My student placement experience in the NT: Speech Pathology student Morgan Patterson

Speech Pathology student Morgan Patterson with fellow placement students in Katherine, NT

For my final paediatric placement, I was lucky enough to go to Katherine in the Northern Territory. Although I was nervous to leave Adelaide, I was excited to step outside my comfort zone and experience a new environment. Fortunately, I had three supportive peers (pictured above) with me to share the adventure with.

The Speech Pathology placement took place in two local schools. Both schools were very grateful and supportive towards our work. From Monday to Thursday, we would see the same 5-6 clients each day which allowed us to form special bonds. Spending 7 weeks in Katherine meant that we also saw the changes we had made with the clients’ speech, language and confidence which was very exciting!

On Fridays, we took part in professional development activities which were highly beneficial towards our learning. Our amazing Clinical Educator organised educational workshops led by other health professionals such as an audiologist, social worker, and play therapist. On the weekend, we spent our time exploring the local hot springs, the Katherine Gorge, and cute cafes in search for the best coffee!

The Flinders campus in Katherine also has a great group of staff who are very passionate about the Katherine region. Throughout our time there, we learned a lot about Aboriginal culture and history. The staff also took us to remote Aboriginal communities such as Beswick. Visiting these communities was very eye opening and allowed me to develop my culturally responsive communication skills and practice.

My experiences in Katherine have supported my decisions for choosing Speech Pathology as a profession. I would be happy to return and work in the NT and would highly recommend this placement to future students.

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