QEII physios and occupational therapists traded their sensory and rehabilitation tools for PPE and swabs last month in a show of support for the hospital’s COVID-19 screening clinic.
Director of Physiotherapy Mark Nelson said five allied health staff had offered to work in the clinic during the height of the pandemic, including Anya Suzuki, Cath Willis, Matt Weight, Stuart McCaskill, and Tessa Armstrong.
“There was a call to arms to see who was available and who was willing to help out because the clinic needed to be stood up on really short notice. We thought the outpatient clinics would have reduced activity, so we asked our physio and occupational therapists if they were interested.”
Volunteering physiotherapist Stuart McCaskill said the decision to put his hand up for two shifts during the week and on weekends was easy.
“We weren’t seeing patients in person like we usually would, and I wanted to do my bit,” he said. “I started off playing a triage role, registering the patients as they came in and then passing them on to the nurses for swabbing, but later that changed to doing the swabbing as well.”
Mr McCaskill said he and his colleagues in Allied Health had enjoyed taking on their new responsibilities.
“In the end we really felt part of the team and I think we all worked well together. It was a good experience and did provide quite a lot of job satisfaction towards the end, knowing we were working towards the greater good.”
Mr Nelson said the team of allied health clinicians had navigated their changed duties with aplomb.
“It was a busy time for these clinicians as they were still trying to see all their usual patients using telehealth, and then on other days including weekends they were working in the COVID clinic. All credit to them for stepping up to assist at a time of critical need.”