I’d like to introduce myself as the new Clinical Educator for Polio Australia. I am stepping into the role that Paul Cavendish has performed since its inception. While I feel I have some big shoes to fill – given the amazing efforts of Paul expanding the program from the initial pilot workshop – there is still much to be done to improve polio education levels amongst health professionals across Australia.
My professional background lies in two fields – education and physiotherapy. I spent about four years primary teaching in the Wide Bay area in QLD, before transferring to a Brisbane school for a few years. Needing a change and taking the opportunity to pursue a shelved dream, I headed to the US to travel and study for a few years. (I am fortunate enough to be a dual citizen, thanks to my mother.) A few years in the US turned into sixteen years. These years included obtaining my Physical Therapy degree in California, getting married, moving to Colorado, working in a rehabilitation hospital in Northern Colorado, and raising a young child.
During my physio training I successfully applied for and then spent twelve clinical weeks at Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation National Hospital, in Downey, California. It was there that I found my calling for managing and treating complex patients, and where I had some invaluable time in their Polio Clinic. Serving as the therapy department clinical educator for a number of years in Colorado, I noted unawareness about Post Polio Syndrome amongst our staff. This, and the relief expressed by patients who I spoke to that at least someone knew about their condition, led me to educate our staff on the topic.
Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with those attending the Polio Australia Retreat, and to present a session topic… which serendipitously led me to accepting this role and writing this introduction!
I look forward to meeting you when I am in your area, and helping those who care for you do so from a position of knowledge and understanding.
Michael Jackson M.P.T., B.Ed.
Michael will be delivering the Clinical Practice Workshops program.