Allied health burns specialists honoured at Rotary Allied Health Awards

Allied health burns specialists honoured at Rotary Allied Health Awards

A GROUP of allied health professionals dedicated to burns patients won the overall Rotary Allied Health Award last Monday.

The award recognises service above self and a commitment to activities that contribute to better patient outcomes.

The team beat 53 teams from across the state to take out the award after securing the Teaching, Training and Research category.

Two of the team hold doctorates and three more are studying their PhDs.

As a senior dietician, Michelle Cork’s role is to ensure all burns patients get the right nutrition to heal as quickly as possible, which was especially important for people with larger burns to more than 15 per cent of their body.

“There is lots of evidence to show good nutrition can help them heal faster which reduces their length of stay and reduces their risk of infection,” she said.

Patients often had very low appetites and the body’s response to the burns tended to push the metabolic rate right up and draw from muscle mass, so patients needed high protein, high calorie diets to minimise weight loss.

Ms Cork and senior social worker Tiffany Ryan nominated their team for the award because they felt it was the best functioning group in which they had participated.

Ms Ryan said the statewide service saw people from diverse social situations and her goal was to keep the family unity as strong as possible during a patient’s recovery.

The allied health team for the State Adult Burns Unit includes occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dietetics, social work and clinical psychology.

Burns physiotherapists have travelled to Nepal to help allied health staff members from Nepal develop skills in burn care and occupational therapists regularly provide scar management education through Telehealth.

Most research undertaken is supported by the Fiona Wood foundation for which some allied health team members raised more than $3000 through the recent Central Park Plunge fundraising event.