Canberra Institute of Technology Allied Health Assistance students are now training in a simulated work environment where they can practise and refine their patient-centred skills before entering the workforce.
The state-of-the-art clinic at CIT’s Bruce campus has been operating for a couple of months but Chief Minister Andrew Barr officially opened the facility on Wednesday.
The facility supports the delivery of the Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance and prepares students to work in fields such as Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Dietetics and Social Work.
It is also open to the public and provides services such as physical activity-based rehabilitation for older adults, therapy-based sessions for school-aged children and adolescents, and healthy cooking and eating sessions.
Various allied health programs can be run from the facility, complementing existing services delivered through the CIT Fit & Well Gym and Massage Clinic.
Mr Barr said the facility would provide the very best learning environment for future allied health professionals in the ACT, who would be in demand in a growing sector.
He said demand was being driven by an increasing population, changing demographics and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
“This marks an important next step in the modernisation of CIT,” Mr Barr said.
He said it was important there was an investment in areas where there was going to be a significant need for trained people over the coming years.
The clinic would not only serve Canberra but would be a place for people outside the region to train and take skills back to their own local areas.
“It’s important that there is investment locally, regionally and nationally in the allied health area,” Mr Barr said.
Teacher Ned Jelbart said the new clinic allowed students to train in a more authentic environment.
“It brings us right up to date with industry trends, and helps better prepare students for placement and jobs in the sector,” he said.
Allied Health Assistants played a big role in the growing area of patient-centred care and the facility would help attract and retain students.
The feedback from students had been excellent.
The facility has been funded by the ACT Government under the National Partnership on the Skilling Australians Fund.