Author: Shane Pritchard PhD BPhysio APAM
Director and Musculoskeletal Curriculum Lead
There are many community networks in Australia for physiotherapists to consider, and you may know of some already.
In this blog we’ve summarised some of the largest and most well-known community networks in Australia, according to the condition and stream of physiotherapy practice. We hope this will help increase your awareness of who which networks may be suitable to refer your patients to, and provide some information so you can educate your patients on the supports they may not know they have access to.
Australian Physiotherapy Council (APC) clinical exam requirements
The below table is taken from the Clinical Assessment Information Booklet for Simulation candidates, published by the APC.
Domain 4.6 of “implement safe and effective physiotherapy interventions” outlines what you must demonstrate in your assessment. Note that this is important to do with your patients as well once you’ve passed your exams and are working as clinicians!
Health promotion activities are nearly always indicated as part of delivering an effective intervention. Self-management is empowering, effective, financially sustainable, and is an important part of managing a condition and improving function.
Community networks can provide patients with supports that it might be difficult to provide as a therapist. People can view network websites and provide their family with information about their condition. Speaking with someone who is experiencing the same health condition as you can be reassuring and encouraging. Making patients aware that there are community networks available is part of a comprehensive education plan for physiotherapists.
Community health networks in Australia
We’ve summarized below some prominent community networks according to the stream of physiotherapy practice that they primarily relate to.
Please note this list is not exhaustive, and we cannot provide endorsement for one network over another. Rather, we present these as a list for you to consider and explore.
What other conditions or networks are you aware of?
Please comment below for everyone to see if you know of any others!
Otherwise, please have a look at what each network or group offers, and consider when you might refer patients to these networks.