Developing an eBook distribution platform for patient education at the Princess Alexandra Hospital Radiation Oncology Department

Mr Andrew Puffett1

1Princess Alexandra Hospital Radiation Oncology, Brisbane, Australia

Introduction: Providing clear and concise information to patients that incorporates the multi-disciplinary nature of their medical care can be a difficult and time intensive process. In prescribing radiation therapy, Radiation Oncologists often face the dilemma of having to explain complex treatment processes to patients in a time limited and emotionally charged environment that is intertwined with advice from other health care professionals. To help enhance the effectiveness of patient education, the Cancer Services team of the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) Radiation Oncology Department, (Ipswich Road and Raymond Terrace Campuses) have been working together, with support from the PA Research Foundation, to develop a novel education system that provides easy to understand site specific oncology information to patients via their mobile devices.

Aim: This pilot project aimed to explore the use of an app based portal for the publication and distribution of ebooks specifically designed to educate patients about radiation therapy and associated health care practices performed at the Ipswich Road and Raymond Terrace Campuses, PAH

Method: The project involved the creation of an application known as the ROPAH Guides to provide a platform for publication and distribution of ebooks via the Apple and Google Play stores. Content for the app was produced in house by the PAH cancer services team and published on the platform using commercially available digital authoring software. Project outcomes were then evaluated via patient survey and use of analytics in Google Play and Apple Stores.

Results: This project is ongoing and data collection is continuing. However, early results indicate that patients actively download the content recommended by their health care team and believe the app is an excellent resource for their oncology education needs.

Conclusion: It is anticipated that the ROPAH Guides app will enhance clinical outcomes for patients by reducing anxiety and improving treatment compliance.

Biography: To be confirmed

‘The D Word’: Allied Health led dementia professional development

Ms Jacqueline Kay1, Miss Laura Ferguson1, Ms Patricia Maggs1

1Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Australia

Background: Amongst Royal Melbourne Hospital Allied Health staff, a gap was identified in the knowledge and education regarding the management of patients with dementia. In response, an Allied Health led interdisciplinary education program was implemented. The program was evaluated to identify if providing this type of education in dementia care is feasible, leads to an increase in confidence, and whether there is a need for further education.

Method: In its second year of production, 120 allied health and nursing professionals attended a one-day program with presentations from: Medical, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Neuropsychology and Dietitics. Each discipline addressed specific, advertised objectives centring around two case studies for practical application.

Results: Of the 120 attendees, 100 (83%) responded to the post-program survey. The average attendee was an Allied Health practitioner with 1 year of experience, working in the acute setting.

The following was found:

  • 89% felt the objectives were met
  • 88.5% identified presentations as very good/excellent
  • 78% rated increased confidence with the treatment of dementia
  • 77% identified they would like further education in their specific field of work.
  • 85% would recommend the course to their colleagues
  • 19% rated the nursing presentation as excellent

The following topics were identified as requiring further exploration; palliative care, de-escalating aggressive behaviour, education of families, and the carer experience.

Discussion: Providing Allied Health led education with medical and nursing colleagues was found to be feasible, with additional education leading to increased clinician confidence when treating patients with dementia. There was a conclusive need for further education in the treatment and care for patients with dementia identified.


Jacqui is a senior clinician Physiotherapist in General Medicine. Jacqui has over 10 years experience in Australia and the UK, with a Masters of Health Services Management. Her passions include best-practice Physiotherapy care for patients with dementia, delirium and in palliative care.

Interdisciplinary education: Industry and community projects in action

Dr Melanie Hayes1, Dr Jennifer Fletcher1, Professor Lorraine Smith1

1University Of Sydney, Camperdown, Australia

Background: Interdisciplinary collaboration in education promotes innovative practice, required to solve complex problems. This is particularly important in healthcare education, as interdisciplinary teamwork and collaborative practice will create work-ready graduates, a stronger healthcare system and improved health outcomes. However, collaborating beyond the health disciplines is often overlooked, when this approach may promote innovative thinking, complex problem-solving abilities and working in diverse teams.


Project methodology: To provide a truly interdisciplinary educational experience the University of Sydney has developed Industry and Community Project Units (ICPUs), which provide senior students from all Faculties the opportunity to work together on real-world problems for industry partners.  Students are briefed by the industry partner on a complex problem impacting the healthcare system and work together in diverse teams to present outcomes and solutions that are not limited by the health disciplines.


Case Studies in Health: The Western Sydney Local Health District has been involved in the ICPUs, particularly with challenges facing the Westmead Redevelopment. One project focused on the impact of emerging technologies on healthcare delivery, and another focused on solutions to ‘wayfinding’ in the Westmead precinct. Teams comprised students from psychology, languages, engineering, business, occupational therapy and science. Following a semester of research, project planning and management and interaction with industry partners and other stakeholders, the students delivered reports representing diverse perspectives and recommendations that could not have been otherwise achieved without interdisciplinary teamwork.  The deliverables were strong examples of what could be achieved through interdisciplinary collaboration and entrepreneurship, and several recommendations were actually adopted by the Local Health District. Positive student evaluations and industry feedback demonstrates the value in this interdisciplinary initiative.

This education initiative answers the call by the World Health Organisation to policy-makers, decision-makers, educators, health workers, community leaders and global health advocates to move towards interprofessional education and collaborative practice.

Biography: To be confirmed

Strengthening teamwork capability: Evaluation of a team development program

Ms Angela Wood1, Dr  Laurelie Wishart1,2, Ms Kathy  Grudzinskas3, Ms Gail  Gordon4, Ms Julie-Anne  Ross1, Ms Sarah  Bailey1

1Allied Health Workforce Development Team, Metro South Hosptial & Health Service, Brisbane, Australia , 2Centre for Functioning & Health Research, Metro South Hospital & Health Service, Brisbane, Australia, 3Clinical Support Services, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Metro South Hospital & Health Service, Brisbane, Australia, 4Redland Hospital & Wynuum Manly Community Health Services, Metro South Hospital & Health Service, Brisbane, Australia

Background: Effective teamwork is critical to achieve optimal patient outcomes. Complex conditions, increasing co-morbidities, specialisation and scarcity of resources mean health professionals need to work effectively in teams to achieve quality, safe patient outcomes.

Method: A mixed methods audit study was conducted, and Kirkpatrick’s Four Level Evaluation Model was utilised as a framework to evaluate an interprofessional teamwork program delivered in a large metropolitan hospital.

Results: This study demonstrated a very high level of staff satisfaction with the team development program, and significantly increased knowledge of effective teamwork characteristics following the initial primary intervention. Six months following commencement of the program participants reported an increase in behaviours essential to high performing teams. Perceived impact of the program on patient and organisational outcomes was evident, though less compelling than the change in teamwork knowledge and behaviours.

Discussion: The results of this research will support healthcare leaders to understand, value and implement interprofessional team development programs to cultivate essential teamwork knowledge, skills and behaviours. While participants perceived the program contributed to patient and organisational outcomes, this result was less compelling, possibly due to challenges evaluating impact at this level, and the program emphasis on developing positive teamwork attributes. Further research on the impact of developing teamwork capabilities on patient and organisational outcomes would be of value. The impact of high participation rates on the broader organisational culture, and therefore organisational outcomes will be discussed, as well as limitations of the evaluation.


Angela Wood is an Occupational Therapist (OT) working in an Allied Health Workforce Development role in Metro South Hospital and Health Service, based at Princess Alexandra Hospital. Angela has over 20 years healthcare experience in the public, private, corporate and not-for-profit sectors in Australia and the United Kingdom. On completion of a Master of Health Science (Health Services Management) she developed a passion for supporting and developing health professionals, and developing and implementing new and innovative models of care.  Research includes optimal skills mix for best patient outcomes and the contribution of effective teamwork to patient care.  Angela is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Redesign.

The experience of evolving: From graduate to mental health care coordinator

Ms Dallas Rae1

1South West Sydney Local Health District, Sydney, Australia

Public community mental health services in Australia operate predominantly within a multidisciplinary team (MDT) format. Teams generally consist of generic mental health care coordinator roles, titled mental health (MH) professionals, which can be occupied by psychologists, occupational therapists, social workers and nursing staff. A mixture of professions filling these generic roles, with the addition of a Psychiatrist, usually forms the basis for a MDT.

University training occurs predominantly within single-discipline streams, which are not designed to train students for the responsibilities required of a MH professional. This means that  staff  recruited to these positions often have little understanding of the role or the duties they are required to fulfil. This is not helped by the lack of agreement, worldwide, of a standard model of care coordination for MH professionals operating in these positions. Subsequently staff often utilise their own professional training as the model of treatment for consumers they are responsible for.  Confusion and debate has led to difficulty in designing training packages that can support MH professionals in their care coordinator roles, which are also compounded by issues surrounding the generic nature of the roles, including professional identity issues as well as few opportunities for career advancement in mental health.

This paper will discuss these issues within the context of a current research project which explores the role of MH professional in South West Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD). The project’s aim is to understand the role in order to design training and support which satisfies the requirements for both discipline and role specific training for allied health staff entering these positions. This will have important clinical, educational and professional implications for ongoing development of clinical services in mental health.


Dallas Rae is the Director of Allied Health (Mental Health) for SWSLHD. She is a Principle Clinical Psychologist who has been working within the LHD for 15 years. Her current brief involves the leadership, governance and coordination of Allied health services in Mental Health, as well as facilitating strategic planning requirements of the Mental Health Allied Health service along with other members of the executive team. She has previously worked as the Service Manager for Liverpool/Fairfield community Mental Health as well as the LHD’s Child and Adolescent Community Service in Campbelltown and Liverpool. Her clinical focus has been on providing evidence based therapy for mental health consumers with chronic and severe mental health issues. Dallas has also focussed on providing service wide training for community mental health workers across the LHD, providing workshops in her specialty area since 2006. She has been a guest lecturer at the University of Western Sydney, and the Australian College of Applied Psychology and has also presented workshops for the Schizophrenia foundation and the Australian Association of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (AACBT).   Dallas is a published author and is currently completing her Doctorate of Health through the University of Tasmania.

Vicarious trauma management in a tertiary level Child Protection Unit

Ms Yvette Rouse1, Dr Lydia Garside1, Ms Nicki Wickham1

1Child Protection Unit, Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick, Randwick, Australia

Vicarious trauma (VT) is the cumulative and detrimental effect of working with and being repeatedly exposed to traumatic information. VT is a neglected and under-resourced work, health and safety issue that is faced by frontline professionals dealing with trauma in hospital settings. It is a leading factor that causes worker burn out and compassion fatigue (Pearlman and McCann 1990). Staff working in child protection units (CPU) are particularly vulnerable as they are exposed to extreme trauma and witness injuries caused by assault that has been sustained by children.

As vicarious trauma is known to have a detrimental effect on an individual’s sense of the world and their perceived sense of safety within it, the Child Protection Unit at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, decided to help manage the impact of this through the development of a vicarious trauma program. This is a quality improvement project to help mitigate and manage the effects of vicarious trauma within a hospital setting. This quality improvement project acknowledges VT as a work, health and safety issue first and foremost. Therefore, responsibility for the management of VT is both at an organisational level as well as with the individual for implementation of self-care.

The VT program focused on three areas: work place practices, self-evaluation/monitoring, and implementation of self-care strategies. This presentation will focus on how the ongoing project has been implemented into daily practice in the work place.


Yvette is a senior social worker who graduated from UNSW. She completed her masters in Couple and Family Therapy in 2013 and has been working in the field of child protection for over 10 years. Yvette has worked in Victoria, NSW and the UK and has a keen interest in the area of trauma as well as impact of vicarious trauma.

Nanna’s nightmare. Can gamification educate as well as entertain?

Ms Leigh Moore1, Associate Professor Narelle Campbell1

1Flinders University, Darwin, Australia

Background: Escape rooms are a purposeful physical adventure game requiring a team to ‘escape’ by solving a series of puzzles through clues and strategy. Inspired by the team-building and problem-solving involved in escape rooms we decided to explore the possibilities of this platform as a novel, inter-professional, educational resource for tertiary level health care students. After developing a portable ‘room’ we ran several pilot sessions of this format. Results indicated high acceptability and entertainment value  to participants. Our research project, described here, focuses on evaluating the educational aspect of the same escape room, combined with a workshop.

The project: Participants will be recruited throughout the year from allied health, medical and nursing students either living in the Darwin region or visiting for clinical placement blocks. Students will be invited to participate in a 2.5 hour interactive, educational session which includes our escape room ‘Nana’s Nightmare’ and a related workshop focusing on teamwork and inter-professional practice. Up to six students can enrol in a single session to make up a team. The educational value of the sessions will be assessed via student self-rated attainment of learning objectives, student answers to a short quiz and comparison of their team-developed care plan with an exemplar. (Flinders University Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee Project number: 8244)

Results and implications: The first Nana’s Nightmare session is scheduled for February 2019 with sessions to continue through until November. After round one of advertising the sessions, interest from students, universities and workplace supervisors has been higher than expected.  Interim results and discussion from the first six months will be presented at this conference. Attendees will be able to share in our journey to date and be armed with information to enable consideration of how an educational escape room might better prepare students for the workplace


Leigh Moore has worked as a community pharmacist in regional and remote areas of the Northern Territory for over 25 years . Since 2007 she has also worked with medical, pharmacy and allied health placements and education. She is passionate about the provision of quality healthcare to people in rural and remote areas through education and preparation of current and future practitioners. Leigh still works part-time in pharmacy while enjoying her role with the  Flinders University, Rural and Remote Interprofessional Placement Learning (RIPPL) team.

Streamlining tutorials for Allied Health Assistant (AHA) students

Lucy Whelan1, Tony Sheng1

1Monash Health, Australia

A working party was created in 2016 to help streamline the experience for AHA students on placement throughout Monash Health. As part of that process, four standardised tutorials were created on the subjects of Delegation, SOAP (Subjective, Objective, Plan and Action) Notes, Manual Handling and Equipment. These tutorials were refined throughout 2017 and evaluated by the students who undertook them. Prior to the development of the working party, there was no consistency between sites for what advanced theory or practical tutorials were delivered, by what method or at which point throughout student placements. The tutorials historically were presented by one lead AHA who was knowledgeable in the area.

To evaluate the introduction of a tutorial program for AHA students placed across Monash Health.

Standard tutorials were designed on four topics: SOAP notes, Delegation, Manual Handling and Equipment. These were evaluated using a ‘Growing Through Learning’ evaluation template and results collated.

96% of students responded with an Agree or a Strongly Agree across five evaluation questions (relevance to learning needs, clear objectives, new skills acquisition, applicability of learning, change in professional behaviour) for all four tutorials. It would be appropriate to speculate from this data that these tutorials are valuable and the results validate us continuing to provide them for future AHA students. Feedback from AHA supervisors also suggest that the standardised nature of the tutorials reduced the burden on individual educators and allowed for relatively new educators to be able to run them independently with ease and confidence delivered.

Moving forward into the future, it would be imperative to ensure that the content and information presented in the tutorials remains relevant and up to date with Monash Health best practice to ensure the highest standard of education delivered.


Lucy Whelan is a Physiotherapist by background with a Masters Degree in Public Health and a career spanning over 15 years in Australia and the United Kingdom. She is currently forging the path for the Allied Health Assistant and Support workforce at Monash Health. She is passionate about quality driven improvement and appropriate governance for all. In order to align with their Allied Health colleagues and further expand and grow the roles of Allied Health Assistants, some large pieces of work are underway around Credentialing, Scope of Practice, Clinical Supervision, Professional Development, Referral/Delegation tools, Priority Tools and Students.

The Australian New Zealand Burn Association (ANZBA) burn rehabilitation course (BRC): an allied health collaboration

Ms Julia Kwiet1, Ms Rachel Edmondson2, Dr Zephanie  Tyack3, Ms Angela Thynne4, Ms Anne Darton5, Ms Nicola Clayton6, Ms Tracey Perrett7

1 NSW Health, NSLHD, Department of Social Work, Sydney, Australia, 2Department of Physiotherapy, RNSH, Sydney, Australia, 3Centre for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research, Children’s Health research Centre, , South Brisbane, Australia, 4Private Practice, Royal brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia, 5Agency for Clinnical Innovation, Statewide Burn Injury Service, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia, 6Speech Pathology Department and Burns Unit, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, , Sydney, Australia, 7National Burn Centre, Middlemore Hospital, , Auckland, New Zealand


ANZBA nursing and medical burns management courses contribute considerably to improving burns care. However, no equivalent rehabilitation course to enhance recovery exists. In 2014, the collaborative development of the new ANZBA Allied Health Professional Guidelines demonstrated a commitment and willingness to support all health professionals utilising a bio-psychosocial approach to burn rehabilitation.


To develop an evidence and consensus based burns specific rehabilitation course for health professionals working with severe burn injury patients.


Planning commenced in 2015 for the development of an ANZBA burns rehabilitation course, designed specifically for allied health professionals, to better manage the complex physical and psychosocial rehabilitation needs of severe burn injury patients. This development process included the completion of an evidence-based resource manual with input from over twenty ANZBA members, training of five instructors in effective teaching methods, with ongoing communication with the ANZBA Board and Education Committee. Instructors of this new BRC course included representation from physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology and social work from burn units across Australia and New Zealand.


A pilot course was delivered in Brisbane (June 2018) and detailed feedback was sought from the participants who included consumer participants. Feedback from the pilot course allowed further refinement of the course content. The structure of the one-day course that resulted included an icebreaker activity to promote active participation throughout the day and a brief lecture, followed by multiple concurrent interactive small group sessions and rotating skill stations. Three courses are scheduled for 2019 with enrollments underway.


An evidence based resource manual and burns rehabilitation course has been developed, with engagement from over 80 allied health staff across Australia and New Zealand. This course is likely to contribute greatly towards allied health education, strengthening expertise across Australian and New Zealand to ensure the ongoing rehabilitation needs of patients with burns’ are better met.


Julia Kwiet is a Senior Social Worker and has more than 15 years clinical experience. She is currently in the role of Health Professional Educator and responsible for managing the ongoing professional development for the NSRHS social work staff as well as student placements. Julia has completed a master in Counselling through the University of NSW and is trained in EMDR and mindfulness.  In 2005 she was the successful applicant for a research fellowship through the NSW Institute of Psychiatry and in 2018 gained an ACI grant  for severe burn injury related QI.  Julia has a particular interest in education, trauma, psychosocial care and adopts a strength based recovery model of care.

Findings from a collaborative approach: Implementation of domestic and family violence training for the community and oral health workforce

Dr Christine Saxby1, Ms Louise  Lynch1, Ms Madeline  Mitchell1, Ms Juliann Whitmore1

1Community and Oral Health Directorate, Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Brighton, Australia

The health care system is frequently a first point of contact for individuals experiencing domestic and family violence (DFV). DFV has significant health implications for those affected. The 2015 report “Not now, not ever: Putting an end to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland”, identified the need for education of health workers to ensure competent responses to DFV. The DFV state-wide guideline requires all allied health workers to complete DFV training. This presentation describes the collaborative implementation approach the Community and Oral Health Directorate (COH) adopted to educate its diverse workforce and the findings from participant evaluations.

Face-to-face workshops, “Clinical responses to domestic and family violence”, were delivered to 110 health professionals, predominantly allied health, comprising 12 professional groups. The interactive workshops formed part of a blended education program developed in partnership with the RBWH Social Work Train-the-trainers, the COH Education Team, the Ngarrama Family Service Social Worker, and the COH Social Work Team. The training followed interprofessional education principles through inclusion of scenario-based, problem-solving small group activities. The workshops were embedded within a comprehensive organisational framework that facilitated mixed modes of delivery to support the diverse and geographically dispersed workforce.

Workshops were evaluated using a standardised pre-post survey that sought participant’s feedback on their learning experiences and perceived education outcomes. The findings demonstrated significant increases in reported post-training levels of practice knowledge and confidence. Prior to attending training, 27.2% of participant responses indicated a low level of knowledge and confidence in identifying risk factors for DFV, responding to disclosure and offering an appropriate intervention. Post-training, 100% of participant responses were in the medium to high range for these measures. The findings will be presented, along with discussion of implications for future delivery.


Christine is an Allied Health Educator within the Community and Oral Health Education Team. Prior to this role, Christine worked as a senior social worker across several practice domains. In 2016, Christine completed a PhD at the University of Queensland. Her area of research was clinical supervision effectiveness, burnout and intent to leave in allied health staff. Christine has several supervision publications and has been an invited journal and book reviewer. Christine has an adjunct lecturer title with the University of Queensland, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work. Christine’s current interest is in improving health outcomes through the provision of inter-professional education for health care workers.

NAHC Conferences

2007, Hobart (7th NAHC)

2009, Canberra (8th NAHC)

2012, Canberra (9th NAHC)

2013, Brisbane (10th NAHC)

2015, Melbourne (11th NAHC)

2017, Sydney (12th NAHC)

2019, Brisbane (13th NAHC)

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