Interprofessional education: an allied health graduate case study in the Northern Territory

Mrs Prasha Sooful1, Ms Justine Williams1, Ms Renae Moore1

1Top End Health Service, Tiwi, Australia

Abstract:

Entry into the workforce can be challenging and complex to navigate, particularly for allied health graduates. Formal, structured allied health graduate programs in the Northern Territory are limited and are typically discipline specific. Discipline specific graduate programs typically focus on clinical skill sets. The Top End of the Northern Territory is unique in that a large number of allied health professionals work within integrated multi-disciplinary teams within particular programs for example mental health care or they hold sole positions within regional settings. There is a need to support graduates and early career staff within a diverse and large health service by developing and encouraging inter-professional practice, as well as reflective and critical thinking skills. This poster outlines a pilot inter-professional allied health graduate program trialled in the Northern Territory Top End; including the program development, implementation and outcomes from the inter-professional educational and learning archetype. Research from within Australia and internationally has demonstrated that preparing allied health professionals for interprofessional practice helped facilitate collaboration and partnerships among different professions. This in turn improved quality of patient health care outcomes. The poster describes how inter-professional learning and education in the form of a structured graduate program impacted on perceptions of staff and implementation of inter-professional practice moving forward. Allied health professionals are an integral part of a health service and by fostering inter-professional practice early on it can better prepare new employees to advance in their clinical work confidently and collaboratively.

Keywords: allied health, graduates, early career, inter-professional learning, Northern Territory


Biography:

Justine Williams is an Occupational Therapist by background. She has worked clinically and in management over the last 28 years. Currently she is the Allied Health Workforce Development Officer for Top End Health Service. Justine is presenting this poster on behalf of the TEHS Allied Health Directorate.