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John James Foundation funding ‘invaluable’ to students

Kim Pham

20 December 2016: Bachelor of Physiotherapy student Michael Ceravolo is one of 49 University of Canberra students who have been able to complete their regional clinical placements thanks to funding from the John James Foundation.

Mr Ceravolo described the financial support as “invaluable” and used it cover some of the costs of his first clinical placement at Orange Health Service earlier this year.

The John James Foundation funding is available to Faculty of Health students who undertake regional and remote clinical placements. It is used to assist students to cover the cost of accommodation and transport for the duration of their placement.

“The financial support is extremely helpful particularly when you have an interstate placement,” Mr Ceravolo said. “The funding is generous enough that it can cover your accommodation costs for the full five weeks. It’s invaluable.

“It means you don’t have to stress about money and can focus on your studies which is great because placements are really important. It made the whole experience more enjoyable for me.”

Mr Ceravolo, a third-year student, said placements gave students the opportunity to put theory into practice.

“Placements help you gain that exposure and experience. At first it does feel challenging, like you’ve been thrown into the deep end but as the weeks go by, you realise just how much you’ve learnt,” he said.

“I felt I improved in terms of learning how to talk to different patients, learning different treatment options and how to be more efficient.”

Master of Physiotherapy graduate Ella Ward used the John James Scholarship to fund her fifth and final placement interstate at Port Kembla Hospital.

“Clinical placements are an integral component with this degree, as it enables us to apply our skills in real environments with real people (not just fellow classmates),” she said.

“The John James Foundation funding was extremely helpful in my circumstance, as at the time of the placement I was paying rent for accommodation in Canberra and Port Kembla over five weeks. It also covered petrol costs to make the three-hour trip to and from Port Kembla each weekend.”

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