Laura Alison Waddell is a Lecturer within the Dietetics, Nutrition & Biological Sciences, Physiotherapy, Podiatry & Radiography Division at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Laura also has affiliations to an array of other organisations; Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists, Health & Care Professions Council, International Association of Infant Massage.
I qualified with 1st class Hons in Physiotherapy from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2009. During a challenging job market, I was fortunate to be successful in securing rotational posts initially in NHS Highland, then in NHS Grampian. Following this, I took the leap to specialise into Women’s Health within NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, but soon realised my passion was within the side of the role working more with newborn children. I then targeted my specialism into Paediatrics, and with time further honed my knowledge and skills towards Early Years Neuro Development.
In 2018 I completed my Masters in Health & Social Care. This took on a strong quality improvement focus, which was well suited to my career move to Qatar a year earlier. At that time, the country was establishing their first children’s hospital and so numerous service development projects were continual and crucial for institutional accreditation and quality patient care, alongside the daily clinical caseload.
Four and a half years later, I am excited to take on a new challenge of developing clinical simulation into the educational programme for Physiotherapy at QMU in my role as lecturer. This project should optimise engagement from students, delivering increased confidence in their knowledge, and subsequently improve skills which can be carried over to clinical practice.
Generally, my research interests focus on service development and provision, and their background beliefs, within the specialism of Paediatric Neurology.
Active research interests:
- My primary, current research project involves investigating correlations between the two gold standard neonatal assessments at specific ages in infants who are deemed to be at high risk of developmental delay based on previous research into their medical conditions.
- Another project currently underway involves analysing the perceptions of paediatric physiotherapists from a range of countries on what they consider to be normal development in infants and when interventions are indicated.
- Following independently developing and rolling out a culturally appropriate Paediatric to Adult Transition Pathway in Qatar’s only children’s hospital, the initial responses to a questionnaire completed as part of the pathway by young adults with spina bifida are being analysed to provide a viewpoint into the experiences, perceptions and beliefs of this unique population.
Teaching and Learning
My primary objective is in the development and embedding of simulated education within the Physiotherapy programme. This will be supplemented by Practice-Based Learning – preparing students for placement-based modules and supporting educators taking students on clinical placements.