Physiotherapy

Physiotherapists are experts in the management of movement disorders. In the hospital setting, physiotherapists work in a variety of areas e.g. orthopaedics, neurology, cardiorespiratory, cancer care, cardiac care, geriatrics and rehabilitation in the home.


Overview

Facilities and Services

The Physiotherapy department provides clinical services across a spectrum of acute, sub-acute and outpatient services. Locations include St Vincent’s Hospital Fitzroy campus, St George’s Hospital in Kew and various community centres across the region. St Vincent’s physiotherapy department provides services to the following areas:

  • Orthopaedic surgery
  • Neurosurgery clinic
  • Neurology
  • Palliative care
  • Rheumatology
  • Plastics
  • Trauma 
  • Intensive Care Unit (ICU) /High Dependency Unit (HDU)
  • Coronary Care Unit (CCU)
  • Emergency Department (ED)

  • General Medicine
  • General and Specialty Surgery
  • Special Medicine (e.g. Oncology, Haematology and Renal)
  • Vascular
  • Amputee Rehabilitation
  • Neurological and Orthopaedic inpatient rehabilitation
  • Acute Care of the Elderly (ACE)
  • Geriatric evaluation and Management (GEM)

Specialty physiotherapy services and clinics include; neurosurgery, osteoarthritis hip and knee service, post arthroplasty review clinic, primary contact physiotherapy (ED), tracheostomy review service, survivorship clinic (oncology), lymphoedema, botox clinic and older adults pain clinic.

Our staff are integral members of the multidisciplinary team providing a range of therapeutic services to optimise patient care and maximise function. The department includes a diverse team of physiotherapists and Allied Health Assistants (AHAs) and is dedicated to excellence in clinical care. Our staff have expertise and experience in a broad range of specialities.

The physiotherapy clinical education team supports ongoing staff professional development. Senior staff are committed to high quality supervision practices.

With a particular focus on research and evidence based practice, a dedicated research team leader supports active participation in research projects. These projects include both internal studies and external multisite trials. 

The Physiotherapy department provides clinical education to undergraduate and postgraduate students from Monash University, the University of Melbourne, La Trobe University and the Australian Catholic University.

Education

Our department has a Clinical Education team who are responsible for supporting, coordinating and promoting the provision of clinical education to support the needs of Physiotherapy Department staff and students of the St Vincent’s Clinical School.  The team is responsible for mitigating clinical risk, the development and evaluation of clinical standards, promotion and support of professional standards, education and research within the clinical education field.  The team also work in collaboration with the other allied health discipline educators, medical and nursing educators to build and implement a coordinated and cohesive education strategy across SVHM.

The Physiotherapy department provides clinical education to undergraduate and postgraduate students from Monash University, the University of Melbourne, La Trobe University and the Australian Catholic University.

For general enquiries related to education please contact the St Vincent’s Clinical Education Team at Svhmphysiotherapy@svha.org.au

Speciality Courses

Physiotherapy skills in the management of the critical care patient: An Immersive Simulation Course 

When:     27th and 28th June, 24th and 25th October 2019 
Time:      8:00am – 5:00pm 
Where:   Medical Education Centre, St Vincent’s Hospital, Level 3, 41 Victoria Parade Fitzroy
Cost:      $700 

Run by St Vincent’s Hospital Physiotherapy Department 


This two day course is held in the state of the art high-fidelity Simulation Centre at St Vincent’s Hospital. With only twelve participants facilitated by four experienced cardiorespiratory physiotherapists, with expert skills in simulation.

The course is ideal for recent graduates or those with limited ICU experience and will cover management of the haemodynamically unstable patient, general assessment of the ICU patient, early rehabilitation and cardiorespiratory management of the long-stay ICU patient. 
The course combines small group skills sessions and immersive simulation sessions to allow participants to practice suctioning, tracheostomy care, ECG interpretation, invasive and non-invasive ventilation, and early rehabilitation. 
The educational package will address both routine clinical management of ICU patients, as well as the prevention, detection, and management of adverse incidents in the critical care setting. 

Enquiries and Registration via email to: physiosim@svha.org.au

 

Career opportunities

Information on Grade 1 rotations and benefits for the New Graduate Physiotherapist

St Vincent's Hospital offers a comprehensive Grade 1 Physiotherapy program for both new and experienced Grade 1 staff. This is a rotational program across both Fitzroy and Kew campuses. Rotations last for 4 months and include:

General Medicine
ACE
Surgical
Intensive Care Unit
Emergency Department
Orthopaedic Rehabilitation
Neurological Rehabilitation
Orthopaedic Trauma
Orthopaedic Inpatients
Orthopaedic Outpatients
Neurosurgery
GEM
Transition Support


Grade one staff are supported by senior mentors and encouraged to actively participate in professional development and research projects. The Grade 1 education program includes in-services, clinical competencies and simulation training using the high fidelity simulation center at St Vincent’s Hospital, Fitzroy.

As part of their first year of employment, grade ones complete a comprehensive orientation and supported education program in Special Surgery, Intensive Care, Cardiothoracic Surgery, and the Emergency Department prior to commencing work on the weekend physiotherapy roster.

Intake to the Grade 1 program usually occurs in January each year. Positions are advertised through St Vincents Hospital website during the preceding October/November. Available vacancies are also advertised at other times of the year. View current vacancies here.

 

Interprofessional New Graduate Program

One of the most significant transitions in a graduate’s career is the transition from student life to that of  a qualified health professional.  The Interprofessional New Graduate Program offers a structured program for allied health early career graduates to explore the importance of collaborative practice, and to enhance clinicians’ skills and confidence in working in teams. The benefits of collaborative practice include the capacity to optimize team members’ strengths, share case management, reduce stress on health workers by engendering support and trust, enhance job satisfaction and provide better services to the community. The Program is designed to complement the induction and supervision already available to new staff within each discipline and to support an inter-professional approach to graduates. It is an opportunity to welcome and induct new staff and to give them a sense of the culture and expectations of the organization.  

 

Physiotherapy Transition Support Program

Newly qualified physiotherapists graduate as independent practitioners, however many require support as they navigate the transition from student to professional. Transition Support Programs (TSP) have been shown to have positive effects on socialisation, work-readiness, job satisfaction and retention rates (Jewell 2013). This is well documented in the nursing profession, however much less literature exists for Physiotherapy. The Transition Support Physiotherapist provides guidance and support to our New Graduate Physiotherapists within the Physiotherapy Department as they commence their employment.

Since 2018, the SVHM Physiotherapy department has participated in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cadetship program. Cadets currently completing their undergraduate physiotherapy qualification benefit from additional professional support. The program has resulted in numerous benefits to both staff and cadets – including an increased awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

Students

Preparing for your Clinical Placement

The information contained in this page has been designed to maximise your experience as a student of St Vincent’s Clinical School. It contains important information for your upcoming clinical placement. Please ensure that you become familiar with the information in preparation for your clinical placement. Some of the content is accessible from your electronic device and some will only be accessible via the intranet once you are logged into the St Vincent’s Hospital network. There are also links to external sites with further resources to assist the preparation for your clinical placement. 

The following items should be current and brought with you on the first day of your placement. 

  • National Police check Any positive Police Checks must be disclosed to the university and clinical supervisor prior to commencement of your clinical placement.
  • Hand Hygiene certificate Students should complete the Hand Hygiene on-line learning package (on completion, print certificate and bring to clinic).

Attendance & Absences

Clinical hours will vary depending on your clinic and each block will have a detailed roster that is issued to students (refer to the relevant timetable for individual clinic hours or the Clinical Education Co-ordinator at University for further details). It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they are at the right place at the right time.

In order to maximise the clinical experience, full attendance is required and students are only allowed those holidays taken by the Physiotherapy Department. Permission will not be given to attend medical or dental appointments unless approved by the clinical placement supervisor. All clinics allow one working day off (Fridays) which is when such appointments should be organised.  Extended absence from clinical placements will need to be discussed with the supervisor and/or Associate Clinical Dean.

If a student is delayed or unable to attend their clinical placement, they should contact their main clinical supervisor (by telephone, see numbers below) by 08:00 on the day. Messages and late phone calls are not acceptable. If the main supervisor is unavailable please contact one of the others.  All time taken as sick leave when on clinical placement must be verified with a medical certificate or statutory declaration which should be handed to the main supervising physiotherapist on return to the clinical placement.  Be prepared to discuss possible return to work, ie. observation, shorter hours, infection risks, etc. to minimise missed clinical time.

Statistics must be entered by all students to account for the clinical time (your clinical supervisor will show you how to complete statistics).
 
St Vincent’s Switchboard: 9231 2211

Acute: 9231 3827
Subacute: 9231 2059
St Georges: 9816 0444
 

Uniforms

Students are expected to look neat and professional at all times during clinical placements. They should wear correct University-designated uniform, closed-toed shoes and hair tied back, as needed.

Identification Badges

Students will be issued with an identification badge which must be worn at all times during the clinical placement. If the badge is lost, it must be immediately reported to your supervisor and the Physiotherapy Manager will issue a replacement card (at a cost to the student). 

Lockers

Lockers are provided for each student for the duration of the clinic. These will be issued on the first day of clinic (cost $10, refundable). It is recommended that you do not bring any items of value to clinic. All personal belongings must be secured in your locker before you go to the wards.
Mobile phones

Mobile phones are not to be used during clinical time and should not be carried on the wards. Mobile phone use on the wards/in outpatients is deemed as unprofessional behaviour.

Computer Access

Your clinical supervisor will advise you which computers are available for student access on the wards. The library is also an excellent source for references and computers in the Carl Gruchy Library, Fitzroy campus are available for student use. Audiovisual equipment is available for some independent study. No material is to be removed from the department.   

Medical Records

The medical records for inpatients are held on the respective wards (current admission). For outpatients, records are available on-line via Medical Records Online (MRO). 

Privacy and Confidentiality

Please refer to the Hospitals Privacy and Confidentiality Agreement. Students must adhere to the policies and ensure patients consent to student observation, assessment and treatment. Patient information must be de-identified for any case presentations.

Infection Control Procedure

Students must adhere to the St Vincent’s Hospital infection control procedures.

Accident Procedures

All accidents involving students or patients being treated by students, must be reported to the supervising physiotherapist immediately and the Physiotherapy Manager. An online incident form will be completed and the relevant medical/nursing staff informed of the incident.  

University Affiliations

  • The University of Melbourne
  • Monash University  
  • La Trobe University
  • Australian Catholic University

Research

  • Cardoso, T. B., Pizzari, T., Kinsella, R., Hope, D., & Cook, J. L. (2019). Current trends in tendinopathy management. Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology.
  • Heywood, S., McClelland, J., Geigle, P., Rahmann, A., Villalta, E., Mentiplay, B., & Clark, R. (2019). Force during functional exercises on land and in water in older adults with and without knee osteoarthritis: Implications for rehabilitation. The Knee, 26(1), 61-72.
  • Harding, P., Burge, A., Walter, K., Shaw, B., Page, C., Phan, U., ... & Liew, S. (2018). Advanced musculoskeletal physiotherapists in post arthroplasty review clinics: a state wide implementation program evaluation. Physiotherapy, 104(1), 98-106.
  • Birnbaum, MA., Brock, K., Clark, RA., Hill, KD. (2018) Measuring lateropulsion following stroke: a feasibility study using Wii Balance Board technology. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy 46(1): 36-42. doi:10.15619/NZJP/46.1.06
  • Black, S., Nicholas, C., Cotton, S., & Brock, K. (2018). Determining discharge destination in geriatric evaluation and management units: Is progressive goal attainment a better early indicator of discharge destination than improvement in functional independence measure scores?. Geriatrics & gerontology international.
  • Shaw, B. R., Heywood, S. E., Page, C. J., Phan, U. M., Harding, P. A., Walter, K., ... & Granger, C. L. (2018). Advanced musculoskeletal physiotherapy: Barriers and enablers to multi‐site implementation. Musculoskeletal care.
  • Heywood, S., Pua, Y., McClelland, J., Geigle, P., Rahmann, A., Bower, K., & Clark, R. (2018). Low-cost electromyography–Validation against a commercial system using both manual and automated activation timing thresholds. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology.
  • Dabare, C., Le Marshall, K., Leung, A., Page, C. J., Choong, P. F., & Lim, K. K. (2017). Differences in presentation, progression and rates of arthroplasty between hip and knee osteoarthritis: Observations from an osteoarthritis cohort study‐a clear role for conservative management. International journal of rheumatic diseases, 20(10), 1350-1360.
  • Melissa Birnbaum, Keith Hill, Rita Kinsella, Susan Black, Ross Clark, Kim Brock (2017): Comprehensive clinical sitting balance measures for individuals following stroke: a systematic review on the methodological quality.  Disability and Rehabilitation http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09638288.2016.1261947