Special Skills Position in Aboriginal Health - Alice Springs Hospital Emergency Department

  • Alice Springs Hospital ED
  • Alice Springs NT, Australia
Full time

Job Description

Special Skills Placement in Aboriginal Health  - Alice Springs Hospital Emergency Department 

Expressions of Interest for terms starting February 2023

We are looking for a motivated and passionate trainee to join us in Alice Springs Emergency Department to undertake an ACEM accredited Special Skills Term in Aboriginal Health.  This will be the first time we offer this position. 

The objective of the rotation for the trainee will be to experience and gain a deep understanding of Aboriginal health, including the multifaceted reasons for the significant health disparities faced by Aboriginal patients.   The primary role of the trainee will be to be actively involved with and support the ED Aboriginal Care Coordination program – which seeks to identify and provide care coordination for Aboriginal frequent attenders to the ED.

The trainee will work closely with the Aboriginal ED Care Coordinator, the Aboriginal Practice Advisor, and local FACEMS, developing and maintaining respectful two-way relationships.

Alice Springs Hospital is a regional public hospital with extensive outreach and retrieval functions servicing an area of 1 million square km in Central Australia in the Northern Territory.   The Emergency Department has approximately 50000 presentations per year. 25% of presentations are paediatric and there is a 45% admission rate. 80% of hospital admissions identify as Aboriginal.  We are accredited for 36 months of ACEM ED training time, and also offer rotations in ICU, Retrieval, Paediatrics, Anaesthetics, Medicine and Rural and Remote Health (Tennant Creek).

 Alice Springs Hospital ED has embarked on a new project in 2022 focussed on Aboriginal Frequent attenders to the ED. The project aims to identify and better meet the healthcare, and cultural needs of this complex group. Specific issues for these patients include homeless, alcohol and drug dependence, significant chronic medical issues including renal disease, diabetes, cardiac, renal disease, trauma and family violence. Cultural priorities are also an integral component of the holistic care. The project seeks to support better collaboration between the ED and internal hospital services as well as external services, with the focus on better patient care. The project is supported by a new position of an ED Aboriginal Care Coordinator (an Aboriginal Identified position working between the ED and the Aboriginal Partnership and Strategies Unit) to provide project management and patient case coordination.  The project has been initiated by both FACEMS and the Aboriginal Partnerships and Strategy Unit. 

The Trainee will take on a unique position within the department that will include provision of clinician support to the ED frequent attenders program. They will not be part of the general ED registrar roster and will have specialised clinical duties. The trainee will undertake a hybrid role of clinician, facilitator, administrator, researcher and educator, with the aim of and developing an enriched understanding of the health care and cultural needs of the local Aboriginal community. A key aim is to provide better understanding of the Aboriginal patient/ED interface, leading to improved models of care, especially for frequent attenders. They will also assist in the development of relationships between the ED and external service providers and Aboriginal organisations within the community to promote meaningful change and mutually respectful relationships.

 The registrar will also support the rest of the ED with cultural training – liaising with and supporting the Aboriginal Liaison Officers and the Aboriginal Partnership and Strategies unit in this.  They will be involved in ED registrar teaching– including providing a cultural lens to the monthly ED M and M meetings.

The position will be supported by FACEMs and this unique multidisciplinary supervisor, community-ED focused placement where the trainee grows at their own pace will produce a future FACEM leader with hands on experience across all aspects of the ACEM curriculum Framework with an emphasis on Heath advocacy, communication, teacher & scholar, and teamwork & collaboration.  The trainee will not just learn and be exposed to ‘problems’, they will be empowered to understand, empathise and, with culturally safe communication, make positive changes in department culture, policy and make an impact in the education of other staff while making real changes to ‘close the gap’.

The trainee will be encouraged to select and be involved in (with patient consent) the journeys of patients from ED to discharge. Reflection of these cases will occur with the trainee’s supervisor on a regular basis, to enhance a deeper understanding of the holistic care needs of Aboriginal presentations to the Alice Springs Hospital ED and use this as a base to explore areas for further Quality Improvement.

Policy, advocacy and administration will form part of the experience available to the trainee. This will include an invitation to the monthly Alice Springs Hospital Aboriginal Cultural Engagement Committee – whose purpose is to oversee initiatives and strategies to enhance the cultural safety of Aboriginal patients accessing Alice Springs and Tennant Creek Hospitals. They will also hold membership of the Alice Springs ED Frequent Attenders Program Advisory Group and Working Group.  The trainee will gain powerful insights into how the ED interaction for Aboriginal patients can have intergeneration and widespread community consequences.

Renumeration as per NT Medical Officer's EBA.

Expressions of Interest close 4/7/22

 For further information or to express your interest in the position please email (with CV and cover letter) Anna Fairbairn (Staff Specialist Alice Springs Emergency Department):  [email protected]

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