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Allied Health Blog

Insights and tips from our Allied Health team, which includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, social work, psychology, nutrition and dietetics and podiatry. 

  • Aphasia – the Invisible Impairment

    The following blog is written by Peninsula Health speech pathologist Hannah Sanderson (pictured). 

    At Frankston Hospital, our Speech Pathology Department helps our patients in many different ways. We provide assessment and management of patients with swallowing impairments, laryngectomies, tracheostomies and communication impairments.

    Communication impairments can occur for a number of reasons. Frequently, we see a number of different communication impairments with our patients who present to Frankston Hospital with a stroke.

    At Frankston Hospital, we have a fantastic team of dedicated clinicians working together to help our stroke patients. A stroke is commonly recognised in the community as something that causes people to have trouble walking or using their arms. However, a stroke can also cause what’s referred to as an ‘invisible impairment’ by Speech Pathologists, this being Aphasia.

    Aphasia is a condition that is not widely known in the community. It is one of the complex communication disorders that ...

  • The fun of finding words

    Pictured: Cliff and Speech Pathologist Amanda.

    The following blog is written by Amanda Elston, Rosebud Hospital Speech Pathologist.

    This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For particular focus in Speech Pathology Week is Article 19 which highlights that communication is a human right. Communication access is communication for all!

    When Cliff first arrived at Rosebud Hospital he was unable to verbalise at all. He had no communication. Cliff presented with expressive and receptive aphasia (language difficulties), apraxia of speech (speech motor planning difficulties), dysphonia (voice difficulties), and dysphagia (swallowing difficulties); or as his family like to say “he had the works!”

    With the support of intensive Speech Pathology rehabilitation Cliff is now able to talk again, communicating his wants and needs. Because of his apraxia of speech and aphasia Cliff continues to have difficulty talking even though he knows ...

  • Helping patients recover from foot ulcers, faster

    The following blog is written by Lucia Michailidis, a senior podiatrist at Peninsula Health. She explains some of the research she has been conducting, which is changing the way podiatrists treat diabetic patients with foot ulcers, around the world.

    I’m very passionate about my job, working within a multidisciplinary team to help patients with diabetes and foot ulcers recover as quickly as possible. 

    I’ve been working in this field for almost ten years and during this time I have been involved in a lot of research, to help improve outcomes for patients.

    I’ve just finished leading research into using a debridement (the removal of dead, damaged or infected tissue) technique called low frequency ultrasound. This particular technique has not been well investigated in this population of patients, here on the Mornington Peninsula. I wanted to undertake this research so there was more evidence about treatment options available for ...

  • What does a physio do in the Intensive Care Unit?

    The following blog is written by Michael Wang.

    Hi, my name is Michael. I am the Senior Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Physiotherapist at Frankston Hospital, Peninsula Health.

    What can a physiotherapist do in Intensive Care you might ask? Every now and then I get the same question from my patients – the ones that are awake anyway.

    There is a lot that we do. Using the words of some of our pioneers in the field:

    An Intensive Care Physiotherapist is a part of the multidisciplinary team in most intensive care units in Australia (Skinner, 2008).

    Physiotherapists are primary contact practitioners and use a comprehensive multisystem assessment that includes the respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological, and musculoskeletal systems to formulate individualized treatment plans (Denehy, 2006).

    Physiotherapists provide treatment for respiratory complications including the application of noninvasive ventilation and exercise and rehabilitation for the prevention and management of intensive care acquired weakness (ICUAW) and deconditioning ...

  • Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

    The below blog is written by Lavanya Sundararajan, Team Leader, Peninsula Health Falls Prevention Service.

    The April Falls Week special presentation on “Eating for health and longevity with Mediterranean Diet” by Professor Catherine Itsiopoulos, Head of School of Allied Health and Professor of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, Latrobe University was attended by staff from many sites across Peninsula Health.  

    Here are some of the key take home messages from this talk:

    The Mediterranean Diet is not just a “diet” but a cuisine and lifestyle based on diet and lifestyle of communities in the Mediterranean basin including Cyprus, Croatia, Spain, Greece, Italy, Morocco and Portugal. The cuisine’s values are hospitality, neighbourliness, intercultural dialogue and creativity with respect for diversity. 

    The traditional Mediterranean Diet is a predominantly plant based diet that is composed of cereals, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, legumes, moderate red wine, fruit and vegetables, fish and seafood. It ...

  • Community dietitian helps Isabel reduce her blood sugar levels and achieve her goals

    The following blog is written by Peninsula Health dietitian Thea Moloney.  

    The Community Rehabilitation Program is a multidisciplinary service which helps people manage or recover from illness, injury or surgery.

    It is a short term program that helps people to achieve their individual goals.

    Isabel* was initially referred into our program due to carpel tunnel syndrome symptoms, and was seen regularly by our Occupational Therapist, Social Worker and Physiotherapist. She was then referred to Dietetics to optimise blood glucose control for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

    Isabel is a very busy lady; she works night shifts and cares for her husband who suffered a major stroke in 2016. Her husband requires assistance with meals and personal care, and Isabel takes him regularly to an exercise group to help improve his function. 

    Isabel’s role as a wife, carer and employee understandably has its stressors, and with limited time in her day, her ...

  • Helping kids to enjoy food

    Dietitians can provide expert advice to help people form healthy relationships with food and enjoy eating, according to Dietitian Karman Liu.

    Karman is a Paediatric Dietitian at Peninsula Health. In the below blog post, she explains how she worked with a young client to expand her diet and make mealtimes a more positive experience.

    Amy*, an 18 month old girl, was referred to me by her paediatrician with poor weight gain due to very limited variety in her diet. Amy had a cow’s milk protein allergy and had also been diagnosed with cyclic vomiting (a syndrome with unknown cause where a person experiences episodes of severe vomiting, nausea and dehydration which can be triggered by certain foods, anxiety and infections) which can result in hospital admissions.

    Because of her medical conditions, Amy had become an extremely fussy eater with very limited food variety. When I first met ...

  • Sue avoids surgery with dietetic support

    Left: Zhoe Wharrington and right a diagram showing how a feeding tube works. 

    The following blog is written by Zhoe Wharrington, a clinical dietitian at Peninsula Health.  

    The role of clinical dietitians isn’t well known in the wider community. We work closely with the doctors to determine the best way to meet our patients’ nutritional needs and optimise their health. This week (12-18th February) is the Dietitians Association of Australia Smart Eating Week, which is encouraging individuals to seek an Accredited Practising Dietitian for individualised nutrition advice.

    Sue, a highly regarded local resident who spends most of her days volunteering for the local community unfortunately found herself in the Frankston Hospital Emergency Department with worsening chronic abdominal pain and unable to eat and drink.

    Sue was seen by the dietitian on admission and was diagnosed with severe ...

  • How psychologists can help people at different points in their life

    Dr Sunaina Seth is a Psychologist in the Aged Persons Mental Health team and Dr Priscilla Yardley is Head of Psychology at Peninsula Health.

    The following blog is written by Peninsula Health psychologists.

    No, we can’t read your mind but we do work with the mind.

    What does a Peninsula Health psychologist do?

    Psychologists at Peninsula Health provide assessment and treatment in a wide range of settings, including physical health, mental health, and community health services.

    Many people at some point in their lives may need for psychological input.

    Here are just a few examples:

    • A child with behaviour problems.
    • An adolescent with severe shyness.
    • Individuals with difficulties in memory and thinking skills. For example, Jo* was assessed by the neuropsychologist and was found to have signs of dementia. Recommendations were made for Jo and his fam ily that included strategies to help Jo with his memory.
    • Parents needing advice and ...
    • Rehab Reflections from an Occupational Therapist

      Nicola with patient Colleen, off on a home visit to make sure Colleen is ready to be discharged home from Rosebud Hospital.

      The following blog is written by Nicola Poole, an Occupational Therapist based in the rehabilitation ward at Rosebud Hospital.

      “You need to be content with small steps. That’s all life is. Small steps that you take every day so when you look back down the road it all adds up and you know you covered some distance,” –Katie Kacvinsky

      This quote aptly frames the journey a lot of therapists and patients experience in rehabilitation. As an Occupational Therapist, it is our job to celebrate the successes no matter how small, empower and enable our patients to reach their goals and engage in meaningful activities which improve quality of life.

      On a day to day basis, we complete varying assessments, task analysis and interventions ranging ...