic orthopaedic conditions in the outpatient setting, and is conducted at the on-campus JCU Physiotherapy Musculoskeletal Clinic. Outpatient musculoskeletal placements as a second, elective placement occur in a variety of public and private settings throughout Queensland.
Acute care placements provide exposure to inpatient medical/surgical, orthopaedic, neurology, and cardio-respiratory conditions across the lifespan.
Neurological / Rehabilitation placements can be located within hospital settings or in a designated rehabilitation facility.
Rural placements are conducted throughout Queensland and sometimes interstate.
Placement sites include:
Cairns Base Hospital, Cairns Community Health, Atherton, Tully Hospital and private practice, Education Queensland throughout Qld, JCU Physiotherapy Clinic, the Townsville Hospital, Townsville Community Health, Children’s Community Therapy Services, Lavarack Barracks Medical Centre, Bowen Hospital, Townsville Mater Hospital, Mt Isa Hospital, Mt Isa private practice, Longreach Hospital, Charters Towers, Mackay Base Hospital, Mackay Community Health, Mackay Private Practice, Proserpine Hospital, Rockhampton Hospital, Gladstone Hospital, Moranbah Hospital, Hervey Bay Hospital and Community Health, Bundaberg Hospital, Maryborough Hospital, Nambour Hospital, Gympie Hospital, Eden Rehabilitation Centre Cooroy, Redcliffe Hospital, Redlands Hospital, Gold Coast and Robina Hospitals, Mater Hospital Brisbane, The Princess Alexandra Hospital, Saint Andrews War Memorial Hospital, QE11 Hospital, Sunnybank Hospital, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Royal Children’s Hospital, Toowoomba Hospital and Community Health, Dalby Hospital, St George Hospital, Roma Hospital, and Charleville Hospital.
Interstate clinical placement sites include Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin Community Health, Northern Rehabilitation Network, Alice Springs Hospital, Coffs Harbour, Gilgandra, and Sale.
The important point to note with the diversity of placements is the associated costs of travel and accommodation. It is important to remember that travel and accommodation must be organised and paid for by the student. There are scholarships and subsidies available which students need to identify and apply in an appropriate time-frame. The Clinical Education Coordinator will provide as much information as possible regarding scholarships and subsidies.