Audit of allied health assistant roles: Suggestions for improving quality in rural settings

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Kuipers, Pim
Hurwood, Andrea
McBride, Liza-Jane
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2015
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Abstract

Problem: There is considerable potential for allied health assistant roles to address rural workforce shortage, but there is also a need to ensure quality of these roles.

Design: A total of 41 allied health assistant trial roles were audited using an intensive onsite audit by independent clinicians.

Setting: Queensland public health services across rural/regional and metropolitan settings.

Key measures for improvement: Audit ratings of rural/regional and metropolitan positions were compared on indicators of training, supervision, performance, duties and scope of practice as measured through multiple sources.

Strategies for change: Appropriately targeted in‐service training may facilitate more effective utilisation of rural allied health assistants.

Effects of change: Metropolitan and rural/regional audits showed consistency across qualifications, provision of duty statements and formal supervision arrangements. However, rural positions were not able to provide comparable levels of in‐service training and supervision, and rural positions reflected a more restricted scope of practice.

Lessons learnt: Training in reflective practice may be a step to realising the potential of this crucial and emerging sector of the rural health workforce.

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Australian Journal of Rural Health

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23

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3

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Biomedical and clinical sciences

Human society

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