More than 100 nursing students gathered at Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE for the first Regional Student Health Conference on Wednesday.
The conference was aimed at nursing students from GOTAFE and La Trobe University and provided them with an opportunity to network and learn about different career paths.
For GOTAFE nursing student Elif Coskun, 20, the conference was a great way to develop a broader understanding of the industry and network with different health-focused organisations.
‘‘When you’re studying in class, you can raise questions but the teachers don’t really know, so it’s better to have one person from each organisation come down and you can physically talk to them and find out more information,’’ she said.
Organisations present at the conference included Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation, Goulburn Valley Health, Nursing and Midwifery Health, Primary Health and Ambulance Victoria.
GOTAFE clinical placement co-ordinator and conference organiser Ally Derooy said the event was created to give nursing students a chance to think outside the square and not be limited by mainstream industry practices.
‘‘Another reason why we held the event was to make sure students have awareness around support mechanisms that are available to them,’’ she said.
‘‘Nursing has a really high rate of mental illness, drug addiction and suicide so there’s a lot of support networks the government has invested in to support nurses and students.’’
During the conference, students enjoyed a variety of pop-up shops and listened to inspirational speaker and occupational therapist Emma Gee’s thoughts and solutions on patient-centred care.
Ms Derooy said she was very pleased with the turnout for the conference and believed it played an important role in supporting students and hoped that it would continue into the future.
‘‘There’s nothing regionally for students,’’ she said.
‘‘They all have to travel to metro areas to have access to these types of events, so it’s great that regionally we can provide this.’’