November 29, 2019

Fiona Moate: Clinical Excellence in Hand Therapy

Fiona Moate, Hand Therapist who has been working at Northern Health for 17 years, won the Clinical Excellence Award at the last quarterly Staff Recognition Awards. She was recognised for her dedicated and outstanding clinical skills in assessment, splint fabrication and treatment provision for patients following complex hand trauma.

Laurelle Bland, who nominated her, said Fiona keeps up to date with current research by attending courses and reading literature, and implements this into her practice.

“She brings new treatment ideas to the team and encourages others to do the same,” said Laurelle.

Laurelle also nominated her as she feels Fiona instils confidence in patients and colleagues by being informative, respectful and fair. Additionally, she has been involved in an Advanced Practice Role and Multidisciplinary Clinic where she works closely with the Plastic Surgery Unit and Wound Service to triage and treat hand therapy patients. In an ever busy clinical environment, Fiona keeps a pulse on the running of the team and checks in with each individual to see how everyone is managing.

“She has high emotional intelligence and is continuously supportive of her team. Fiona is approachable and always finds time to mentor, teach or advise her team when they need support. She fosters a learning environment and edifies her staff by recognising achievement. She is always positive and her high energy helps to maintain team morale. She works quietly and unstintingly behind the scenes to keep the Hand Therapy Department running efficiently,” Laurelle added.

Fiona adds she enjoys teaching and service development aspects of her role.

“I enjoy the creative aspect of the role, for example, making different splints or creatively problem solving with patients or staff and a team approach with the Plastic Surgery Unit and Wound Service as to whether conservative management is the best treatment option,” she said.

To her, winning this award “acknowledges the professional development, research, conference presentations etc. that we pursue as hand therapists to provide the highest quality care for our patients.”

In the future, Fiona sees herself always travelling, dancing tango and working at Northern Health where she would like to see continued service development.

“In five years from now, I see Northern Health as a diverse, ever expanding organisation that provides an opportunity for development of services and implementing new efficient ways of working,” she said.

“She is always optimistic and has been a role model and mentor for me since I started in the Hand Therapy Department in 2009. She is what I would like to call ‘The Yoda of Hand Therapy’,” says Laurelle.