Comprises of over 280 staff in a variety of disciplines providing services to patients across their continuum of care. Our workforce is comparatively young and has a high degree of passion about the way in which they contribute to patient management. They are often innovative in their approach to patient care and are valued by the teams of which they are a part of. Bendigo Health has a strong commitment to Allied Health education and research with established staff and student education programs and a high level of involvement with research and quality improvement activities.
To support the professional development of our Allied Health staff we offer a strong internal professional development program within each discipline and regular multi-disciplinary sessions. We also support staff to enhance their own development and promote high quality care through organised supervision programs within each discipline.
We welcome new graduates to the organisation and strive to provide a supportive and rich learning environment. Most disciplines offer rotations through different clinical areas to expose graduates to a range of different experiences. Larger disciplines also have graduate support programs with dedicated graduate orientation and in-service programs. All disciplines provide regular supervision to graduates to support them in the transition from student to Allied Health professional.
We have a rapidly expanding student education program with over 5500 clinical placement days undertaken per year across most disciplines and strong links with education providers. Student supervisors are supported to provide high quality student placements with regular supervision training offered. The La Trobe Rural Health School run a number of Allied Health courses locally which has led to close collaborations in education and research between the two organisations.
Allied Health staff are actively encouraged to participate in research and quality improvement activities to continually evaluate and improve the quality of our services and promote opportunities for innovation. We encourage staff to develop research skills in order to promote a culture of research within the organisation.
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The BH Audiology department is a part time service employing 2 Audiologists. Audiology provides outpatient diagnostic hearing assessment services to both adults and children, and enjoys close links with the acute Ear, Nose and Throat clinic. BH Audiology is the only public provider of hearing testing for children under school age in the Bendigo region. The service also now boasts state of the art tympanometry and acoustic steady state response diagnostic testing equipment. The Audiology department is collocated with acute allied health and is supported professionally by the large allied health team.
Dietetics and nutrition
The Dietetics and Nutrition department has over 15 staff and provides services to the acute and sub-acute inpatients, residential services and across a range of community programs. Clinical dietetics focuses on the inpatients and manages nutrition based medical issues. The community and residential services have a stronger public health, health promotion and home based nutritional focus. The department also manages the Home Enteral Nutrition program. There is a commitment to quality improvement and the department provides clinical placement, teaching and research opportunities that are supported by strong links with universities.
The Occupational Therapy Department consists of over 60 occupational therapists and provides services to a large number of programs at Bendigo Health across all clinical areas. Occupational Therapy has comprehensive clinical supervision and professional development programs in place. The department has a strong commitment to quality improvement with dedicated staff portfolios. There is a large Grade 1 rotation program with additional targeted support provided to new graduates. Strong links are in place with the La Trobe Rural Health School providing clinical placement, postgraduate and research opportunities.
More than 70 Physiotherapists at Bendigo Health work across the continuum of care. Physiotherapists are involved with innovative delivery of services including Physiotherapy led Orthopaedic Waiting List Services and Level 4 Pain clinic services aiming for continuous quality improvement in a person centred approach. Support and development is provided through a large Grade 1 rotation program, comprehensive professional development opportunities and supervision. There is an established student education program and a developing research culture that is supported by close links with the La Trobe Rural Health School.
Exercise Physiologists at Bendigo Health contribute largely in the Outpatient Rehabilitation Services with some presence on the Acute Campus and Inpatient Rehabilitation. Four Grade 1 Exercise Physiology rotations exist with strong support from senior colleagues in a developing research culture with involvement in student placements.
Podiatrists are employed at Bendigo Health across a range of programs with a particular focus on the management of people with diabetes in high risk foot clinic, inpatient and rural community settings. The podiatry team is actively involved in research aiming to reduce the foot related complications of diabetes in the region and provide comprehensive teaching clinics for rural and regional podiatry students.
Social Work operates in a diverse range of services including inpatient settings; community and psychiatric areas. Using an empowerment model the focus of service is assisting clients gain the confidence to take responsibility and control of health and well being and assist in finding resolutions to problems causing concern. Social work services provide a value add approach within the medical model to address the emotional/psychosocial aspects of health.
Speech Pathology at BH is a professionally and clinically diverse service, offering assessment and treatment for communication and swallowing disorders across the continuum of care. The team of 15 speech pathologists contribute their expertise to acute and subacute inpatient services, local and regional outpatient rehabilitation services, community health paediatrics and severe communication impairment. Our department supports professional development opportunities, has a well developed supervision culture, and has an informal grade 1 rotation program. Student education and research is highly valued, and supported by close affiliation with Latrobe Rural Health School.
The psychology service is staffed by clinical psychologists, clinical neuropsychologists, clinical health psychologists, general psychologists and provisional psychologists. Psychologists at Bendigo Health provide a wide range of services aimed at aiding recovery and adjustment following illness, injury or trauma and allowing individuals to gain maximum benefit from the specific programs offered. The psychology service is concentrated in two main program areas, mental health and outpatient rehabilitation.
Allied Health Assistants
There are a number of Allied Health Assistant (AHA) roles established at Bendigo Health in a variety of areas including inpatient, rehabilitation and community settings. Most AHAs currently are supervised by physiotherapists and occupational therapists to work with individual patients or with patients in group programs. There are a variety of professional development opportunities available to AHAs with a dedicated AHA education program being established.