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New-graduate physiotherapists' perceptions of their preparedness for rural practice


Martin, R and Mandrusiak, A and Lu, A and Forbes, R, New-graduate physiotherapists' perceptions of their preparedness for rural practice, Australian Journal of Rural Health, 28, (5) Article 12669. ISSN 1038-5282 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2020 National Rural Health Alliance Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1111/ajr.12669


Objective: Providing health care in a rural or remote setting requires physiotherapists to adapt to a number of unique challenges. New-graduates working in rural or remote settings must respond to these challenges in addition to those of being a novice practitioner. This study investigated the perceived preparedness of new-graduate physiotherapists for work in rural or remote settings.

Design: A qualitative general inductive approach.

Setting: Rural and remote Queensland.

Participants: New-graduate physiotherapists working in rural or remote locations were contacted via a snowballing recruitment strategy.

Main outcome measure: Semi-structured interviews.

Results: Four key themes emerged from the data: (a) adjusting to rural life, (b) embracing opportunities, (c) stepping up to the plate and (d) preparing through authentic experiences.

Conclusion: New-graduate physiotherapists perceived rural and remote practice to be a challenging but valuable opportunity with many social and professional rewards. The complex clinical demands and unique cultural factors inherent in rural and remote locations were experienced as additional obstacles to the transition from student to clinician. New-graduate physiotherapists were satisfied that their entry-level training provided the necessary skills required to practise rurally and remotely; however, they expressed 'shock' at the rapid adaptations needed to provide effective service in these settings. New-graduates are confident that exposure to authentic rural and remote clinical practice during their training was integral to their preparedness.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:allied health, curriculum development, interviews, qualitative, rural workforce
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Allied health and rehabilitation science
Research Field:Physiotherapy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Higher education
UTAS Author:Martin, R (Ms Romany Martin)
ID Code:148228
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2021-12-13
Last Modified:2022-01-12

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