Monday, 1 August 2016

Meet orthopaedic trauma physiotherapist and PhD student Lara Kimmel

Lara Kimmel is an orthopaedic trauma physiotherapist at The Alfred and in her line of work treats patients who have suffered a variety of injuries such as falls, workplace injuries and motor vehicle accidents. It was her work at the coalface that made her passionate about a patient’s journey from admission to discharge, in particular the importance of a patient’s rehabilitation outcomes as a result of a discharge destination which meets their specific needs. 

Q: Summarise your thesis in two or three sentences.

A: The aim of my thesis was to identify the predictors of discharge to inpatient rehabilitation, and to further understand the discharge destination decision making process following orthopaedic trauma in working aged adults. The association between discharge destination and patient outcomes was also assessed in this population.

Q: What were you doing before you started your PhD and where?

A: I undertook my PhD part time and continued working 4 days a week as a physiotherapist at the Alfred. I have been working at The Alfred for over 20 years.

Q: Do you have any idea of what you'd like to do after finishing your PhD?

A: Twenty years on and I’m not sick of being a physio yet! I hope to continue in my clinical role post PhD, and am keen to include more research into my working week.

Q: What's been the greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

A: I actually found the PhD process pretty smooth, mainly due to my excellent supervisors and the Pre-hospital, Emergency and Trauma (PET) group that I was lucky enough to be working alongside. I think that doing my PhD part time suited me as I didn’t think about it all the time or obsess over it too much.

How did you hear about SPHPM and why did you choose to study with us?

I have been working in trauma for many years and was particularly passionate about the discharge destination issue. I met Belinda Gabbe and other member of the VOTOR (Victorian Orthopaedic Trauma Outcomes registry) team at conferences and approached her to do some research. She convinced me that a PhD was the way to go and the rest is history.

Q: Choose three words to describe SPHPM.

A: Friendly, enthusiastic and experts (in their individual fields).

Q: What do you like doing outside of your office hours?

A: I nap at any chance I can get and enjoy watching the AFL and almost any crappy TV show that I can find.

What's your favourite local place near the Alfred?

A: There is never a morning tea that you won’t find several Alfred physios at Beluga CafĂ© for coffee and I try to get there as often as I can.

Q: How far into your PhD are you?

A: I have submitted my PhD (and found a mistake when copying a line from it to describe my PhD for this blog) and am waiting for the examiners to get back to me.

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