Implementation of an expanded-scope-of-practice physiotherapist role in a regional hospital emergency department

Goodman, Donna, Harvey, Desley, Cavanagh, Tania, and Nieman, Rebecca (2018) Implementation of an expanded-scope-of-practice physiotherapist role in a regional hospital emergency department. Rural and Remote Health, 18 (2).

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Abstract

Introduction: The aim of the present study was to describe the implementation of an expanded-scope physiotherapy service in a regional hospital emergency department (ED) in Australia and discuss the lessons learnt in terms of long-term sustainability of these roles in regional areas.

Methods: The existing ED advanced physiotherapist was trained in extended scope of practice skills. For sustainability, a senior physiotherapist was recruited to develop further ED practice skills through a locally developed professional development package and ultimately be eligible to complete extended-scope training. Mixed methods data collection included document review, patient and staff satisfaction surveys and data mining of routine clinical data sets.

Results: The extended-hours service operated for 12 months. The advanced physiotherapist completed postgraduate course requirements and was able to work to an expanded scope of practice including increased autonomy in management and discharge of patients treated in the ED and independent ordering and interpreting of plain film X-rays. The professional development package was not completed and the senior physiotherapist role was filled for only part of the study period.

Conclusions: It is feasible to implement an expanded scope of physiotherapy service in a regional hospital ED. For sustainability in regional areas, a larger advanced-level physiotherapy workforce and easier access to expanded-scope training are required.

Item ID: 54725
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1445-6354
Keywords: evaluation, expanded scope, physiotherapist, regional, training, Australia
Funders: Health Workforce Australia
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2018 07:30
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110317 Physiotherapy @ 70%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 30%
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