GSM's Volunteer Programme
1 Programme - 3 Different Ways to Get Involved
UOW’s Graduate School of Medicine aims to produce excellent medical practitioners who are able to contribute to the enhancement of health care for patients in all geographic settings, but particularly in regional, rural and remote communities. One of the key learning activities for medical students is interaction between students and real people. To do this successfully we need to involve people from the local communities.
To accomplish this, the GSM has established a Volunteer Programme at both sites in Wollongong and Shoalhaven. This comprises of volunteers from the community who act as patients for our students. This ensures that our students learn and continually practice appropriate communications with real people; make diagnoses and have immediate access to volunteer feedback.
3 Different Groups of GSM Volunteers
General Volunteer Programme
As a regular Volunteer, you will participate in scripted role plays and/ or physical examinations with our 1st and 2nd Year Students. This allows students to practice communication skills and physical examination techniques such as cardiovascular exams or taking a neurological history from a volunteer.
Don’t worry, this does not involve intimate examinations and we would always talk to you about nature of the activity and the level of commitment required in advance.
Many GSM Volunteers continue to participate in the programme over a period of time, accessing more training and becoming more skilled as they progress.
(See General Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions for further information)
Expert Volunteer or Session Specific Volunteer
This could be:
- A person who has a particular medical condition and is stable enough to attend classes, e.g. heart murmur, cancer, diabetes, etc.
- A health care professional specialising in a relevant area of health, such as mental illness or dementia.
- A group of people from a particular age group – e.g. babies, school age children, adolescents, older Australians.
- People from a particular culture or linguistic background e.g. Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders.
What would I have to do to get involved?
- You come in 1 - 4 times per year depending on the specific condition. The GSM will train or brief you in regard to what is involved.
- Transport, refreshments or any associated costs will be covered by the GSM (as appropriate).
- Your role is to assist students in the development of their various required skills, you will not receive treatment for any existing or new conditions. If however we believe you may need to seek medical assistance, it will be privately discussed with you and an appropriate referral made.
- All personal details and information provided by Volunteers remains confidential. They will only be used by the GSM to determine and assist your initial and ongoing participation in the programme.
(See Expert/Session Specific Volunteers Programme Information for further information)
Teaching Associates provide opportunities for medical students to practice intimate examinations on male / female volunteers in a controlled and safe educational setting. In recognition of the high level of contribution to the teaching of our students Teaching Associates receive a gift card for their involvement in the programme. This is in the form of a gift card to a well-established retail group at a specific hourly rate which increases incrementally each year. The current rate for 2013 is presently $38.14 / hour for training and reserve sessions; and $76.29 / hour for physical examination sessions.
The TA Programme is designed for medical students to:
- Gain confidence in both the fine technical skills and the sensitive communication skills required to undertake intimate examinations.
- For men this would involve examination of the groins, genital area and DRE (digital rectal examination). For women this would involve breast and gynaecological examinations.
- Learn to perform these examinations in a non-threatening environment with immediate feedback and guidance from the volunteer.