Enhancing the Pathway to Allied Health – Make the change early in your career

Miss Hilary Byrth1

1Podiatry Department, Country Health Connect, Mount Gambier, Mount Gambier, Australia


Background: ‘Achieving attitudinal and practice change is one of the greatest challenges in health care.’ Historically there is a lack of awareness amongst early career professionals in nursing and medicine of the scope, impact and value of Allied Health professions (AHP) on patient care.

Objective: Does the introduction of AH colleagues and scope of practice materially change the referral practices of early career Nurses and Doctors?

Method: Country Health SA Transition to Professional Practice (TPPP), ‘is a broad program covering theoretical and clinical aspects of the nurse/midwife and medical roles‘. TPPP is run annually in Mount Gambier. An additional presentation by and about AHPs will be included in the 2018. Each AHP will have 10 minutes to provide information on scope of practise, clinical priority tool and referral criteria with supporting written information.
A baseline perception survey will be completed prior to the presentation. This survey will be repeated at 3 and 6 month intervals and the data analysed.
AHP referrals will be audited 1 month prior to the presentation and at 3 and 6 month intervals using a predetermined set of ‘value’ criteria (eg appropriate use of priority tool, timeliness of referral, increase in referrals).

Results:It is hoped that it will demonstrate that the introduction of information regarding the scope and impact of AHP delivered in person as part of a structured learning program has a long-term effect on the referring and interprofessional attitudes of early career Doctors and Nurses.


Hilary is a Podiatrist that has been based in the Mount Gambier, South Australia since graduating from a Bachelor of Podiatry in 2016.
Due to experiences in her studies, Hilary was drawn to providing care in rural and remote settings and moved to the Mount Gambier as a new graduate. Now as a clinical Podiatrist with 2 years experience she is providing care in outreach communities, has a passion for interprofessional management of country living clients and involved in the introduction multi disciplinary high risk foot management clinics.

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