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Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this paper is to quantify time spent by allied health professionals in allied health assistant supervision and to explore allied health assistant supervision from an allied health professional perspective. Method: A convergent parallel mixed method design was used. Forty-seven allied health professionals were surveyed, and 18 allied health professionals participated in focus groups, providing different but complementary data with the aim of gaining a more complete understanding of allied health assistant supervision load. Results: Allied health professionals report spending 10% of their workday supervising allied health assistants. Descriptive interpretation of the focus group data presents evidence that allied health professionals in this local health district lacked knowledge of allied health assistant training, skills, and roles, and that this gap in understanding affected their ability to supervise and delegate to allied health assistants. Conclusion: The findings were found to support improving knowledge and skills of allied health professionals relating to supervision of allied health assistants.

Author Bio(s)

Patrick Brown is the Allied Health Assistant and Workplace Flexibility Coordinator for the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District. He is a registered Physiotherapist in the state of NSW, Australia and works in private practice.

Dr Sue Fitzpatrick is the Executive Director of allied Health for Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District. She is a registered Speech Pathologist in the state of New South Wales, Australia.

Rowena Hockey is a Senior Community Physiotherapist in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District. She is a registered Physiotherapist in the state of New South Wales, Australia.

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