Aquatic Physiotherapy in times of Covid

Everything is online these days, including professional development for physios across Australia.

Thanks to the 73 physios who joined Judy Larsen, Jillian Chua, Adrian Benson and myself this evening talking about our experiences in managing aquatic physiotherapy services during the COVID - 19 pandemic.

Representatives from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Warnambool discussed their initial responses in what was a rapidly evolving situation; and how they are currently managing reopening of aquatic physiotherapy services (clinical reasoning, risk management, hygiene practices).

At the time of preparing the professional development event, Splash Physio was deep in working through risk management and precautions to reopen face to face services at Splash. We returned to some face to face land sessions in the first week of the school holidays, where distance could be maintained, and where physios and Splash families were not residing in the locked down hotspot suburbs.

We started our intensive in the second week of the school holidays with some families choosing telehealth and others getting back into the pool with aquatic physiotherapy. Unfortunately the lockdown for Melbourne metropolitan region was announced on the Tuesday afternoon, and we returned to telehealth yet again.

It was a heavy and hectic few days and weeks leading up to this professional development event, and it was difficult to be speaking on a panel with interstate colleagues who were in a much safer position than we were at the time. However Melbourne knows how to get through a lockdown and can do it again. We remain incredibly proud of our Splash families and teams who have worked so well together over telehealth, smashing goals and having plenty to achieve over term 2. Term 3 will be no different, whether we see you through a screen or in person.

Thanks to the panel for sharing your experiences and expertise, Andrea from the Australian Physiotherapy Association for managing all the registrations and tech side of things, and Fisiocrem who is sponsoring the APA's online professional development delivery.

Shayna Gavin is a physiotherapist who is passionate about helping babies, children and young people learn functional skills so they can participate in life at home, school and in their community. Recognising that children do best in their own environments, she visits homes, schools, and leisure activities from football fields to ballet classes. She also has daily aquatic physiotherapy sessions available at two private swimming schools in Moonee Ponds and Greensborough, Melbourne. She combines principles of paediatric physiotherapy, Contemporary Neuro Developmental Treatment, motor learning, and swimming teaching to address the individual needs of each child and their family. She loves providing professional development to physiotherapists, allied health and education professionals, allied health assistants and swimming teachers.

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