I am a Muslim and a medical student in Australia and am assigned various clinical placements for roughly four weeks at a time. Those placements are in medical facilities (public hospitals, private [Catholic] hospitals, medical clinics, private practices, surgeries.) The university assigns most of these placements and student preferences are not taken into account. A few placements I am expected to source myself, though even then it is difficult to ensure I will be at a place that I know will be Muslim-friendly.
I pray five times a day (approximately 7 minutes per prayer), two to three of which fall during typical work hours and have a roughly two-hour window during which they can be made. What is a professional approach to communicating with supervisors to ask permission/let them know that I intend to pray?
Similarly, I attend the mosque for prayer services on Fridays, an hour long + transport time and would like to know how to ask for time off for this. I would prefer to address this before I start each rotation instead of causing problems or "trouble" on the first day.
Medical students (in these rotations) are not usually given lunch-breaks or other such opportunities where I could make my own prayer, (even bathroom/toilet breaks are often very restricted in these hospital or clinic settings and a colleague must cover and do your work).
The considerations I would like are:
- to be professional and courteous to all those around me in each of these visiting rotations,
- be proactive and reduce any possible issues with the prayer+mosque,
- of course, to be able to pray and go to the mosque.