21 April 2015
USC now has a purpose-built mobile clinic to help boost access to health care services across the region and give its students greater opportunities for clinical placements.
The $300,000 facility – a long wheel base Mercedes Sprinter, with custom built hydraulic push-out sides to optimise internal space – will be able to transport five people to provide services ranging from immunisation clinics to baby and child health and occupational therapy clinics.
It was officially launched by Federal Member for Fisher Mal Brough MP and Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Birgit Lohmann at a ribbon cutting ceremony today (Tuesday 21 April).
USC’s Mobile Health Clinic project manager Bronwyn Doyle, who is a qualified nurse and midwife, said USC students from various health-related disciplines would be involved.
“We are exploring partnerships with health care providers on the Coast, and together, we could provide services to people in our community who may not normally be able to access care,” Ms Doyle said.
“It has the capacity to host all different types of clinics, and staff at USC are currently planning new, additional clinics for Semester 2.
“We also have our own staff who facilitate clinical training in certain disciplines, so this allows us to take our staff and students to the clients where there is a gap in service provision.
“This initiative will provide our students with the all-important professional practice that they need.”
Occupational Therapy students have already used the clinic, assisting their clinical trainer Cate Hilly at a local school one day a week.
“It means that we have a clean, modern, private place to work even when we are off campus,” Ms Hilly said. “Feedback from clients is that it is a convenient and comfortable space and other great benefits include that the vehicle can tow a trailer packed full of essential therapy equipment which aids the children’s learning and development.”
USC’s Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering Executive Dean Professor John Bartlett said this new resource would further enhance the teaching and learning experience at USC.
“This innovative mobile health clinic adds to our already established clinics on campus that are proving very popular with our community and our students studying in the undergraduate health programs,” he said.
The project was funded by Health Workforce Australia, an Australian Government initiative to grow clinical placement capacity.
— Jane Cameron