Advanced Open Trauma

SOLD OUT Advanced Open Trauma Course - Melbourne

8:00am Wednesday, 24 July 2019
12:30pm Friday, 26 July 2019
AHTA Courses
Cliftons Melbourne
1/440 Collins Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Advanced Open Trauma will build on existing knowledge of human anatomy, biomechanics and function as well as tissue injury and repair that is taught in the Fundamentals of Hand Therapy workshops. This 2.5-day course enables therapists to identify appropriate therapeutic strategies, splinting, protocols and guidelines depending on the patient's stage in recovery and complications from surgery.

Following this course, you will be able to identify the anatomical structures of the digits, hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder, and describe their specific functions, surgical interventions, healing rates and complications to healing following surgery. Examples may include ORIF, tendon repair, replants, peripheral nerve repair, tendon transfers, and skin grafts/flaps.

During the course, we look in depth at conditions associated with hand and upper limb trauma. You will further develop clinical reasoning skills appropriate to complex clinical scenarios including but not limited to;

  • Fractures
  • Tendon Injuries
  • Ligament Injuries
  • Nerve Injuries
  • Skin Grafting and Free Flaps

This course is structured to allow participants to discuss all types of upper limb trauma with a group of other professionals.

At the completion of this course, therapists will:

  1. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the complex anatomy, biomechanics and pathophysiology that is involved in upper limb multi-trauma.
  2. Describe the pathology and healing process in hand trauma postoperatively and differentiate between complex and common hand and upper limb injuries 
  3. Analyse and interpret information gained from referral, assessment, medical investigations (eg X-ray) and knowledge of the pathophysiology of the upper limb injury/surgery. This is in order to identify the precise nature of the patient's post-operative presenting problem and the clinical reasoning required to solve clinical challenges at differing intervals across the healing cycle.
  4. Where appropriate, practice through demonstration with reliable and valid assessment techniques at differing intervals across the healing cycle.
  5. Develop and describe intervention strategies (which may include an orthotic device/splint) for clients with specific hand and upper limb trauma, supported with sound clinical reasoning and current literature.
  6. Plan short and long-term goals for a patient including the treating surgeon and other members of the health care team. These goals should be realistic and consider the patient's physical and psychological state and their current level of functioning.
  7. Select and implement appropriate intervention strategies while clinically reasoning what effect such interventions will have on the patient’s level of function throughout the treatment process.
  8. Evaluate the effect of intervention throughout the treatment process and vary it according to clinical signs and symptoms and also changes in the relevant literature.
  9. Understand when referral to other health care professionals is appropriate and refer accordingly based on the presenting symptoms.
  10. Encourage patients to accept appropriate responsibility for their ongoing treatment and the outcome of that treatment through education and goal setting.

For further information, please view the course schedule for this course.


Completed Fundamentals of Hand Therapy Course OR
Completed a Masters or postgraduate degree in Hand Therapy (PT/OT) OR
Be an Accredited Hand Therapist as awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association OR
Have a minimum of 3years post-graduate experience in a hand therapy setting


There is an assigned topic that forms the basis of a pre- and post-course assignment as well as participation in our 'expert panel' during the course. The pre-course component requires you and a partner to find 5 recent published journal articles pertinent to your assigned topic, which you will list and submit to the presenters. During the course, you and your partner will form an 'expert panel' with our presenters to discuss this topic with the wider group and finally, you will individually prepare a paper on your assigned topic based on your learnings from the readings and the course content. The details of the assignment will be emailed to you in the lead up to the course and you will be able to nominate preferences for a topic based on your areas of interest. Your final assignment is due 1 month after the conclusion of the course.


There will be practical sessions and it is recommended that you wear comfortable clothing, for example, gym gear.

Professional Development Credit

This is a certificate workshop, so participants are encouraged to undertake the assessment that will allow them to claim 50 CPD hours for attendance at a 2.5-day course, and successful completion of all course assignments. Participants not wishing to undertake assessment may claim 20 hours credit for attendance at 2.5 days. For those wishing to apply to become an Accredited Hand Therapist with the AHTA, this is a core course and successful completion of all components are a requirement for your application. 

Course and Booking Enquiries

To book, please click "Register Attendees" below. For other enquiries, please contact

Registration Closing Date: 5 June 2019 (or until fully booked)

To ensure appropriate catering, please note any dietary requirements when completing the online registration form. Please note that not all requirements can be catered for at all venues.

Please read the Education Cancellation Policy prior to booking your place on this course.

Intellectual Property Disclaimer

By registering for this course you agree that during the course, any contributions verbally or in writing which you make in regards to improving, altering or amending the content of the course, may be used by the AHTA in subsequent courses and will become the intellectual property of AHTA.

Please contact if you have any queries in relation to this disclaimer.

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Additional Information

About the presenter - Vicki Strelan

CHT, OT, Post Grad Dip in H & UL, Grad Cert in Soft Tissue Injuries, Accredited Hand Therapist as awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association

Vicki was selected by the Australian Hand Therapy Association to join their presenter team in 2010, she currently presents courses in Advanced Trauma and Fundamentals of Hand Therapy. Vicki’s interests include multi-trauma, crush injuries and peripheral nerve injuries. Managing common injuries well is also a focus, specifically TFCC, volar plate and distal radius fractures.

At an academic level, Vicki has written and taught the curriculum in hand therapy for fourth-year occupational therapy students and was a senior lecturer at James Cook University. Vicki has spoken at international medical and rehabilitation conferences in Australia and New Zealand. For five years, she was elected to a panel of assessors for occupational therapy to advise the Queensland Minister for Health.

Arm to Palm Upper Limb Clinic (formerly Occupational Impact) is Vicki’s current private practice in Townsville, Queensland, opened in 2006. Her career history includes the formation of Reach Rehabilitation Pty Ltd in 1999, a specialised hand therapy private practice with multiple clinics based in Townsville. That same year Vicki was awarded a graduate diploma in hand and upper limb rehabilitation through Curtin University. In 2010, Vicki achieved a graduate certificate in soft tissue injury management through James Cook University. Apart from typical CPD activities, Vicki creates the opportunity to observe hand surgery in vivo whenever possible.


About the trainee presenter - Melanie McCulloch

OT, Grad Cert Hand Therapy, Accredited Hand Therapist as awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association

Melanie has over 20 years experience in hand and upper limb rehabilitation, working mostly in trauma across both public and private sectors. She is the Director and Senior Hand Therapist at Re-wired Hand Therapy & Nerve Recovery in Melbourne, Victoria. She has extensive experience in the treatment of brachial plexus injury and has presented at National and International conferences including an AHTA workshop on Nerve Transfer Rehabilitation in 2017. Melanie graduated from La Trobe University in Occupational Therapy and has a Graduate Certificate in Hand Therapy from Derby in the UK. She is a current Member of the Credentialing Council of the AHTA.


About the trainee presenter - Kathryn Phillips

BScOT, Post Grad Cert (Soft Tissue Injury Management), Accredited Hand Therapist as awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association

Kathryn graduated as an Occupational Therapist from Curtin University in 1999 and completed graduate studies in soft tissue injury management through James Cook University in 2013. As part of her post-graduate work, Kathryns specialized study focused on Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and she has presented at local OT and AHTA conferences as well as AHTA webinars on this topic.


Kathryn has worked extensively as a senior hand therapist in both Western Australia and in the United Kingdom. In the past she has taught the Hand Therapy unit for undergrad OT students and currently teaches Anatomy and Palpation to undergrad allied health students. Kathryn currently works at Bodyflex Occupational Therapy in Perth where she treats whole body issues as well as hand therapy specific conditions via soft tissue modalities, including Fascial Manipulation (Stecco) and Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisation (Prague Rehab School).

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