A wound management nurse practitioner from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Michelle Gibb, receives the Churchill Fellowship.
Nurse practitioner, Michelle Gibb, wants to change the world and improve the health of all Australians, one wound at a time.
Just recently, her dreams were made possible, having been granted Bob and June Prickett Churchill Fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.
Thanks to the scholarship, Michelle Gibb, who is also the President of the Queensland Wound Care Association, will travel overseas for six weeks to work with international wound experts and examine multidisciplinary methods of wound management.
The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) wound management practitioner will visit two of the leading wound care healing centres, located in Wales and Denmark, to explore how Australia could introduce a multidisciplinary approach to wound care.
“I really want to the opportunity to see how wound management services are structured internationally so we can disseminate the information to the broader community here in Australia,” said Ms Gibb.
“Chronic wounds affect so many elderly Australians and it significantly impacts upon their quality of life. It also costs money, not only to the person but the system.”
Ms Gibb said that she favours a multidisciplinary team approach to wound management, which utilizes the skills of different members of a health care team, over our current “fragmented” system, which can prove frustrating at times.
"It can lead to a longer process of care for a patient and delayed wound healing outcomes for people.”
“It is imperative that a team approach is adopted to enable that person’s ability to heal.”
Wound care in Denmark and Wales is a medical specialty, whereas in Australia it is not.
"I want to look at how their models work at providing improved healthcare outcomes and how we might be able to adopt them in Australia. We benchmark against their wound healing outcomes, so we know they are the best in this area.
"This is a fantastic opportunity to see how they do things and bring that knowledge back to Australia."
The timing of Ms Gibb’s trip, she said, could not have been more perfect. The University’s wound care and community outreach service clinic at which she works will soon be restructured.
That means that upon her return, she will have a real opportunity to change local work practices using the valuable lessons learnt overseas.
“Wound management in Australia is just coming into the spotlight and lots of people are looking how to do things better.
“I am very grateful for the sponsorship. Without the Trust’s generous support, this would all not be possible.”