Building management skills for work and an emerging specialisation

26 May 2020

Beth McDonald, a physiotherapist, decided to upskill and gain a qualification in management. The course delivered tangible benefits in her clinical work, and opened up the possibility for an exciting new specialisation.

“I was working as a physiotherapist for Western Health in aged care and rehabilitation. Over time I started thinking about further study, but was unsure of what course to do. My mentor encouraged me to complete the Graduate Certificate in Management to develop my leadership, project management and people skills.

Studying at VU Polytechnic made sense, due to its strong collaborative relationship with Western Health. The practical nature of the course meant that rather than learning abstract theories, I was able to immediately apply what I was learning into my role at Western Health.

The course enabled me to step up to the leadership and responsibilities expected of a senior physiotherapist. Clinically, it changed how I engage with stakeholders and gave me the confidence to voice my concerns and ideas to management. The course also allowed me to progress a quality improvement project I had started at work, which I then used as a basis for my work-based project assessment.

After I completed my course, I decided to pursue further study in Veterinary Physiotherapy. The project management skills I have gained during the Graduate Certificate in Management have enabled me to successfully balance this with my ongoing physiotherapist and honorary research work. It’s been really rewarding to continue working at Western Health to finish my quality improvement project, and I aspire to publish the research later this year.

After completing the Veterinary Physiotherapy course, I plan to use the leadership skills I developed at VU Polytechnic to raise the profile of animal physiotherapy in Australia. When discussing my qualifications with canine rehabilitation business owners, they have been very interested in my skills in management and my ability to assist them with managing their businesses. I’m confident that the Graduate Certificate in Management has given me the edge to be successful in gaining future senior physiotherapist positions – working with either humans or animals!”

Beth McDonald outside with two dogs

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