Allied Health Services
Great news that we, Hanson Medical Centre has Allied Health Services too. Currently we have Psychology, Podiatry, Physiotherapy, Dietetics, Diabetes Education & Audiology. Most of us don’t know what is Allied Health and its roles & responsibility.
The allied health workforce is growing rapidly as demand grows across the aged care, mental health, disability and health sectors. Allied health professionals provide a broad range of diagnostic, technical, therapeutic and direct health services to improve the health and wellbeing of the consumers they support.
Psychologists are experts in human behaviour who can help people change the way they think, feel, behave and react. Psychologists study the brain, memory, learning and processes around human development. Psychological treatments can be used to help individuals, families, groups and organisations.
When should I see a psychologist?
Many people at some point in their lives will benefit from seeing a psychologist. Psychologists can help people deal with everything from childhood behavioural issues or learning difficulties to trauma and loss. Some common examples include:
- School students with learning difficulties
- A young person dealing with sexuality issues
- Military personnel coping with trauma
- A new mother not coping
- Couples and families with relationship challenges
- Organisational leaders wanting the best out of their staff
- Individuals struggling with mental illness
- Courts deciding what’s best for children of separated parents
- Elite athletes seeking peak performance
- A young person contemplating suicide
- People dealing with major health problems
- Individuals battling addictions
- Victims of natural disasters
- Elderly people living with dementia
What services do psychologists provide?
Psychologists draw on an ever-expanding body of scientific knowledge about how we think, act and feel and they apply the information to their areas of expertise. Psychologists provide their expertise by assessing and diagnosing a range of problems, developing strategies and evidence-based treatments, and offering guidance and support.
Physiotherapists are experts in the structure of the human body and its movement. They work with people of all ages to treat a broad range of health conditions including sports injuries and musculoskeletal conditions as well as chronic health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, osteoarthritis and stroke. Physiotherapists are involved in the assessment, diagnosis, planning and management of patient care.
When should I see a physiotherapist?
There are a wide range of triggers that may lead to a person being referred or choosing to see a physiotherapist. This includes everything from sports injuries to chronic health conditions. Some typical reasons to see a physiotherapist include:
- Stroke and other neurological illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease or Multiple Sclerosis
- Cancer, palliative care and lymphoedema
- Musculoskeletal and sports injuries
- Occupational health
- Pain management
- Sports injuries and prevention
What services do physiotherapists provide?
Physiotherapists assess, diagnose, plan and manage the care of patients across a broad range of areas with musculoskeletal, cardiothoracic and neurological problems. They help patients with chronic disease management, provide lifestyle modification and self-management advice, prescribe aids and appliances, prescribe and supervise exercises for both patients and carers, and provide health promotion education, occupational health assessments and injury prevention activities.
Physiotherapists can help treat a range of chronic conditions, often as part of multidisciplinary teams. They are trained to design individual programs of care that help address risk factors arising from co-morbidities and physical limitations in people with chronic conditions.
A podiatrist is an expert in foot care. Podiatrists help people in the care of their lower limbs including the foot and ankle and may also be involved in supporting older people to reduce their risk of falling.
When should I see a podiatrist?
There are a wide range of reasons to see a podiatrist but some typical foot conditions include heel pain, bunions, ingrown toenails, tinea, corns and calluses. Some typical examples of why someone might see a podiatrist are:
- Patient with diabetes and peripheral vascular disease, or neuropathy
- Clinical diagnosis or history of foot or lower limb deformity
- Clinical diagnosis of falls
- Soft tissue and muscular pathologies
- Circulatory diseases.
What services do podiatrists provide?
Podiatrists provide a wide range of services from the treatment of calluses to the treatment of bone and joint disorders. For conditions such as recurring sprains and chronic pain, podiatrists may prescribe foot orthoses.
The podiatrist’s scope of practice includes areas such as paediatrics, diabetes, sports injuries, structural problems, treatment of the elderly as well as general foot care.
Podiatrists with additional qualifications and registration may also perform foot surgery.
Dietitians are experts in food and nutrition. They provide guidance about how to appropriately manage diets and nutrition for people who may be affected by health conditions such as diabetes, overweight and obesity, cancer, heart disease, renal disease, gastro-intestinal diseases and food allergies. A dietitian can help people maintain their health and reduce their risk of developing chronic disease.
When should I see a dietitian?
There are a wide range of triggers that may lead to a person benefiting from the support of a dietitian. Some typical reasons why someone might be referred, or might independently choose, to see a dietitian include:
- A newly diagnosed chronic disease
- Signs that a chronic illness is not being managed such as increased Hba1c levels
- Significant weight change
- Recent poor food intake, poor appetite, or difficulty preparing or eating food
- Changes in medication
- Periodic reviews of medical nutrition therapy.
What services do dietitians provide?
Dietitians working in the community offer a broad range of services to support people in managing their nutritional requirements. Key areas of work for dietitians are:
- Medical nutrition therapy – working with patients to assess their health and nutritional needs and to assist them to manage their medical condition(s) and symptoms via the use of a specifically tailored diet. Medical nutrition therapy may also involve enteral nutrition provision, monitoring and evaluation for a wide range of conditions.
- Food service management – working with residential aged care facilities, child care centres and group homes for people with disabilities to provide clinical care, staff training, menu assessment and planning, and compliance monitoring of therapeutic diets.
- Community and Public Health Nutrition – working with non-government and government organisations to develop preventive health programs, diabetes education and cardiovascular education, food security programs, to deliver nutrition education for groups, and to deliver activities such as supermarket tours and cooking classes.
Credentialled Diabetes Educators are specialists in diabetes. They are health professionals who have completed further study to focus their efforts on helping people with diabetes self-manage their diabetes effectively and prevent complications.
A diabetes educator can be the first point of call when you are wanting more information, support and/or motivation in the management of your diabetes and the link between other health professionals. They have in-depth knowledge on all aspects of diabetes and can recognise when you need to see other members of your health care team for example, an optometrist or podiatrist.
When should I see a diabetes educator?
Credentialled Diabetes Educators can be there with you the entire way through your journey. When you are first diagnosed, Credentialled Diabetes Educators explain what diabetes is and provide individualised advice on how to get your blood glucose levels within the appropriate target range. They will also help you organise tests and screenings for diabetes complications. This will vary depending on your diabetes, your lifestyle and your age.
Credentialled Diabetes Educators can also help you when your blood glucose levels fluctuate. According to Credentialled Diabetes Educator, this could be changing when you are feeling stressed or anxious. Lifestyle changes and events like exams, weddings, divorce, somebody close to you dying, can send up blood glucose levels. The main aim of a Credentialled Diabetes Educator is to empower the person that has diabetes to self-manage their diabetes through knowledge, motivation and support.
Who should see a diabetes educator?
Everyone should see a diabetes educator even people with pre-diabetes. Credentialled Diabetes Educators can provide you with initial information, what can happen in the future and what to look out for if something goes wrong. The frequency of your visits to a diabetes educator will depend on your diabetes and your blood glucose levels.
For people with type 1 diabetes, Credentialled Diabetes Educators can help you manage your medication, meal plans, eye care and looking after your feet.
For people with type 2 diabetes, Credentialled Diabetes Educators can help you prolong needing medication and help you make the transition to medication when the insulin producing cells in your pancreas stop producing insulin.
“Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition, we can delay medication via healthy eating, exercise and losing weight but eventually it may be necessary to start medication.”
Credentialled Diabetes Educators can also help people with less common forms of diabetes like Latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA) and Maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY).
Audiologists are experts in hearing loss and balance disorders. Audiologists can help people of all ages experiencing hearing loss with the use of hearing aids and other assistive technologies to improve their ability to communicate.
When should I see an audiologist?
A person should see an audiologist if they experience hearing loss or dizziness/vertigo. It is important for anyone who experiences sudden hearing loss to visit a hospital emergency department as soon as possible to receive a hearing test to refer if necessary to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist in a timely manner for the successful treatment of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). Audiologists can also diagnose patients experiencing vertigo. They can work together with physiotherapists to provide vestibular (balance) rehabilitation for clients.
What services do audiologists provide?
Audiologists provide hearing tests to measure auditory and neural function, tinnitus and test balance (vestibular function). They can prescribe and fit devices and aids such as ear plugs, hearing aids and have specialised knowledge about implantable devices such as cochlear implants.