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COVID-19 and clinical placements

How to get vaccinated – students attending clinical placements in 2021

Due to the nature of their work, healthcare workers, and health students on placement, face a higher risk of COVID infection and illness compared to the general population. As such, healthcare workers may also, unwittingly, be responsible for transmitting the virus to the vulnerable population in their care.

Therefore, healthcare workers have been prioritised in Australia’s COVID-19 Vaccine Roadmap to receive a COVID vaccine. Your support and uptake of the vaccine, while vital to your own protection, will also support higher uptake in the community.

Please visit the Australian Government’s eligibility checker to book an appointment through a General Practitioner, General Practice Respiratory Centre or Queensland Health vaccination centre.

Information for students: Preparing for vaccination
  • Familiarise yourself with the information on the Australian Government Department of Health website, including continuing to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19.
  • Follow the instructions on the same Australian Government website in relation to ensuring your Medicare details are accurate and current.
  • Check with your education provider about whether they will need evidence of your vaccination and, if they do, in what format that will be required.
  • Once vaccinated, you may record your vaccination on the Student Orientation Checklist (under “Other vaccinations”).
Information for education providers
  • As vaccination against COVID-19 is not a mandatory pre-placement requirement at this point, it will not be required as a condition of placement. If students who have not been vaccinated are concerned about exposure to exposure to patients being treated for COVID-19, as the education provider you may decide to negotiate with the placement provider an alternative placement location.
  • As this is a National vaccination program, records will be kept by the Australian Government on an individual’s immunisation history statement. Education providers can encourage students to ensure details required by the Australian Government (such as for Medicare) are up to date. More information is available at the Australian Government's 'What should I do before I get vaccinated for COVID-19?' website.
  • Once students are vaccinated, they may record their vaccination on the Student Orientation Checklist (under “Other vaccinations”). You may consider as the education provider if local records will also be held in relation to student vaccination status.

Clinical placements during response to COVID-19

Queensland Health remains supportive of the continuation of clinical placements where there is capacity to do so.  It is important that students requiring clinical placements, as an integral component of their health education programs, are able to complete these, to enable the ongoing growth of the health workforce and minimal disruption to student learning.

As future health professionals, students can make a very positive contribution to Queensland’s response at this time, and the potential lessons from a significant health event are invaluable. Queensland Health’s priority is the care, physical, and psychological safety of patients, staff, and students, and these matters will continue to be central in any decisions related to clinical placements during this health event.

National principles for clinical education during the COVID-19 pandemic have been agreed and may be found at https://www.ahpra.gov.au/News/COVID-19.aspx. Please discuss any concerns regarding your clinical placement with your education provider, in the first instance.

Border restrictions and interstate students

Please be aware of any Queensland border restrictions which may have potential implications for interstate students. Current information may be found at https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions/border-restrictions.

Clinical placements in aged care facilities during COVID-19

The Australian Government requires vaccination against influenza for employees working in residential aged care facilities (RACF). This requirement applies to students. For recording purposes, vaccination details may be entered under “other recommended vaccinations” on the appropriate Student Orientation Checklist.

Current and revoked Chief Health Officer public health directions may be found at https://www.health.qld.gov.au/system-governance/legislation/cho-public-health-directions-under-expanded-public-health-act-powers.

COVID-19 (coronavirus) - information for registered professions

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) and the National Boards routinely release information for professions registered under the National Regulation and Accreditation Scheme. Updates may be found at https://www.ahpra.gov.au/News.aspx.

COVID-19 (coronavirus) – general information

The Australian Government Department of Health has released factsheets in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Last updated: 19 May 2021