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Why Did They Leave and What Can They Tell Us?: Allied Health Professionals Leaving Rural Settings

  • Year: 2010
  • Author: O'Toole, Kevin; Schoo, Adrian; Hernan, Andrea
  • Journal Name: Australian Health Review
  • Journal Number: Vol. 34, No. 1
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: Victoria

The aim of this paper is to explore the lack of retention of allied health professionals in rural areas in Victoria, Australia.A structured telephone interview was used to elicit responses from 32 allied health professionals from south-west, central-west and north-east Victoria about their working experiences and reasons for resignation. The data revealed that work experiences in rural areas can be summarised within three domains: organisational, professional and personal/ community. Under the organisational domain the participants were mainly focussed on the way in which their work arrangements require them to be both more generalist in their approach to day-to-day work, and more expansive in shouldering management style functions in the workplace. Under the professional domain there were three major issues; clinical, career and education/training. The personal/community domain focussed on issues to do with their affinity for their workplace as well as their location in a rural place. The attempts by government to address some of the leading factors for retention of allied health professionals are perhaps too narrowly focussed on the public sector and could encompass a wider approach.

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