As an Allied Health Professional working in a remote or rural practice setting, there will likely be times when you will need specialist support. It is important to remember that you are not expected the know everything. When these situations arise seek the support you need.
Given this, an important part of being a remote and rural practitioner is knowing where to access support. There are three main sources of support:
- Within your site/organisation
- Within your professional network (see Professional Isolation)
- By other health service providers, including:
- State wide services and specialist centres (e.g. tertiary hospitals)
- Non-government organisations
- Private organisations
Specialist Support & You
The best way to find out about support strategies is to ask your manager/supervisor/mentor, another member of your team, or a colleague. Good questions to ask include:
- Does the organisation have any health directories (site, community, region and state)?
- Is anyone in your organisation considered a ‘specialist’ or have a special interest particular health services?
- Is there a list of non-government agencies and the support services they provide?
- Is there a list of tertiary hospitals and state-wide specialist services?
- Does your professional association have state based directory?
One important resource you should develop is your own personal specialist support directory. This contains names and contact details for specialist supports available specific to your practice area. This may take a little time to establish, as you become more familiar with your work and the support and specialist services available.
- Government of Health Department websites
- Professional Associations