The SAM Council’s first AHP Representative, Rachel Wicks, tells us why we must raise awareness of acute medicine among allied health professionals (AHPs).
‘AHPs represent a small proportion of members of the Society. Despite this they are a vital part in the decision making process for patients within an acute medicine pathway to ensure holistic and high quality care is provided. I feel it is important to raise awareness of acute medicine amongst AHPs for a number of reasons.
By seeing acute medicine as a distinct speciality it allows AHPs to define a clear role for themselves within AMUs. It also allows us to recognise the complex clinical reasoning skills and fast decision-making required that is often not utilised to the same extent within other clinical fields. By having a higher perception of our role in acute medicine, it will facilitate greater involvement of AHPs in strategies to develop the field and establish our role within forums such as SAM.
The challenge at present is achieving this awareness. This can be done through a variety of methods but will ultimately depend on how involved the AHPs are currently in your unit. Maybe your unit could discuss the speciality specifically as part of team discussions, or you could work with your workplace to ensure acute medicine is seen as a specialist field by all clinicians. Maybe you could get involved in the Acute Medicine Awareness Day on 20th June 2012. An easy step would be just to ask your AHP colleagues if they even know the society exists and let them know that AHPs can get involved. This year is the first time AHPs have been represented on the council for SAM and as this gives us an opportunity to become more involved in the field of acute medicine, it is important that we seize it.’