The idea for a long-distance training and mentoring business was born when my family and I lived in Alice Springs, in the middle of Australia. I experienced the difficulty firsthand, of accessing clinical support and professional development where and when it was needed.
It took me 10 years to transform the idea into reality, just as online learning was taking off everywhere - I almost felt as though I'd missed the boat!!
But I now realise that online mentoring is actually filling a significant gap in neuro upper limb professional development.
Years of presenting 3-day workshops taught me that clinicians DID NOT feel confident to put their theoretical knowledge into practice back in their workplace after the workshop. Instead, ongoing, individualised, setting-specific support is what helped them to apply and integrate their new skills. But that's a very expensive learning model!
So!! Having a LIVE mentor IN THE ROOM, via camera, is a GAMECHANGER for developing both skills and confidence in real-life practice! And the safety of individual and consistent, small-group mentoring allows clinicians to voice their doubts and questions about therapy approaches and modalities without fear of ridicule.
And now I can add online training and mentoring to my list of "favourite things"!
FUN FACTS ABOUT ME: I missed the 'Stroke' exam at uni (I had to do it later in the Head of Department's office!) I was so petrified of anatomy that I swore I'd never work in "Physical"!! And I once had the humiliating experience of a parent telling me that the functional splint I'd made for her daughter was rubbish (but in much clearer terms!)
And now here I am, remembering which muscles fit where, what's causing swan-neck posturing, and making splints that REALLY improve clients' day-to-day function (I know because they tell me). And I'm LOVING it!
I also know that upper limb neuro is complex, challenging, and scary. But I think my experiences show that we CAN get good at something we think is difficult. Especially if we have someone alongside that we can trust with our doubts.
And I strongly believe that learning things on the job, in the right place and at the right time is the best way to do it ... which is another reason that I wanted to set up neurotherapy.online!
I started out working in a residential facility for children with complex disabilities. I had a wonderful Physiotherapist mentor there who helped me to fall in love with both the children and the work!
I've also worked in regular and special schools, a specialist Cerebral Palsy service, community health, a hospital or two, at universities, private practice with children and adults, in urban, rural and remote settings in Australia, and overseas in the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Thailand and Pakistan.
Career-wise, a favourite has been setting up the first upper limb hypertonicity service at the University of Queensland with a friend in 1995 (Yes, I'm OLD)! And developing the clinical reasoning approach that has become the Hypertonicity Intervention Planning Model (HIPM).
I LOVE!!! teaching other therapists how to build expertise and confidence through using the HIPM.
The key concept underpinning my approach to practice is the Hypertonicity Intervention Planning Model (HIPM), an evidence-based method for guiding structured, systematic decision-making and intervention choices.
The primary aim of the HIPM is to encourage the clinician to 'take the long view'
in managing the effects of the person's neurological condition on their upper limb. That means understanding and predicting the likely trajectory of each person's 'upper limb journey' throughout their lifespan, planning interventions accordingly, and always having 'the next option' up your sleeve if needed.
The HIPM clarifies assessment data and guides the clinician to apply interventions methodically and efficiently, removing the guesswork from practice.
Research has shown that the HIPM promotes client-centred practice, even for 'expert' clinicians. It also changes the way that clinicians organise and apply domain-specific (neuro) knowledge when assessing and treating their clients' upper limbs.
Using the HIPM REALLY DOES reduce the hypertonicity overwhelm!
neurotherapyonline acknowledges the Turrbal and Yaggera people as the Traditional Custodians of country surrounding Meanjin/Brisbane
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