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Interdisciplinary teamwork leads to hot victory

A team of Monash students from the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have won the first ever HealthFusion Team Challenge – a national event designed to educate tomorrow’s healthcare professionals about collaborative client care.

The six final year students – who study emergency health, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, nursing, health sciences, medicine and pharmacy – travelled to The University of Queensland in Brisbane for the event.

Known as the Holistic Outreach Team (HOT), the Monash students led the pack thanks to their patient-centred and collaborative approach.

“The HOT team have demonstrated that the health disciplines at Monash can come together to learn to deliver better healthcare together,” said Associate Professor Janice Chesters – Acting Director of the Monash University Department of Rural and Indigenous Health – who coordinated Monash’s participation in this new competition.

Organised by HealthFusion the challenge presented students with the case of 35-year-old Maggie, a patient living with complex issues including rheumatoid arthritis, bipolar disorder, sleep disruption, and relationship pressures. The students wrote a detailed healthcare plan for Maggie, and then presented an outline of the plan during a five-minute presentation, after which they were asked further, probing questions by the judges.

Successful in the elimination round, they then responded well to more complex questions in the finals, winning both the judges’ and audience choice award. Parliamentary Secretary to the Queensland Minister for Health, Murray Watt, presented the awards.

“Throughout the preparation phase, round one and the finals, and in accepting the award, all of the HOT team were exemplary” said Deputy Dean Louise McCall  and the Monash support team in Brisbane.

Tegwyn Bath a member of HOT, said that they had learnt how successfully professionals from different disciplines could work together.

“I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to compete and spend four weeks working with an amazing group of fellow future health professionals. It has given me a much greater appreciation that healthcare really needs to be approached from a holistic point of view,” she said.


Occupational therapy student Claire Heath presents her component of the healthcare plan, while nursing student David Slater looks on.

Team HOT receive their award. From left: Aaron Wiggins (Medicine), Claire Heath (Occupational Therapy), Tegwyn Bath (Emergency Health (Paramedic), Ainsley Treadwell (Pharmacy), Christa Jakob (Health Sciences), Benjamin Shipperd (Physiotherapy), David Slater (Nursing), and Murray Watt MP, Queensland Parliamentary Secretary for Health.

Benjamin Shipperd consults his team mates.