This advanced course is focused on teaching you how to conservatively manage pelvic organ prolapse, including how to assess the patient, select the pessary, and fit the appropriate pessary.
This course is presented by Fran Tague, Melissa Davidson, Alice Pan, and Simon Smith.
Fran has extensive experience in fitting and managing pessaries over many years and will be providing this vital training to you. Melissa will be ensuring your assessment and patient management skills are up to speed. Alice will be using her gynaecology skills to teach correct speculum assessments and provide other insights into prolapse management. And Simon, as our business systems go-to person, will be focusing on the business side of pessary management (recalls, tracking, health and safety, etc).
The combination of these four presenters will ensure you leave this course with the knowledge and skills suitable for managing patients with prolapses and pessaries.
As part of the course, pelvic organ prolapse prevalence, risk factors, and incidence will be reviewed, alongside other conservative management strategies such as lifestyle modifications, pelvic floor training, bowel and bladder health. Surgical options for pelvic organ prolapse will also be discussed. Screening, precautions and contraindications will be discussed as well as clinical indications that suggest pessaries will be a suitable option for the patient. Objective measurements of prolapse will be taught using POP-Q staging and Baden Walker scoring, alongside the use of speculums to assess vaginal mucosa integrity. Outcome measures for assessing symptoms and quality of life will also be discussed to ensure your patients' symptoms are improving with pessary use.
You will learn practical skills on how to select the pessary based on your assessment of the patient's vaginal dimensions and levator ani muscles. Your lying and standing assessments will be checked and we will review your objective measurement skills. Fitting of common pessaries (including ring, cube, and gelhorn) will be taught. As part of your course fees, you will be taking home three different types of pessaries to enable you to continue to practice on yourself, or as part of a study group.
Business and recall systems, and how to manage these within your patient management system will be discussed. Common suppliers of equipment and consumables, infection control measures, patient reports, patient screening requests, and patient education handouts will be reviewed, and samples given. Learning when and how to refer on for medical reviews when signs of complications or abnormalities will be discussed.
As part of the post-course requirements, we will be asking you to a complete a logbook of the speculum exams completed, and pessary fittings completed, a case study, a reflective statement, and a peer review (with a health professional in your home region already fitting pessaries if possible). These activities will need to be completed over several months after the two-day teaching weekend. We will also be asking to see your recall system, and health and safety procedures around pessary management in your clinic. These requirements are to ensure you reach acceptable skill levels in all areas of pessary management.
Once you have completed your competency documentation successfully your certificate of completion of the course will be issued.
What people are saying about Melissa's other courses
This is a great course with a good balance of theory and practical components. Melissa makes everyone feel comfortable no matter your previous experience, nervousness, or gender! I highly recommend this course. Also, the food is great! – Derek
Melissa presents and delivers a totally relevant course which sets you up so well with techniques and knowledge you can use immediately on returning to work on Monday. She makes attending a course an absolute pleasure and inspires you to continue improving and learning in a fun and informal way. Oh yes - also great location and food. – Jo
As an Osteopath doing the course, I loved how well it was able to be clinically applied in our line of work. We are lacking on any CPD in this area, here in NZ, so I feel that this really bridges the gap – Angela
How was the food?
- 10. Love it that I could eat most of the food even though I'm on keto :D
- 10 - loved the gut health foods and drinks
- Super yummy, filling, and healthy
- 10 oh yerrrrrr
- All was delicious
- Healthy and delicious
- 10/10 - Great to experience the foods talked about for gut health, will be trying more (with my steak!)
Fran qualified as a physiotherapist in the UK in 1997. Fran's interest in women's and pelvic health began when she started her own family in 2006 and she has subsequently attended a number of courses through Women's Health Training Associates both in Australia and New Zealand; and through Pelvic Health Training by Dr Melissa Davidson. Fran has been a teaching assistant on Melissa's Internal Course and is now stepping up to teach in her area of expertise, pessaries.
Dr Melissa Davidson
Melissa is the only registered Specialist Physiotherapist in Pelvic Health in New Zealand. Alongside her 33 years of clinical practice, Melissa has extensive post graduate qualifications including a PhD in Bioengineering, research Masters from Melbourne, a Diploma in Advanced Orthopaedic Manipulations from Canada, and Post Graduate Certificates in Physiotherapy in both Pelvic Floor and Acupuncture. She also has a Certificate in Health Science, is registered with the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand under Specialist Scope of Practice and is a long-term member of Physiotherapy New Zealand. She is the current President of the International Organisation of Physiotherapists in Pelvic and Women's Health.
Dr Alice Pan
Dr Alice Pan is a New Zealand trained generalist Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, graduating from Otago Medical School in 2005 and achieving FRANZCOG in 2017. She lives, works and plays in beautiful Rotorua with her husband and daughter. Alice believes in empowering women to take ownership of their health, by listening and offering a range of options to suit their needs.
Simon is the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) and Co-Founder of Dr Melissa Davidson Pelvic Health Training. Simon uses his business and management experience to work behind the scenes dealing with the business systems of physiotherapy practices. He provides one-on-one business consultancy with private practice owners to improve their businesses processes, cash flow, efficiency, and at the same time reduce the owners' (and employees') stress levels.
There are limited places available on this course. Females, males, and gender diverse health professionals are invited to take part in this course.
To attend this course, you must already be practicing as a pelvic health professional and completing internal examinations with patients. You must be a registered health professional in good standing in New Zealand or your home country.
Prerequisites to attend this course for therapists:
You must have completed the following courses with Dr Melissa Davidson Pelvic Health Training:
INTERNALS: Intro to Pelvic Health Internals; and
INTERMEDIATE: Intermediate Pelvic Health;
AND have at least one year's practical experience performing regular patient vaginal examinations.
If you have completed other courses where internal examination skills are taught, or are unsure if you have enough practical experience to meet the pre-requisites, please contact Melissa at [email protected].
If you are a nurse, GP, or gynaecologist already doing regular vaginal examinations, you do not have to have attended any of our courses.
As this is a practical course which involves internal examinations, participants must be willing and able to have vaginal examinations done on them by fellow attendees (if appropriate). By using peer-to-peer learning, participants gain vital learning on how it feels to be a patient, as well as a health professional. This course allows people of all genders an opportunity to learn from each other and gain vital, practical clinical skills.
We will ensure the environment is private and supportive. Informed consent is discussed in detail on the course, and you will have the ability to consent or not consent to internal examination at the time of the assessments.
If you have your period, internal examinations can still be completed. Low risk pregnancies are not a contraindication to internal examinations, however, please get in touch with Melissa to discuss prior to registering on the course as you may not be able to have pessaries fitted.
Some people may have known or unknown 'triggers' that might cause them psychological stresses on the course. Please let Melissa know in advance if you have any known triggers so we can adjust things for you to make your learning these techniques as comfortable as possible.
Morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea will be provided. If you have specific food requirements or allergies, we recommend you bring your own food with you.
The course is held at Melissa's home in Kinloch. Ripley and Strider, our two black labs, are ready, willing and able to provide cuddles as a key ingredient to a successful learning experience. It is recommended that you don't wear white and don't take a ball from Strider if he offers you one :-). If having dogs present on the course in the main teaching room is going to be an issue for you, I suggest doing a pessary course in a different location.
Pre-reading will be provided to complete prior to the course starting. A pre-course test needs to be completed prior to the course to ensure the pre-reading has been completed.
There will be practical assessments during the course testing clinical assessment skills learned on the weekend to ensure at the end of the course you are competent. These are completed throughout the weekend and done in a relaxed, comfortable fashion. You will need to pass these assessments to complete the course.
A post-course test and evaluation will need to be completed immediately after the two-day course. There will also be competency documentation that needs to be completed over several months prior to you receiving your completion certificate.
$1,150* including GST for the two day course.
*Includes competency documentation reviews, and three pessaries. The costs of running this course are higher than other internal courses due to the multiple presenters, and the resources and consumables needed to ensure you can become competent in this area. This course is not eligible for a cashback discount for Pelvic Health CONNECT members.
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