Overwhelmed? Lean on your people

finding your rural placement challenging?

Lean on your people and the Going Rural Health team


I am sitting here with four email inboxes blinking for attention, a calendar that doesn’t allow for a bathroom break between Zoom meetings, a family that needs caring for and a ‘brain conversation’ that is telling me I need to “do more study, eat less, stop stressing and get some exercise”. Life is busy enough without the additional burden of lockdowns and “WFH” yet for some bizarre reason we still think we need to do it all. I feel overwhelmed, even though I consider myself someone who has a handle on things pretty well most of the time. So your people become all the more important but we need to make sure we lean on them when they offer. It can be too easy to say we are fine when we are not, to decline offers of assistance because we think we can do it all on our own. It makes me think of people less fortunate who don’t have those supports readily available.

We often expect our students to uproot themselves from all of these supports, leave their family and friends and take on a studying and placement load in a new place and establish themselves into a team they are unfamiliar with. Some students relish the opportunity, some struggle through and make the best of the situation, clinging to the knowledge that they just need to ‘get through’ the placement; easier said than done for those on long placements.


What’s the secret?

A bit of self-belief, an openness to new experiences and a propensity for searching out every learning opportunity through asking lots of questions and ‘putting yourself out there’. It’s exhausting!

So be kind to yourself, allow yourself to have the occasional down day, to switch off from technology and enjoy the rural surrounds where you can.

But most of all, lean on your people.

The GRH team know we can be just one more group of strangers that you need to connect with but remember we are here to do more than just support your placement. We have all been where you are and we are very aware of the amount of work you have to do, the pressure you are under. Reach out to anyone of us via phone or email, go to our website for resources and connect with our other students through some of our social and debriefing events; you can even suggest your own ideas on how we can help.

It is a stressful time but it can be a positive time as long as you are gentle with yourself and let us know what we can do to help.

Keryn Bolte

Manager Going Rural Health & Goulburn Valley Regional Training Hub & Lecturer in Rural Health Workforce Development

Going Rural Health Wangaratta

Registered Nurse & Midwife