The placement experience

Before placement

Going on placement is an exciting time and there are a few things you need to do to make sure that you get the most from the professional experience!

One is to meet the NSW Health Verification Requirements. You also need to familiarise yourself with any program specific expectations there may be (like wearing a particular uniform). You'll be told in detail during your course, so make sure you keep an eye out for this information. Please use our placement requirement tool to find out all the information relevant to your particular course.

During placement

Being professional

The experience you'll have on clinical placement is your first taste of what it will be like to be a health care professional and you'll need to act accordingly. This means you'll need to dress appropriately, address other staff, students and patients with respect and understanding, be punctual and maintain confidentiality. It is important to remember that patients may be experiencing significant stress and you need to be understanding of their needs and concerns.

All students are expected to dress in a neat and tidy manner while on placement. Some programs have student uniforms and your placement contact will let you know closer to your placement what that would be and where you can purchase it.

In many circumstances allowances can be made to accommodate cultural dress. If you have any concerns please see your placement contact.

Rural placements

A crucial part of clinical placement is the opportunity you have to experience clinical practice outside your local area. Completing a placement in a rural and remote facility as well as within the local area gives you invaluable experience in working as a heath care professional across regional NSW.

Many programs require that you experience your profession in a variety of settings, which helps to ensure that you graduate with a broad, well-rounded skillset. This can include the opportunity to undertake a rural and remote placement.

Rural and remote reimbursement?

Although you are not paid to attend placement, you may be able to access support through scholarships or grants to help cover things like accommodation, travel and internet access.

Talk to your placement contact and find out more about support available for meeting the costs of your study.

How should I act on Placement?

At all times you should demonstrate professional behaviour and comply with all attendance requirements, actively participate in learning experiences, and demonstrate respect for peers, supervisors and patients / clients. You should:

  • be punctual
  • dress professionally for your placement and adhere to any school or facility-specific dress codes (like uniforms)
  • demonstrate cultural awareness and sensitivity
  • display University student identification card (with photograph) or School-specific placement cards (with photograph) as directed
  • adhere to the rules, regulations and by-laws of the placement facility
  • show consideration in regards 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 your level of learning
    • demonstrating intimidation
    • argumentation and disrespect

In some placement facilities mobile phones may interfere with the effective operation of electronic equipment. Just in case, make sure your mobile phone is switched off before attending a placement facility unless otherwise informed.

Additional information

What are the patient / client rights?

All patients/clients have a right to free and informed consent. You 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 need to make sure that the patient/client understands that you are a student.

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

You should review your course notes for specific guidance or discuss the relevant issues with your Course Coordinator or placement supervisor.

Patient information is confidential. You should not identify a patient in any documentation or assignments. Any form of copying or photographing of patient information is not permitted. Each Health Facility will have a policy about the process of accessing a patient's record.

Additional Information


The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is the national registration body for many health care professionals. AHPRA helps to maintain quality healthcare in Australia.

When you enrol with the University of Newcastle, we ensure that you are entered into the AHPRA Student Register.

Once you have graduated you will need to apply to AHPRA to become registered in order to work in Australia as a Health Care Practitioner.

Visit the AHPRA website for more information.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.