A burns education study day for Midland region physiotherapists

Sheena Fleet

Senior Physiotherapist, Waikato District Health Board, Waikato Hospital, Pembroke Street, Hamilton, 3204, NZ. Sheena.Fleet@waikatodhb.health.nz

Burn survivor rehabilitation is a complex and specialised area. It can be challenging to maintain confidence and competence with rehabilitation intervention, especially if you are not exposed to theses clients regularly. This would be the case for most physiotherapists who are not based in either a Regional or the National Burns Unit (NBU). A recent survey completed by the NBU found that there was a lack of knowledge and confidence in the treatment of burn injuries from both Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists around the country. To help address this lack of confidence, knowledge and potential feeling of professional isolation, a burns education study day was established. This was a piloted specifically for physiotherapists in the Midland Region.   It was important for the attendees to have an appreciation of the holistic approach necessary for successful rehabilitation and so a variety of medical and allied health professionals presented.

The study day was a success with Physiotherapy representation from across the region and also from the NBU. Both confidence and knowledge post study day had increased on average by 22% and there was also very positive feedback around the benefits of networking and building communication links, especially around face to face attendance rather than online training. There was extensive feedback on the benefits of making the study day a regular fixture, reaching a wider audience geographically and inviting multiple disciplines.  Looking forward, there may be potential to make this educational forum a further reaching and regular event.

Key Words

Physiotherapy, midland region, education, best practice, allied health, rehabilitation


I am a Physiotherapist working at Waikato Hospital in Hamilton, NZ.  I trained in Glasgow, Scotland and moved to New Zealand in 2007.  I have been specialising in burn rehabilitation on our specialist surgery wards for the last 8 years and very much enjoy working in this area. I also work in a busy musculoskeletal outpatients physiotherapy service and enjoy that I am able to assist my patients throughout their long journey from burn injury to full rehabilitation.

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