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QEII nurses bridge rehab gap

7 December 2017

A new nurse-led rehabilitation program at QEII Hospital is ensuring rehabilitation patients get the therapy they need after hours.

Rehabilitation Nurse Unit Manager Mildred Chitabwa said more than 80 per cent of the unit’s nurses were trained to provide basic physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

“Our allied health therapists only work Monday to Friday and for most people that fits in well with their rehabilitation programs. But for our intensive patients, such as people recovering from a stroke, we know that daily therapy can have a significant impact on their progress,” she said.  

“We saw an opportunity to bridge that gap by upskilling our nursing staff.”

QEII Allied Health embraced the idea and developed an education program that involved theory and practical training. 

“There was a lengthy process of consultation, risk assessment and collaboration,” Ms Chitabwa said.

“The allied health team developed an outstanding education program to ensure our nurses were not only capable but felt confident in providing basic therapy.”

Ms Chitabwa said nursing and allied health staff continued to work together to make the initiative a success.

“Each week, our allied health team identify which patients could really benefit from after-hours therapy and works with our nursing team to roster this into their weekend care plan,” she said.   

So far 12 patients have participated in the program.

“The feedback from patients and their families has been overwhelmingly positive,” Ms Chitabwa said.

“I’m so proud of all our staff who have stepped-up to the challenge, increased their knowledge and skillset, and really embraced this new opportunity to improve patient care.”   

Last updated 7 December 2017
Last reviewed 7 December 2017

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