The University of Newcastle, Australia

Frequently Asked Questions

NCRC's can take up to 25 days to receive.

Immunisation courses can require multiple treatments and can take up to 6 months to complete. It is a NSW Health directive that immunisations and serology (blood tests) must be completed within 6 months of course commencement.

Where only partial vaccination has been undertaken for hepatitis B, i.e. at least the first vaccination, you may be eligible for temporary verification and should still submit your documents in order to attend placements. All other specified diseases require completion of your vaccination prior to clinical placement.

Health facilities within Australia have the right to exclude anyone from their premises if they are considered to present a risk to their patients/clients. This includes any persons without proper immunity.

Students should note that the award of their respective degree is dependent upon their satisfactorily completing and passing all academic and clinical components. If you cannot complete the placement component then you cannot graduate from your chosen degree.

Your placement facility may ask to see your documentation as a requirement for compliance with safe practice. If you are concerned about a person's right to view your documentation discuss this with your placement contact.

If you are a NSW Resident, you must obtain your National Police Certificate (NPC) from NSW State Police, NOT the Australian Federal Police. This is NSW Ministry of Health Policy.

YES! All clinical programs require a variety of placement experiences to complement your program. This will often require placement away from the local area.

Placements are designed to meet program outcomes. Work experience is usually directed by the employer and does not align with program outcomes. This generally means that it is unlikely that you will be able to use work experience as placement hours. If you feel that you should be entitled to exemption or credit on the basis of work experience you should discuss this with your Course Coordinator.

As a student you are insured for the time you spend in a placement that relates directly to the course in which you are enrolled. The University has no objection to students undertaking work experience, however it is your responsibility to notify any person who offers you this opportunity that you are not insured by the University for this period. This means it is the organisation / facility that is responsible for your workplace insurance during that time, unless there is a School specific protocol.

The University does not cover students if they are driving service vehicles owned by a business or government entity.

Your School will provide you with course outlines and additional information about learning objectives for each placement.

An incident is something that results in (or potentially results in) harm to yourself or others. It can include physical injury or psychological damage. In the event of any incident occurring while you are on placement, you must not ignore it. You should:

  1. Seek medical attention where appropriate.
  2. Follow the health facility's incident response and reporting procedure.
  3. Contact your Facility Placement Supervisor, Placement Contact and / or Course Coordinator.

At all times students should demonstrate professional behaviour and comply with all attendance requirements, actively participate in learning experiences, and demonstrate respect for peers, supervisors and patients/clients. Students are required to:

  • be punctual
  • dress professionally for their placement and adhere to any School- or facility-specific dress codes
  • demonstrate cultural awareness and sensitivity
  • display UoN Student identification Card (with photograph) or School-specific Placement Cards (with photograph) as directed by your School
  • adhere to the rules, regulations and by-laws of the placement facility
  • show consideration in regard to the rights and properties of others
  • meet the statutory and/or facility requirements regarding privacy and confidentiality
  • refrain from any form of misconduct such as
    • inappropriate behaviour and/or language
    • knowingly performing procedures beyond the student's level of learning
    • demonstrating intimidation
    • argumentation and disrespect

It should be noted that any misconduct may result in the student being awarded an unsatisfactory grade for the placement.

Students should not expect to be able to access telephones, faxes, computers, printers or photocopiers unless specifically permitted to do so, and any use should be directly related to the facility's activities.

In some placement facilities mobile phones may interfere with the effective operation of electronic equipment. Students must ensure that their mobile phone is switched off before attending a placement facility unless otherwise informed.

Additional Information

All patients/clients have a right to free and informed consent. Students must always ask a patient/client for their consent to see them, talk with them, undertake a physical examination, access their patient/client notes or be involved in their care. You must ensure the patient/client knows that you are a student.

While most patient/clients are generous and allow students to interact with them, some patients/clients may decline consent. It is expected that students will respect this decision.

It is an expectation that all students obtaining consent are familiar with the process and are aware of particular circumstances which influence the provision of informed consent. These include the patient's culture, language barriers or impact of medical or psychiatric illness. Students should review their course notes for specific guidance or discuss the relevant issues with their Course Coordinator or placement supervisor.

Patient information is confidential. Students should not identify a patient in any documentation or assignments. Any form of copying or photographing of patient information is not permitted. Verification that the work applies to an actual person and that the material submitted is the student's own work may be required. Each Health Facility will have a policy about the process of accessing a patient's record.

Additional Information

MoH Policy Directive:Student Training and Rights of Patients Document Number: PD2005_548) http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/policies/pd/2005/PD2005_548.html

Most States and Territories have their own placement requirements (e.g. additional immunisations). If you are allocated to an interstate placement, your School will inform you where additional placement requirements exist. In most cases this information will be available via SONIA.

Some Schools recognise placements in non-Australian settings. These placements are valuable in exposing students to the different health and social needs of other countries, but impose a greater burden of possible isolation, cultural disparity and differing sets of infectious disease. If you wish to undertake an international placement please see your Placement Officer and/or Course Coordinator.

Consult with your Course Coordinator and/or Placement Officer in the event:

  • You can't do the placement at the scheduled times
  • You wish to defer a placement
  • You will be pregnant when on placement
  • Your immunisations do not work or you are allergic to immunisation material

You will need to consider the risk to you / your pregnancy in the work environment. If you are not fully protected / screened / vaccinated you, your course coordinator and the manager where clinical placement is planned will need to do a risk assessment to determine if placement is reasonable and what precautions may be needed.