Cameron Dick visited hospitals across the Fraser Coast earlier this week.
Cameron Dick visited hospitals across the Fraser Coast earlier this week. Blake Antrobus

Flowchart a stroke of genius for Fraser Coast social workers

THE emotional pain of going through a stroke isn't readily understood, but social workers on the Fraser Coast are leading the way with the screening of patients after an incident.

Senior social worker at Maryborough Hospital's Rehabilitation Unit Peta McLean, and senior social worker in Hospital to Community Rebecca Torkington have developed a stroke-specific screening flowchart to develop a comprehensive Post Stroke Mood Assessment Pathway for patients.

The success of the new graph has seen them present their findings at two major conferences for clinical workers.

Ms McLean said the National Stroke Foundation recommended that all people should be screened for a mood disorder following a stroke.

"It's an area where we need to improve because we know that about a third of patients experience depression after having a stroke," she said.

"The flowchart assists staff know what tools to use in assessing for depression and anxiety in stroke patients. Our job was to research which ones were reliable and effective tools to use in the stroke population and adapt a pathway to suit our area health service."

The Maryborough Rehabilitation Unit had the highest rate of post-stroke mood screenings across the stat, sitting at 100% alongside QEII Hosptial.

The hospital also recorded more than 40% rise in interventions of some kind for patients who were experiencing depression following their stroke.

Health and ambulance services minister Cameron Dick praised the work of the pair during his visit to the Fraser Coast to announce new jobs for the Wide Bay Linen Group earlier this week.

"(They) are illustrations of the high calibre of staff we have in our hospitals statewide," he said.

"They have teamed up to improve the mood screening of patients in an effort to improve their emotional as well as physical health outcomes.

"Their work is a stroke of genius from two compassionate and talented healthcare professionals, as far as I'm concerned."



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