The University of Newcastle, Australia

With so many different career paths and specialisations, it’s hard to know how the degree can apply to you. That’s why we’re sharing Joanna’s story and how she used the Master of Traumatology to advance her career.

My name’s Joanna, and I’m a Senior Physiotherapist at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. The Alfred Hospital is the largest volume Major Trauma Service in Australia. I’ve always found providing care for trauma patients very interesting, challenging and rewarding. No patient is ever the same and they require complex care provision and clinical reasoning.

After originally studying a Bachelor of Health Science I went on to complete a Graduate Entry Master of Physiotherapy Studies. I began thinking about pursing postgraduate education in 2014. Unfortunately, there are few postgraduate coursework programs that are specifically for physiotherapists, and those that exist, aren’t targeted to physiotherapists working in the acute setting.

I first heard about the University of Newcastle’s Master of Traumatology at The Australian Trauma Conference in 2016. The content sounded extremely relevant and was everything I wanted to learn. I was immediately excited about the course and without hesitation I submitted my application. The fact that the delivery mode was all online and could be completed on a part-time or full-time basis made it even more appealing. The lectures, readings and tasks/assignments were released on a weekly basis, allowing for flexibility to engage when it fitted in with my schedule.

The course content provided good insights into how a successful trauma system functions, the different types of trauma systems, as well as pre-hospital care, critical care, orthopaedic, vascular, neuro, visceral and chest trauma and management strategies. It also covered important skills such as research development, epidemiology and biostatistics. The content was delivered by experts from within the trauma field who were able to provide the most up to date evidence and insights on how this is implemented in the clinical setting.

We were also required to contribute to discussion boards which allowed for robust debate and differing perspectives from other health professionals to be heard. The compulsory 3-day workshop at the end of the course was a great opportunity to improve my public speaking skills, network and build relationships with health professionals from a variety of disciplines.

My workplace was fantastic in supporting my postgraduate study – they allowed and encouraged me to take study leave as required and supported me when I had assignments due or exams. For those currently working in the industry, I’d recommend understanding the entitlements and study leave you have available to you. It’s also really important that you allow enough time to study so that you can get the most out of the course. I recommend setting aside a couple of hours every day or one big chunk of time on a set day.

Since completing the Master of Traumatology, I was appointed to Senior Trauma Physiotherapist at The Alfred Hospital, in which I am the lead for the trauma physios as well as the other allied health disciplines. I’ve also been involved in quality improvement and research projects at The Alfred and look forward to being able to further contribute to allied health trauma research in the future.

Overall, I had a fantastic experience studying at the University of Newcastle. The content was relevant, engaging and evidence-based and was delivered by experts within the field. I would highly recommend this course to any health professionals wanting to expand their knowledge in the field of trauma.

Study Traumatology

Joanna Lane_profile

Joanna Lane

Joanna Lane studied a Master of Traumatology at the University of Newcastle and is now working as a Senior Trauma Physiotherapist.

Overall, I had a fantastic experience studying at the University of Newcastle. The content was relevant, engaging and evidence-based and was delivered by experts within the field. I would highly recommend this course to any health professionals wanting to expand their knowledge in the field of trauma.