Home' Southern Health News : February 2013 Contents SOUTHERN HEALTH NEWS / FEBRUARY 2013 / 11
ED Physiotherapist Sebastian
Prince (right) applies a plaster
to a patient’s fractured wrist
as Program Manager Matt
Sutton watches on.
FMC takes out
Flinders Medical Centre’s Emergency
Department (ED) has been awarded
South Australia’s employer of the
year by the state’s Defence Reserves
The hospital’s ED was recognised with the award
for its efforts in encouraging employees who
are also Australian Defence Force Reservists,
including employees like James Bonello, a
registered nurse at FMC and combat medical
attendant in the Army.
“As a soldier in the Army Reserve, I have often
requested leave from my civilian employer to
undertake necessary training in both specialised
Army medical and general areas,” James said.
“This year I was deployed to Operation Anode
in the Solomon Islands which meant I was
absent from the FMC ED for eight months. My
role on deployment included pre-hospital and
emergency health management, scene control,
evacuation of casualties, training soldiers in first
aid, providing health education and lifestyle
“I know that my Army Reserve service would not
be successful without a supportive professional
base back home.”
Nursing Director in the Emergency and
Perioperative Medicine Division at Flinders
Medical Centre, Naomi Heinrich, said the
training and experience her staff receive as
reservists is of great benefit.
“I see the development of strong
communication, team and leadership skills, along
with a willingness to participate in strategic
development from the entire reservist cohort at
FMC ED,” Naomi said.
“Our reservists demonstrate an ability to plan,
prioritise and communicate effectively which is
essential to good emergency nursing practice.
“Clinical skills, in particular the autonomy in
clinical decision making the reservists gain on
deployment, has led to the development of
excellence in nursing care in the hospital setting.”
James said the support of FMC was vital.
“Managers have acknowledged the leadership
abilities I get from Defence and encourage me
to utilise this training and mentoring with other
For more information about the Employer
Support Awards and the support available
for ADF Reserves and their employers, go to
ED physio breaks new ground
BY MONIQUE PASCHKE
Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) has become the first hospital in the state to have a
dedicated primary contact physiotherapist based in its Emergency Department (ED)
seven days a week.
Funded by Health Workforce Australia, the new
role is expected to reduce waiting times in the
ED and enable doctors to focus on patients with
more serious or life threatening conditions.
Sebastian Prince was appointed the primary ED
Physiotherapist in October last year. In January
the service expanded from the five days a week
provided by Sebastian to seven days, with an
additional two physiotherapists coming on
board. Since October the service has treated
hundreds of patients with a range of conditions
including breaks, sprains and strains.
Sebastian, who has a Masters in Manipulative
Physiotherapy, said the new role meant
patients would receive expert care and advice
from someone specifically trained in the
“The patients will be seen in a timely manner
and we also expect they will receive added value
as I can work with patients to not only treat
their condition, but provide them with helpful
information to ensure they recover quickly and
safely,” he said.
Based in the ED from 9am to 5pm, the
physiotherapist performs treatments that have
traditionally been the responsibility of doctors,
such as applying casts to broken bones and
ordering and reviewing x-rays.
FMC Physiotherapy Project Manager Matt
Sutton said while the extended scope of the
physiotherapy role is new to South Australia, it
has been successfully implemented for around
five years in other states.
He said Sebastian’s work in the ED was already
having a real impact on waiting times for
“There is evidence to show that the
implementation of a primary contact
physiotherapist in ED will reduce both the
length of time to be seen and length of stay for
people presenting to ED with musculoskeletal
Matt said the physiotherapist’s presence and
knowledge in the ED had been welcomed by
“Both medical and nursing staff have been very
supportive of the role and can see the value it
Health Workforce Australia is an Australian
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