As trusted primary care providers, general practitioners have a unique opportunity to identify and manage patients facing various forms of abuse, violence and neglect, which may have escalated during the Covid pandemic and affect children, adults (often women) and the elderly. The Foundation Certificate of Domestic Abuse and Violence covers the role of the GP in preventing, intervening, supporting and following up victims of suspected abuse, in addition to helping vulnerable patients access support services and continuing care.
The knowledge gained in the online certificate course will enable you to assess and manage neglect, physical and sexual abuse in children and women in primary care, and equip you with an understanding of elder abuse issues, injury types and the effects of ageing on healing – including an overview of mandatory reporting and onward referral.
The Sonic Healthcare Foundation Certificate of Men’s Health provides an introduction to men’s health conditions commonly seen in primary care, covering crucial areas such as prostate conditions, prostate cancer, STIs, and lifestyle choices. The gender-specific health needs of men are a significant part of day-to-day work in general practice. It is therefore crucial that primary care physicians have the necessary skills to address common concerns among their male patients, improving outcomes and saving lives.
The online Foundation Certificate of Men’s Health is delivered by Sonic Healthcare and provides an entry point into the HealthCert Certificate Course and the Men’s Health pathway, quality-assured by Bond University.
Upon completion of the Sonic Healthcare Foundation Certificate, participants will receive Recognition of Prior Learning and financial credit towards the Professional Certificate of Men’s Health, and will have to complete four online modules and an online assessment to qualify for the university quality-assured certificate. Professional Certificate graduates can then continue on their education pathway towards the Advanced Certificate.
This course is the first stage of the Certificate Courses of Men's Health. The education pathway is: Sonic Healthcare Foundation Certificate of Men's Health, Professional Certificate of Men's Health and Advanced Certificate of Men's Health.
The Foundation Certificate of Domestic Abuse & Violence is tailored for medical practitioners who wish to improve patient outcomes by identifying and supporting victims of neglect, abuse and violence in primary care.
This course is for physicians and degree-qualified health professionals. There are no prerequisites. Participants will require access to a computer/laptop, an internet connection and a basic level of technology proficiency to access and navigate the online learning portal.
Participants who have already successfully completed the module on Domestic Violence and Women's Health as part of the HealthCert Professional Certificate of Women's Health may request a one-module reduction in fees for this course. The module examination questions will still need to be completed to ensure knowledge remains current.
Course participants will:
Module 1: Child physical abuse and neglect
This module opens with the definition, prevalence and legislation of child maltreatment. The process of mandatory reporting is provided. The module includes clinical images of various trauma injuries include bruises, abrasions, burns and bites that relate to physical abuse. The module outlines the clinical process when physical abuse or neglect is displayed. Presenting features including risk factors of both guardians and the child are discussed. Factors that raise suspicion of abuse are outlined. Cutaneous injuries including bruising and burns are described and supported by clinical images. Differential diagnoses are considered including dermatological conditions. The consequences of abuse are considered. The module focuses on the role of the GP including presenting features, risks and the process of managing these clinical presentations including the involvement of paediatric forensic and support services.
Module 2: Child sexual abuse
This module commences with outlining sexual offences against children – this may depend on jurisdictions. Definitions, prevalence and legislation details are included. The male and female ano-genital anatomy is described. The process of forensic examinations for sexual assault are outlined, featuring a clinical case. The module focusses on the role of the GP and how a child may present. This includes features and signs to consider regarding the guardian’s characteristics and the child’s presenting profile. The process of managing these clinical presentations including aftercare are outlined. STIs, mental health and associated medical conditions are considered. The involvement of paediatric forensic and support services complete this module.
Module 3: Domestic abuse
This module reviews the definition and support mechanisms when patients present who are in a domestic abuse relationship. Statistics related to its prevalence and impact both worldwide and in Australia are listed. It discusses the role of general practitioners in responding, supporting and treating women who disclose experiences of domestic violence in a supportive, non-judgemental manner. The module covers signs and symptoms for identification of domestic violence including psychological and behavioural symptoms. Screening information is a key tool in addition to understanding reasons why a woman does not find it easy to leave an abusive relationship. Techniques to provide a safe environment and how to respond to disclosures including follow up care and responsibilities are addressed. Finally, this module gives advice about the most effective response to patient disclosure both immediately and as part of a long-term plan for follow up and continuing care, including information about available resources and support services.
Module 4: Elder abuse
This module opens with the definition and estimated prevalence of elder abuse. The ageing and healing processes of the skin and bones is detailed including images. The module outlines the physical signs of elder abuse and the possible causal factors for these injuries. Bruising injuries are discussed including differential diagnoses – for example, bleeding disorders and medications. Suspicious bruising, abrasions, lacerations and incisions are outlined and supported with clinical images. Bites, burns and fractures are also considered. The module then moves to self-harm, defensive and other injuries including sexual assault injuries. How to assess and avoid errors are discussed. The module discusses the GP role and includes why it’s easy to fail to diagnose this challenging area. Risk factors, signs and symptoms covering general, physical, sexual, emotional, economic and neglect are incorporated. Support services information complete this module.
A/Prof John Gall
University of Melbourne
Associate Professor John Gall is an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne and the director and principal of a private health clinic offering general medicine and a full range of occupational and forensic medical services. He is a Senior Consultant to the Victorian Forensic Paediatric Medical Service, Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne.
Dr Sharon Sykes
MBBS, Bachelor of Applied Science (Med Lab Sci) and a Fellowship of the RACGP
Dr Sharon Sykes works in private general practice in Port Macquarie, Australia where she is also a supervisor of GP registrars and of medical students. Dr Sykes served 18 years in the Royal Australian Air Force before becoming a general practitioner. She has a special interest in medical education and has previously worked as a medical educator for North Coast GP Training.
She holds a MBBS, Bachelor of Applied Science (Med Lab Sci) and a Fellowship of the RACGP.
Independent reviewer: Dr Ramya Raman
MBBS, BSSc, DCH
Co-Deputy chair for RACGP WA
GP REGISTRARS: Doctors in training who are on a pathway to General Practice Registration through a recognised training provider receive a HealthCert Scholarship and save $500 on face-to-face certificate courses (two-day practical workshops) and $300 on online and hybrid certificate courses (one-day practical workshop with supporting online theory). This offer cannot be used in conjunction with the Early Bird special.
The Foundation Certificate of Domestic Abuse & Violence is delivered online. Participants can enjoy the flexibility to study at their own pace, in their own time, within their home or office, and on their favourite mobile device. The modules are set up in such a way that participants are not required to be online at specific times but can view and replay the video lectures at their convenience.
Upon successful completion of the course, course participants will receive a Foundation Certificate of Domestic Abuse & Violence.
RACGP: CPD Accredited Activity 40 Points
ACRRM: PDP units: 17 Educational activity, 8 Performance review
This Foundation Certificate:
This online three-part program consists of the Professional Certificate, Advanced Certificate, and Complex Clinical Audit of Men's Health.
Certified clinical attachments pathway
Course graduates may continue their professional development by completing a clinical attachment, which are available on request. These will be on a 1:1 basis providing the opportunity to observe clinical nutrition consultation, planning and decision-making and ask questions of the expert. Clinical attachments are available in Australia.
Postgraduate pathway for Men's health
A postgraduate pathway is currently being identified. Please check with HealthCert Education Advisors for an update.