The School of Physiotherapy has continued to grow in 2014, as the fifth cohort commenced the Bachelor of Physiotherapy at the Brisbane Campus and a fourth cohort at the North Sydney Campus, with corresponding increases in staff on both campuses. Student retention remains high. Our first cohort in Brisbane completed their 4 year program at the close of 2013 and we look forward to celebrating with these students at their Graduation on the 19th May 2014. Eight students completed their program with first class honours. Two of our students will be awarded medals at the graduation ceremony. Approximately 98% of the Brisbane students were employed by the end of last year, with a high proportion of the students securing competitive jobs within Queensland Health.
Two of our graduating students have had recent success with national conferences. Sharne Neill was awarded the Best New/Student Researcher Award as part of the Sports group's program at the Australian Physiotherapy Association conference. Sharne's research was a component of her honours degree investigating hip abductor muscle morphology and its relationship to injury in elite AFL players. Eoin Quinn will be presenting a podium presentation at the SMART STROKES 2014 Conference to be held from 28 - 29 August 2014 in Sydney. His paper, based on his honours work is titled "Immediate effects of a single-dose intervention of in-sole auditory biofeedback on the spatiotemporal characteristics of gait in chronic stroke survivors: pilot data”. Eoin’s abstract was selected as winner of the Best New Investigator category.
Year 4 Physiotherapy students at North Sydney commenced their first five-week clinical placements earlier this year. After 3 years of academic units, our students were keen and ready to embrace clinical practicums in their final year. Feedback from Educators has been encouraging. Our students are described as engaging, interested and enthusiastic. One Educator said “they remind me of all the reasons I enjoy educating students”. We look forward to a successful year in Clinical Education for our students.
The School of Physiotherapy was part of a successful grant application to Health Workforce Australia for the funding of a major project Embedding Simulation in Clinical Training in Physiotherapy. The school was awarded a total of $610,580 from HWA to assist with the initial equipment set up costs, staffing and running costs and evaluation of this project. The project will involve 16 physiotherapy schools across Australia, and aims to embed long-term sustainable simulation units in their clinical programs. The efficiency and effectiveness of the use of simulation for clinical training will be evaluated.
Physiotherapy services are now in operation at the ACU Health Clinic on the Brisbane Campus. Two new clinical educators have joined the staff, one in the area of musculoskeletal physiotherapy and one in neurological physiotherapy. Student led clinics will commence in the clinic in semester 2. Other services on offer include the Back Stability Research Clinic (in partnership with the Mater Hospital) and The Vestibular, Balance and Mobility Clinic (in collaboration with the Prince Charles Hospital).