Clinical School at Alfred Hospital (Issue 9, 2011)


From left, Alfred Health's Mr Way, La Trobe Health Sciences' Dean, Professor Hal Swerissen, and Vice-Chancellor Johnson

La Trobe University has a new A$3 million state-of-the-art Nursing and Allied Health Clinical School at the Alfred Hospital.

Alfred Health CEO Mr Andrew Way said the School represented a new phase in the preparation of nurses and allied health personnel.

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson believes the collaboration boosts the University's competitive edge in health sciences education.

'Our students will be able to bridge the gap between theory and practice while placed within one of Australia's major hospital networks,' he said.

Head of the Clinical School, Professor Bill McGuiness said the new facility addresses public concern about the preparation of nurses.

'It provides an opportunity for clinicians and academics to work together, delivering high quality health care while participating in nursing and allied health teaching and research.' It will also allow patients to be 'brought' into University classrooms via videoconferencing links. 'For example, I recently demonstrated simultaneously to students across all our campuses how to assess a patient with a venous leg ulcer.'

Professor McGuiness says the new Clinical School also helps academics teach students and run a practice – an important consideration given critical staff shortages in many health professions.

'In the past many academics in health sciences had to leave their practices. However, our new clinic allows them to have the best of both worlds, where they can teach their students and see to patients.'