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Course taken via upskilling grant enables treatment closer to home

Shelley MilvertonShelley Milverton is a generalist physiotherapist who works at North East Life Yarrawonga. In her role she treats and manages a lot of sporting injuries, musculoskeletal issues, some neurological conditions, clinical pilates and othopaedics. Recently approved to undertake an upskilling grant, Shelley told RWAV how the grant has helped to enhance healthcare in her community.

I understand you were approved for an Health Workforce Scholarship Program grant from RWAV. What was the course and how will this knowledge benefit the delivery of healthcare in your community? 

The course was to become a Lymphoedema Practitioner, Level 1. In my regional area, people affected by lymphoedema, largely secondary lymphoedema due to breast cancer and treatment whether that be mastectomy and clearance of auxiliary nodes, have a high risk of lymphoedema development in the affected upper limb. Currently these patients have to travel over 60 kilometres for available treatment and often through the public system the waitlist is six months. Being able to bring these skills to my community will reduce the waitlist times as well as travel demands to affected people.

How did the course go? Was there anything you learned that you weren’t expecting from the outset? 

The course was great. The venue was easily accessible and very accommodating. There was 120 hours of study all up; some online and two blocks of practical contact time in Melbourne. The content covered had a lot of new aspects to physiotherapy. As to be expected, there was a fair amount of time devoted to meeting representatives from different garment companies that has assisted greatly. Now, I’m back in the workforce with professional contacts that can assist with more complex garment orders. I have found this very useful.

Would you recommend others undertake the grant application process? Why?

I definitely would. The grant process was extremely easy to follow, submit and have feedback throughout the process of being accepted, right down to course fees being reimbursed with the grant. It has allowed me to achieve an extra qualification that I am passionate about. The financial support, I’m very grateful for and I’m sure the clients I can now help will also be very grateful.

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