In this practice context section, you can access:

  • Potential benefits of hosting allied health student placements in Aged Care settings
  • Resources to support clinical supervisors and students prepare for placements in aged care settings, including communication considerations and empowering older peoples’ self determination
  • Resources to support the practice of clinical supervisors and students in palliative care and dementia settings

 Aged care is the management and care of the health of the elderly (The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, 2011). This broad term encompasses a multitude of services including residential care, in home care and hospice/community care, specialised facilities, as well as care of the elderly in an acute care setting

When planning and preparing for student placements in aged care is essential.  You might find it useful to refer to the ‘Preparing for and managing Placements’ section of this website to access general clinical education material to support your preparation.

To optimise the student’s placement experience, tailor the teaching and learning goals for the aged care environment.  Potential elements could include:

1.      Communication considerations specific to an aged care population

2.      Ensuring a broad knowledge base of normal ageing and pathologies

3.      Competency in application and interpretation of profession-specific skills for the aged care setting

4.      Utilisation of clinical reasoning skills to enable patient centred problem solving

5.      Empowerment of patients to gain or retain self-determination

6.      Effective measurement of outcomes

7.      Consideration of health promotion and prevention of age-related decline


  • Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Healthcare (2011). Patient Centred Care: Improving quality and safety through partnerships with patients and consumers. Retrieved from:
  • Australian Governments, Attorney Generals Website (2013). Right to Self-Determination. Retrieved from:
  • Nitz, J (2014) Working with Older People. In Stagnitti, K., Schoo, A., & Welch, D. (Eds). Clinical and fieldwork placement in the health professions.  (2nd edition). Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.
  • The Physicians Consortium for Performance Improvement (2011). Measures Development, Methodology and Oversight Advisory Committee: Recommendations to PCPI Work Groups on Outcome Measures. Retrieved from: 
  • The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (2011). Aged Care. Retrieved from:
  • University of Newcastle, Faculty of Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery (2009). Clinical Reasoning Instructor Resources. Retrieved from:
  • Victorian Department of Health (2011).  Innovative Workforce Responses to a Changing Aged Care Environment. Retrieved from:


Reflection Activity: Student Placements in Aged Care

A guided reflection on student placements in aged care
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