Choosing a Lymphoedema Therapist
It is worth taking the time and effort to do a thorough research when choosing your lymphoedema therapist.
Unfortunately, in Australia, any person can call themselves a lymphoedema therapist regardless of their qualification, type of training (formal or informal) and level of training and experience as this is not a protected title.
Do consider choosing a fully qualified and accredited lymphoedema therapist recognised by the national peak professional not-for-profit organisation Australasian Lymphology Association
This means choosing an individual who is:
a health professional registered under the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and
accredited as a Category 1 Lymphoedema Therapist under the National Lymphoedema Practitioners Register
When you choose a Category 1 Lymphoedema Therapist, you would be assured that the individual has undergone the advanced (formal) level of lymphoedema training recognised by the organisation and kept abreast in their professional training.
These accredited practitioners may provide initial & ongoing assessment of people who have lymphoedema and provide management for lymphoedema including initial assessment of complex or undiagnosed lymphoedema.
However, the type of management practised and provided can vary depending on their scope of undergraduate, post graduate training and experience, too.
Furthermore, the practitioner may also be recognised as a specialist therapist by your private health insurance funds such as HBF but the fee structure and rebates will vary so please check with your own health fund.
The following video by Dr. Judith Nudelman, MD, will give you an idea of how to find a qualified lymphoedema therapist.
Although Dr. Nudelman is presenting her practice in the American context, the principles may still apply to Australia but do discuss with your lymphoedema therapist to tailor the advice in the video for your needs.