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Australian student travels thousands of miles for placement at Royal Derby Hospital

Published 05/08/2015

The physiotherapy department at the Derbyshire Children’s Hospital has had a distinctly international feel to it this week, with the arrival of a student who travelled thousands of miles to complete a placement.

Sarah Tinitali travelled all the way from Australia to complete a placement in the department, linked to the Royal Derby Hospital, as she comes to the end of a four-year degree at Monash University, in Melbourne. 

The 28-year-old, who lives in Geelong, Melbourne, said she chose Derby as it looked like it would provide her with exactly the kind of training she was looking for.

Sarah said: “I had friends who did international placements, and one had done one in the UK and said it was fantastic. I wanted the opportunity to learn from international physios, so I started looking in the UK. I knew I wanted somewhere regional, rather than a big city or a specialist centre, and Derby looked fantastic on the website. To work in a big children’s area with all these different professions was just a fantastic prospect. It looked like a place where I could learn a lot. 

Sarah is spending two weeks at the Children’s Hospital, based at the Royal Derby Hospital.

She said: “It’s been fantastic; the team are fantastic, and they have been really inclusive and welcoming. I’ve learned so much every day. I feel really privileged to have been able to come here, and I’m really grateful for the opportunity. I wish my placement was longer.”

Sarah is hoping to qualify as a physiotherapist in the New Year, and she will then start working in departments in Australia. She said she would like to do more international work as her career progresses. 

In the meantime, she is focused on completing her placement, before spending her summer travelling around Europe.  

Paediatric physiotherapist Penny Sutherland, who has been mentoring Sarah during her placement, said she had been surprised when she heard about her international charge. 

She added: “We get quite a number of students who choose to do there placements here, but they are usually home-grown. It’s exciting to have Sarah here. She’s doing really well. She has a great sense of humour, which helps working with children.”

Last Modified 05/08/2015