The Department of Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Prosthetics and Orthotics partners with leading Victorian healthcare providers to educate the next generation of industry-ready allied health professionals.
Partnerships with Alfred Health, Austin Health, Eastern Health, Healthscope, Mercy Health, Northern Health, The Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Women’s are enabled by La Trobe’s Academic and Research Collaborative in Health (ARCH), which is transforming clinical research capability to deliver better health and social care to Australians.
“Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Prosthetics and Orthotics has strong links with the ARCH,” says Head of Department, Associate Professor Jodie McClelland. “The ARCH Site Directors of Northern Health and Eastern Health are also embedded in our Department, helping to foster these ties.”
ARCH research projects emphasise the translation of theoretical findings into clinical practice. As a result, students undertaking clinical placements at ARCH sites are exposed to the latest evidence-based practices.
“ARCH members also sit on our course advisory committees,” explains McClelland. “They contribute to curriculum development and provide feedback on clinical placement experiences. The direct link between classroom learning and evidence-based practice is essential to prepare industry-ready graduates.”
Master of Physiotherapy Practice student, Jamal Mulholland, benefitted from his recent clinical experience at Northern Health, where he saw first-hand how evidence-based practice can improve patient outcomes.
“It can be challenging to diagnose a condition when there is significant overlap in symptoms,” says Mulholland. “I learned that, when you work through the reasoning behind diagnostic procedures with the patient, we can build understanding and trust which improves the patient experience and outcomes.”
McClelland agrees, noting that “the partnership with the ARCH sites is a pipeline that enables students to put current evidence-based classroom learning into practice, and be exposed to clinic-driven research.”
“Ultimately, it produces outstanding graduates who can better serve the health sector and our communities."