Health students take to telehealth to improve care
STUDENT-led health clinics at CQUniversity adopted digital techniques to improve their education and patient care.
Physiotherapy, occupational therapy and chiropractic students have been using telehealth to treat patients at the clinics.
Fourth-year physiotherapy student Samantha Bainbridge said feedback on the telehealth services provided from the clinics had been largely positive.
“We have been working as a pair of students, which has been handy for demonstrating movements and pinpointing areas of the body in question,” she said.
“For those who could only arrange phone access, rather than video, we were still able to include an educational aspect which helped with better understanding of the patient’s condition, checking in on their progress with home exercise programs, and their self-management options for treatment.
Ms Bainbridge said she saw a broad range of clients requiring strength, mobility, or recovery exercises, and that with digital means, prescriptions could be reinforced by each client’s family or friends.
“In some cases, we were able to encourage family members to be involved with the patient’s treatment,” she said.
“For example, we were able to have a telehealth consultation with an elderly patient and have their daughter provide assistance with exercises.
“This is an aspect of treatment that is not possible if the family members are not present during face-to-face consultations.”
Fourth-year Occupational Therapy student Jacqueline Harper said that now she could still offer her patients support from her home.
“I like that telehealth is increasing access to services and allowing people to remain connected during these unprecedented times,” she said.
“Like anything new, there have been some challenges, including navigating new processes and problem-solving technical issues.
“However, these challenges have also proved beneficial for learning new ways of building rapport and increasing technological literacy for all involved.”