The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccination each year. The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle. The flu shot is approved for use in people 6 months of age and older, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions (for instance: diabetes, heart condition, asthma, COPD, etc).
The ideal time for vaccination is autumn, in anticipation of winter influenza outbreaks. Remember that you are still at risk of getting the flu for about two weeks after vaccination until your body has developed the antibodies that provide the protection against influenza infection.
Our nurse Kathy is an accredited Pap smear provider. For your pap smear you can choose to make an appointment with Kathy or your doctor. It's important to have a routine pap smear every two years to prevent cervical cancer.
We invite all eligible patients to have a health assessment performed. People eligible are the older patient (75 years and over (Items 700 & 702) or, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, 55 years of age and over (Items 704 & 706).
The health assessment provides a structured way of identifying health issues and conditions that are potentially preventable or amenable to interventions in order to improve health and/or quality of life.
The health assessment includes the following components:
The health assessment should also examine:
We are a skin cancer certified clinic. We use the best clinical practice techniques to diagnose and treat skin lesions.
Skin cancer surgery includes excisions.
Joint injections or aspirations (taking fluid out of a joint) are usually performed under local anesthesia in the office or hospital setting. After the skin surface is thoroughly cleaned, the joint is entered with a needle attached to a syringe. At this point, either joint fluid can be obtained and sent for appropriate laboratory testing or medications can be injected into the joint space. This technique also applies to injections into a bursa or tendon to treat tendonitis and bursitis, respectively.
Joint injections are given to treat inflammatory joint conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, tendonitis, bursitis and occasionally osteoarthritis. Corticosteroids are frequently used for this procedure, as they are anti-inflammatory agents that slow down the accumulation of cells responsible for producing inflammation within the joint space.
Commonly injected joints include the knee, shoulder, ankle, elbow, wrist, thumb and small joints of the hands and feet. Hip joint injection may require the aid of an X-Ray called fluoroscopy for guidance. Facet joints of the lumbar spine (low back area) may also be injected by experienced rheumatologists, orthopedists, anesthesiologists, radiologists and physiatrists.
Common side effects include allergic reactions (to the medicines injected into joints, to tape or the betadine used to clean the skin, etc). Infections are extremely rare complications of joint injections and occur less than 1 time per 15,000 corticosteroid injections. Another uncommon complication is “post-injection flare” – joint swelling and pain several hours after the corticosteroid injection – which occurs in approximately one out of 50 patients and usually subsides within several days. It is not known if joint damage may be related to frequent corticosteroid injections. Generally, repeated and numerous injections into the same joint/site should be discouraged. Other complications, though infrequent, include depigmentation (a whitening of the skin), local fat atrophy (thinning of the skin) at the injection site and rupture of a tendon located in the path of the injection.
Are there situations where a joint injection should not be given?
Yes. The most common reasons for not performing a joint injection are the presence of an infection in or around a joint and if someone has a serious allergy to one or more of the medications that are injected into a joint.
BITS Medical Centre runs a diabetic clinic. Patients who suffer from diabetes are invited to be assessed on regular bases. The diabetic reviews includes the following components:
Our doctors have a special interest in mental health. They work in close cooperation with psychologists. A blend of medication and modern psychotherapy as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and mindfulness is very effective in the treatment of anxiety related illnesses.
Our doctors will work with you to assess your mental health, work out what help you need, set goals and choose the treatment that would be best for you. Your GP will also discuss options for treatment and advise you about any other services that might help you. (The plan might also include what to do in a crisis or to prevent relapse.) Once you and your GP have agreed on your goals and what you need to do to achieve them, your GP will write out a mental health care plan. Preparing the plan might take one visit, or it might take a number of visits.
Having a plan is a good way for you to become more involved in your health care. It can help you to set goals, monitor progress and achieve goals. A clear, long term plan can lead to better treatment and is more effective than just dealing with problems as they arise. Having a plan also helps everyone involved in your mental health care (psychiatrists and psychologists, for example) to work towards the same goals. It can also save you money if your GP refers you to other mental health professionals, who can claim for the service through Medicare if you have a GP Mental Health Care Plan. Without a plan you may have to pay the full cost of these services.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Psychotherapy is a form of treatment for emotional and psychological problems where a person talks with a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or counsellor. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that helps a person to change unhelpful or unhealthy thinking habits, feelings and behaviours. CBT involves the use of practical self-help strategies, which are designed to bring about positive and immediate changes in the person's quality of life. A range of applications CBT is used to treat a range of psychological problems including:
CBT is also used to help many more psychological problems. In some cases, other forms of therapy used at the same time may be recommended for best results. Talk to your doctor for further information and advice. The interaction of thoughts, feelings and behaviour The core philosophy of CBT is that thoughts, feelings and behaviours combine to influence a person's quality of life. For example, severe shyness in social situations (social phobia) may stem from the person thinking that other people will always find them boring or stupid. This automatic belief causes the person to feel extremely anxious at social gatherings. Their behaviour may include stammering, sweating and other uncomfortable symptoms. The person then feels overwhelmed with negative emotions (such as shame) and negative self-talk ('I'm such an idiot'). Their fear of social situations may become worse with every bad experience. CBT aims to teach people that it is possible to have control over one's thoughts, feelings and behaviours. CBT helps the person to challenge and overcome automatic beliefs, and use practical strategies to change or modify their behaviour. The result is more positive feelings, which in turn lead to more positive thoughts and behaviours. CBT is a combination of two techniques CBT focuses on changing unhelpful or unhealthy thoughts and behaviours. It is a combination of two therapies: 'cognitive therapy' and 'behaviour therapy';. The underlying belief of both these techniques is that healthy thoughts lead to healthy feelings and behaviours. Some of the underlying theories of these two approaches include:
Cognitive therapy – the aim here is to change the way the person thinks about the issue that's causing concern. Flawed or distorted thoughts cause self-destructive feelings and behaviours. For example, someone who thinks they are unworthy of love or respect may feel withdrawn in social situations and behave shyly. Cognitive therapy challenges these flawed thoughts. Many techniques are available. One technique involves asking the person to come up with evidence to 'prove' that they are unlovable. This may include prompting the person to acknowledge the family and friends who love and respect them. This evidence helps the person to realise that their underlying belief is false. This is called 'cognitive restructuring'. The person learns to identify and challenge flawed thoughts, and replace them with more realistic thoughts.
– the aim here is to teach the person techniques or skills to alter their behaviour. For example, a person who behaves shyly at a party may have negative thoughts and feelings about themselves. They may also lack social skills. Behavioural
therapy teaches the person more helpful behaviours. For example, the person may be taught conversational skills which they practise in therapy and in social situations. Negative thoughts and feelings ease as the person discovers they can enjoy
themselves in social situations.
CBT has a good success rate because it combines the techniques of these two very effective therapies.
What to expect from therapy
The specifics of treatment vary according to the person's problem. However, CBT typically includes the following:
Assessment – this may include filling out various questionnaires to help you describe your particular problem and pinpoint distressing symptoms. You will be asked to complete forms from time to time so that you and the therapist can plot your progress and identify problems or symptoms that need extra attention.
Person education - the therapist provides written materials (such as brochures or books) to help you learn more about your particular problem. The adage 'knowledge is power' is a cornerstone of CBT. A good understanding of your particular psychological problem will help you to dismiss unfounded fears, which will help to ease your anxiety and other negative feelings.
Goal setting – the therapist helps you to draw up a list of goals you wish to achieve from therapy; for example, you may want to overcome your shyness in social settings. You and the therapist brainstorm practical strategies to help fulfil these goals.
Practise of strategies – you practise your new strategies with the therapist. For example, you may role-play difficult social situations or come up with realistic self-talk (how you talk to yourself in your head) to replace unhealthy or negative self-talk.
Homework – you will be expected to actively participate in your own therapy for example, the therapist may ask you to keep a diary and you are encouraged to use the practical strategies during the course of your daily life and report the results to the therapist.
Medication issues – Medication is not always needed. For example, CBT can be as effective as medication in the treatment of depression and anxiety. In other cases, you and your therapist may decide that medication, together with CBT, would produce the best results. For example, people with bipolar disorder usually benefit from medication that helps control their mood swings. Issues to consider before choosing CBT, issues you may like to consider include:
Where to get help
Things to remember
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps the person to change unhelpful or unhealthy habits of thinking, feeling and behaving.
CBT involves the use of practical self-help strategies, which are designed to affect positive and immediate changes in the person's quality of life.
CBT can be as effective as medication to treat depression and anxiety.
Mindfulness is a skill we use to cultivate happiness and clarity. The skill of mindfulness enables us to stay focussed on what matters to us, be flexible of mind, insightful, kind and wise with ourselves and our interactions with others. Whether we are shining brightly in our lives and want to stay fresh and rejuvenated, clear and focussed, or whether we are struggling with stress, unhappiness, depression or difficulty, Mindfulness-based training teaches us new ways to calm ourselves, not get caught in self doubt, reactivity, unhelpful judgements and old entrenched habits and instead, cultivate happiness.