Improving lives with emerging healthcare

Improving lives with emerging healthcare

When people think of healthcare professionals, they usually refer to qualified physicians, dentists and nurses. However, there’s an emerging field of healthcare beyond those professions, and it’s experiencing a huge demand for graduates across many areas. Health professionals in these emerging areas complete extensive training to prevent, diagnose and treat a range of health conditions.

From transforming lives of people suffering musculoskeletal weaknesses through prosthetics and orthotics, to improving dentistry in rural communities, we need healthcare experts everywhere.

La Trobe researcher, Dr Rachel Winterton, found that careers in rural health and aged care can be personally fulfilling while making a positive difference to local communities.

Dr Winterton is passionate about working with older people: “The thing I most love about working in the ageing field is hearing older people’s life histories and stories.”

What resonates with Dr Winterton is making the most of what you have in life.

“Many of the older people I speak to have really complex health problems and limited mobility, yet still remain happy, positive and involved in their communities,” she said.

Health jobs boom

The health jobs boom is set to continue into the future. For example, the number of dental practitioners is expected to increase from 16,300 in 2018 to 19,100 by 2023. There are forecast to be 7000 job openings in the next five years.

Meanwhile, there are likely to be 2000 podiatry openings over the next five years, with job growth rising rapidly, from 3600 in 2018 to 4300 by 2023.

Orthoptists diagnose and provide non-surgical management of eye disorders or work as clinicians in public hospitals and specialist eye clinics. In 2006 there were approximately 500 orthoptists in Australia and today there are 800, with numbers likely to grow into the future.

Prosthetists and orthotists work in major teaching hospitals, rehabilitation centres, private practices and in commercial companies, designing and manufacturing devices for people with disabilities. And with new health technologies, it’s an exciting time to explore this sector.

Practical skills from a world-leading university

At La Trobe University, we have a reputation for delivering world-leading health degrees, and our clinical, pre-clinical and health subjects are ranked in the world’s top 250.*

With the most comprehensive healthcare offering in Victoria, and Australia’s largest Rural Health School, our industry-relevant degrees set us apart.

Students gain practical experience with on-campus clinics and placements, and learn in modern, high technology facilities. Students also have the opportunity to learn in some of Victoria’s leading hospitals through our on-site clinical schools.

Under clinical supervision at La Trobe’s public clinics, students gain real life experience diagnosing and managing patients.

La Trobe podiatry student, John Chen, says: “At La Trobe’s clinic, I apply my knowledge in a way that I wouldn’t be able to in the classroom. It’s a better way of learning and observing the clinical supervisors is highly motivating. It helps me understand where I need to improve and sets the bar of excellence quite high.

According to John, being in the clinic boosts self-confidence and develops human skills, such interacting empathically with patients.

“If one of your strengths is that you’re a people person, you have good communication skills and you genuinely care for people,” John says, “this is such a great opportunity to do that. For me, podiatry is not just about feet. It’s more about the person themselves.”

New industry-relevant healthcare degrees

Whether you aspire to improve health in public and private practice, or pursue an academic career by studying for a PhD, La Trobe’s new healthcare degrees will prepare you for your future career.

Our Bachelor of Dental Science (Honours) offers a five-year fully accredited^ degree with an emphasis on regional oral health and oral health in ageing populations, including clinical placements and a pathway into either a community-based project or a research project that may also be a pathway into a PhD.

Want to work in a major hospital, private podiatry clinic or government and non-government agencies? You’ll be on the right foot with our Bachelor of Podiatry (Honours). With 1 000 hours of work placements in community health centres, hospitals and private practices, and with 76 per cent of our graduates securing employment after three months, La Trobe is the only Victorian University offering podiatry.

The new Bachelor of Prosthetics and Orthotics (Honours) enables clinical placements from first year onwards. Gain an honours degree with the option of moving into research honours. La Trobe is the only Australian University offering an accredited course# in prosthetics and orthotics, providing a clinical and hands on experience.

La Trobe is the only University in Victoria and one of only two in Australia offering Orthoptics with an intense clinical program, ensuring graduates are job ready. Clinical placements start in first year and continue throughout the degree. Find out more about our Bachelor of Orthoptics (Honours).


*Times Higher Education (THE), World University Rankings 2019 by subject: clinical, pre-clinical and health.
^awaiting accreditation (submitted on Feb 2019)
#The Bachelor of Prosthetics and Orthotics (Honours) is currently undergoing accreditation with the Australian Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA). Graduates may be eligible to apply for membership with the AOPA and the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO)

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