I am officially back up and running after my week away at the 25th National Conference on Incontinence in Adelaide. What a whirlwind of learning, networking, inspiration and motivation! I was so honoured that I was asked to attend and I have come back with even more tricks up my sleeve for helping my patients.
When you attend an event such as the 25th National Conference on Incontinence, you get an opportunity to reflect on where you have come from professionally and your strengths and challenges as a clinician. You may even get a glimpse into a future where you could aspire to be a leader in your field, delivering research and insight into continence management. For me, this was certainly the case, and during my week in Adelaide, I walked amongst the giants of uro-gynaecology, obstetrics, physiotherapy, nursing and continence management.
Beyond enhancing my clinical skills and bridging some of the challenges I face as a continence physiotherapist, the conference gave me inspiration to challenge the status quo, motivation to pioneer and progress the field of continence management, and the drive to never accept ‘good enough’ in the pursuit of better health outcomes, particularly as I face the challenges of rural and regional health care.
There is no doubt that as a result of attending the conference I have gained invaluable knowledge and insight relating to the assessment and treatment of my clients suffering from incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction. Highlights? Building on my understanding of how men and women differ. Aside from the obvious, we are very different beings, and respond very differently to the way we talk, engage and learn about our pelvic floor. And yes, men have a pelvic floor too! I have new tips for helping men in my clinic understand their own pelvic floor, which is really cool! Unfortunately they didn’t have any insights into improving ‘husband-housework’ communications :P.
A brilliant speaker and Professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, Ian Milsom from Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden from also gave us insight into his ‘calculator’ system to understanding which women are more at risk of pelvic floor damage from pregnancy and childbirth, so we can identify, support and treat these women early. Prevention leading the way!
More brilliant leaders in pelvic floor physiotherapy had their voices heard at the 25th National Conference on Incontinence and this was reassuring for me as a fellow physiotherapist. I was also inspired by the range of different health professionals and specialists who believed in the role that physiotherapy has to play in continence management, and I hope to take that inspiration to continue to progress our industry toward a truly collaborative and multidisciplinary health care environment.
In my next blog, I will tell you a little bit more about the male pelvic floor (yes, it does exist!) and how to get your men practising good pelvic floor habits. Until then…
Be kind to yourself,