Allied Health in Outback Schools Program

Access to allied health services has been a key issue for our preschool and primary schools and impacts on the academic achievement of pupils within Broken Hill and the surrounding region. In 2009 the Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health (BHUDRH) in collaboration with the regions primary schools and Far West Local Health District responded to this need through the implementation of a recurring service-learning speech pathology student placement. Due to the overwhelming success of these placements the program was expanded to include the following allied health disciplines:

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Social Work
  • Dietetics
  • Audiology
  • Exercise Physiology

Speech Pathology- Allied Health in Outback Schools Program

Each term six speech pathology students (final year and from a number of universities) complete a 6-10 week placement offering service targeting speech sounds, language and pre literacy skills (assessment and therapy) in individual, group and class-based settings. Each placement begins with teleconference discussion, online tasks followed by a week orientation covering the following:

  • Town tour and visit to RFDS base
  • Interdisciplinary orientation – History of program, barriers to accessing service, supervision models, behavior management strategies, strategies for successfully working in schools
  • Discipline specific orientation- familiarization with assessment tools and discussion of therapy goals
  • Skills session- assessment tools used to examine the skills of pupils without communication or behavioral concerns under close supervision and
  • Orientation to participating schools

The aim of this program is twofold: offering a rewarding placement to speech pathology students and offer a much needed service to the deserved pupils of Broken Hill and surrounding regions. In addition to offering a rewarding placement experience that seeks to impact on place of practice post-graduation, this placement seeks to target the aspirations of the pupils exposing them to allied health careers they might consider in the future.

Participating School partners:

Broken Hill North Public School
http://www.brokenhiln-p.schools.nsw.edu.au

Burke Ward Public School
http://www.burkeward-p.schools.nsw.edu.au

Broken Hill Public School
http://www.brokenhillpublicschool.com.au

Morgan Street Public School
http://www.morganst-p.schools.nsw.edu.au

Railway Town Public School
http://www.railwaytow-p.schools.nsw.edu.au

Alma Public School
http://www.alma-p.schools.nsw.edu.au

Sacred Heart Primary School
http://www.brokenhill.catholic.edu.au

Menindee Central School
http://www.menindee-c.schools.nsw.edu.au

Wilcannia Central School
http://www.wilcannia-c.schools.nsw.edu.au

Saint Therese's Community School
http://www.wilcannia.catholic.edu.au

Allied Health in Aged Care facilities

The Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health (BHUDRH) also offers placements working with adult clients spilt across the Broken Hill Health Service (BHHS) and Aged Care facilities in Broken Hill. These placements focus on swallowing assessments and intervention with the possibility of communication experiences (please see your supervisor to discuss the experiences available during your placement).
Each placement begins with teleconference discussion followed by a short orientation covering the following:

  • Town tour and visit to RFDS base
  • Discipline specific orientation- History of program, barriers to accessing service, supervision models, strategies for successfully working with our elders, familiarization with assessment tools and discussion of intervention and
  • Orientation BHHS and Aged Care facilities to receive service

Contact:

For more information about these programs, please contact Claire Brunero - Speech Pathologist Academic:

Ph: (08) 80801297
Email: Claire.Brunero@health.nsw.gov.au