This project was undertaken to better support the transition of Allied Health Professionals to remote and rural practice. It was funded by the Department of Health and Ageing, through the Rural and Remote Health Education and Training (RHSET) program. The final resource includes a transition toolkit and several learning modules. The development of these resources involved several stages:
Formation of a National Steering Committee
At the commencement of the project a Steering Committee was convened. The committee included representatives from all states and territory, and collectively had a wide range of a expertise in allied health and remote and rural practice. The management of all aspects of the project was overseen by the Committee.
Research and Stakeholder Consultation
To identify the identifying the orientation, support and skill requirements of Allied Health Professionals new to rural / remote practice we undertook several phases of research and stakeholder consultation.
First, a Literature Review was undertaken by the Centre for Allied Health Evidence.
Second, we undertook a series of key informant interviews. A total of 25 interviews were undertaken to incorporate the perspectives of those that had make the transition to remote and/or rural practice themselves.
Finally, based on the literature review and the key informant interview we develop a map of the support, orientation and knowledge gaps identified for Allied Health Professionals starting in remote and rural practice settings. We then conducted a broad stakeholder survey to validate our findings, and identify any additional gaps. A total of 626 people participated in the survey.
Based on the research and consultation phase, it was determined that the resources developed within the project would include two key elements.
1. A Transition Toolkit, coving topics under the domains:
- Remote and Rural Context
- Remote and Rural Practice
- Skills and Competencies
- Orientation, Development and Support
- A comprehensive list of links and resources
- Transition stories from other clinicians
- A discussion forum.
2. Five interactive Learning Modules, including:
- Confidentiality and Professional Boundaries
- Cultural Safety
- Self Care
- Introduction to Primary Health Care
- Translating Evidence Based Practice.
The Steering Group and the Project Manager then developed content for the Transition toolkit. The content of the learning module was outsources to content experts, including Rural Health Education Development (RhED) (Confidentiality and Professional Boundaries, Cultural Safety, and Self Care), the Centre for Allied Health Evidence (Translating Evidence Based Practice), and Tanya Lehmann (SA Country Health) adn Suzanne Spitz (WA Country Health) (Primary Health Care). The learning platform for the learning modules was developed by Nine Lanterns. The platform is based on instructional design elements to support learning.
To ensure the appropriateness and relevance of the Toolkit and the Learning Modules the Centre for Rural Health & Community Development were contracted to undertake a pilot and an external evaluation of the project. The results of the evaluation have been incorporated into the final resource.
The development of these resources would not have been possible without the contributions of the project Steering Group and the Allied Health Professionals who participated in the consultation elements and the piloting of the project. A sincere thanks to all who were involved.
This education resource to support allied health professionals on entry to remote and rural practice is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. The views expressed on this website do no necessarily represent to position of the Australian Government.