Action research through a partnership with Bendigo Health has made an impact for allied health professionals and their patients state-wide.
As part of his PhD with La Trobe Rural Health School, Dr Marcus Gardner, Manager of Allied Health Education at Bendigo Health, devised and trialled a new clinical supervision framework for the allied health profession.
Originally scoped for Bendigo Health, the framework formed the blueprint for the Victorian Allied Health Clinical Supervision Framework and training model to be adopted across Victoria.
“One of the great things for me was the opportunity to work in parallel with the Victorian Government and Bendigo Health. I wouldn’t have had this opportunity without doing my PhD with La Trobe,” Marcus said.
Having worked for 20 years as a podiatrist in hospital settings, Marcus had first-hand experience of patchy quality and inconsistent approaches in clinical supervision across allied health disciplines.
As a first step, Marcus conducted a systematic and critical review of available frameworks, before designing a framework based on common processes and standards, and a focus on group supervision.
Marcus then developed a complementary training program, which provides Victoria’s allied health workforce with five online training modules linked to the state-wide framework.
“We often assume clinicians should know how to undertake supervision, but they’re trained to be clinicians, not supervisors or teachers. It was really important to bridge that gap.”
The result allows different professionals - such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, speech pathologists, dietitians and others - greater opportunities to engage in quality supervision, share knowledge and work together to improve health outcomes.
“To see a regional health service lead this work on behalf of the state is amazing,” Marcus said.
Professor Carol McKinstry, Deputy Dean at La Trobe Rural Health School and member of the Bendigo Health board was the lead supervisor for Marcus’s PhD.
“Marcus’s research is an excellent example of the wide and lasting impact we can have when we work in partnership with health providers and policy makers,” Carol said.
“We are proud to see his work already building the capability of clinicians, which as we know, directly benefits patients and improves their health outcomes.”
Image credit: Bendigo Health