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Students at Queensland public hospitals


What does this mean for me?

Many different health professionals come to work in this hospital every day, including doctors, nurses, midwives and allied health staff.

Students are an important part of this hospital’s healthcare team and get valuable on-the-job training.

It’s up to you...

If a student is proposed to be involved in your care, a doctor, midwife or healthcare provider will ask your permission for a student to help care for you.

Please be assured:

  • Students are bound by the same privacy principles as Queensland Health staff and are supervised, with their work checked, by staff.
  • Students cannot do tasks that are outside of their training and experience (this is called a scope of practice).

Things to keep in mind during your stay:

  • Your comfort, dignity and privacy come first
  • This is a teaching hospital and students are an important part of our healthcare team
  • Please ask questions and raise any concerns you have along the way. We are here to listen
  • You have the right to expect safe, quality care, to be treated respectfully and participate in care decisions under the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights

Examples of how students may be involved in your care:

  • Medical student stitching a wound
  • Midwifery student monitoring a woman during labour
  • Pharmacy student interviewing you to write a list of the medicines you take at home.

What happens if I say yes?

Each time when a new student meets you, you have the right to decide if they participate in your care. Your consent is not a blanket consent – you can choose what involvement you are comfortable with.

You can withdraw your consent at any time.

Some aspects of healthcare can be challenging. For example, you might need to have an examination or procedure of a more personal nature.

What happens if I say no?

Student practical placement is an important part of training, but above all else, we want you to feel safe and comfortable. Your decision will not disadvantage you. You can change your mind too, if you decide you are happy to have students help care for you.

Questions to ask your care team:

  • What are the risks to having a student involved in my care?
  • What are the benefits to having a student involved in my care?
  • Can I provide feedback to the student?

Some of the students you might meet during your stay include:

  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Worker or Practitioner
  • Dietitian
  • Medical
  • Medical Imaging
  • Midwifery
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Oral Health
  • Paramedicine
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychology
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Social Work
  • Speech Pathology


Last updated: 9 May 2023


"Watching and then doing tasks myself, with my mentor’s support, made me a more confident nurse. I couldn’t have become the nurse I am today without patients permitting me to participate in their care."Registered nurse

"It is an honour when a patient allows me, as a medical student, to examine them. Years of training mean very little if I don’t get the opportunity to talk to patients and see and feel and hear what they are experiencing."Medical student

"Having a student shadow me gives me the chance to reflect on what I am doing. When I am explaining and demonstrating the care I provide, it promotes a productive conversation between the patient, myself and the physiotherapy student."Physiotherapist

"Health professionals are made not born. Students need a chance to learn their craft in a supported environment. I think allowing them to help with my care now is better than waiting until they graduate and care for me with no real-world experience." Patient