The essential toolkit for health care professionals to identify and respond to domestic and family violence

A new short course has been specifically designed for busy healthcare professionals to equip them with the skills to recognise and respond to the sensitive topic of domestic and family violence.

The course was developed by clinician academics Kelsey Hegarty and Renee Fiolet, from the University of Melbourne, in line with recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Kelsey is a professor and a general practitioner who works across the University and the Royal Women’s Hospital. Renee is a doctoral student with a nursing background.

Domestic and family violence causes physical and psychological harm, particularly to women, children and families, and undermines communities.

The Royal Commission suggested health care professionals required adequate training and healthcare services needed to provide a whole-of-service response.

The course, Identifying and Responding to Domestic and Family Violence, is accessible from any smart device, including a mobile phone and tablet, as well as a computer.

“Mobile learning is an ideal option for doctors and nurses to upskill on this sensitive and critical topic,” Renee said.

“Our course contains a practical toolkit for clinicians to recognise risk and respond to domestic and family violence. This valuable resource for busy clinicians can be referred to at any time, right from a mobile phone” Kelsey said.

The course introduces practitioners to the nature and impact on health of this chronic social condition and their role in the service system.

It addresses when and how to sensitively recognise families presenting with risk factors and symptoms of domestic and family violence and guides clinicians on how to respond safely and appropriately.

The course facilitates practitioners to review and reflect on their health setting environment, and assess their need for support, to carry out this sensitive and important work.

There is further guidance on how to refer and record cases of domestic and family violence, including what information practitioners can share with other services.

For more information on the course see our website or contact the Mobile Learning Unit