Clinical Placement for Students

Gain real-life experience out in the field.

Clinical Placement may be the most exciting (and daunting) part of your studies. Clinical Placement is your opportunity to get hands-on and practise all the skills and knowledge you have developed so far, on real patients and in real scenarios.

Working in the pre-hospital emergency health care industry means you will have a lot of patient interactions. No matter how hard you have studied, or how well you excelled in your Clinical Workshop, the only true way to become comfortable with treating patients is within a clinical context – this is why placement is so important!

What is Clinical Placement?

Clinical placement is characterised as supervised work in the pre-hospital/out-of-hospital environment. Companies or host organisations that take on students for Clinical Placement are approved to do so by APC’s Clinical Placement Coordinator who is there to assist you every step of the way.

Clinical Placement is so important because it provides authentic experiences of what the day-to-day activities would be like in the pre-hospital health care setting. It allows you to hone your skills in a safe and supervised manner.

Certificate IV in Health Care students must satisfactorily complete their first 11 units and deemed satisfactory in their Clinical Intensive Workshop prior to commencing their clinical placement hours. The Diploma of Emergency Health Care students are required to complete their first 10 units and passed their Clinical Intensive Workshop 1 before commencing Clinical Placement.

Where can you complete Clinical Placement?

Australian Paramedical College students can undertake their placement at a number of different pre-hospital environments, not just with State Ambulance Services. We encourage this because our students have many different types of careers goals, not all our students enroll with us for pathways to become Paramedics. Some wish to get into aged care, others event medics, or even some just wish to expand on their skills – this is why we allow students to really personalise their placement opportunity.

If you are completing the Cert IV in Health Care or the Diploma of Emergency Health Care with APC, you can undertake your placement, but aren’t limited to, the following settings:

  • Event Medical Services
  • Sporting Associations
  • State Emergency Services
  • Theme Parks (with a first aid team)
  • Emergency Services Offices (medic in the mines)
  • Defence Force
  • State Ambulance Services (current agreements with TAS and SA)
  • GPs
  • Medical Centres
  • Patient Transport Services
  • and more!

Students of APC are requested to source their own placement. Our Clinical Placement Coordinator can alert students to available placement opportunities, but it is up to the student to apply for the placement themselves.

Preparing for Clinical Placement

Firstly, you must have satisfactorily completed the first required units of your course and have passed Clinical Workshop 1.

Students are also often required to provide a Working with Children check, as well as HLTAID003 (Provide First Aid) and HLTAID001 (Provide CPR) but requirements will vary depending on your host organisation.

You should also work out how you will get to your placement, and leave enough time to get there early, as you should always remain punctual, as often placement can lead to employment opportunities!

How to make the most out of your experience:

  • Observe your mentors/supervisors as much as possible, not only their clinical skills but how they interact with their patients.
  • Remember that your supervisor is there to help, they know you are a student and won’t expect you to know everything.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask any many questions as you need.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes do happen, but you will be closely supervised. That’s the beauty of placement.
  • At the end of each day be sure to reflect on what you did well and what you did not do well.
  • Be present and engaged, really take it as an opportunity to absorb as much information as you can.
  • Take care of yourself. You may come across a distressing scenario in your placement. Be sure to discuss with your supervisor how you are feeling. If you need extra support, please contact our Mental Health First Aid Officer within the APC Student Success Team.
  • Treat it like an interview, think of it as an excellent networking opportunity and be sure to make a good impression.
  • Remember: patients are usually very cooperative and love to help you too. Don’t be afraid to let them know you are still learning and are open to hearing their feedback.

Most importantly, enjoy yourself! All the hard work you’ve put in is really starting to pay off. Placement can be scary to start off with, but if you approach it in the right way, you will soon find it to be an incredibly helpful and rewarding part of your career journey.


What is your career journey?

To discover how you can become a fully qualified Ambulance Paramedic or Basic/Advanced Life Support Medic, complete a personalised paramedical career development plan.