Lymphoedema – The Essentials for Breast Care Nurses

Course Prerequisites

This course is open to registered health professionals only (Division 1 Nurses, Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists).


Breast Care Nurses provide holistic care to their clients. They need to have knowledge across a wide range of issues. This two day course has been designed for Breast Care Nurses (BCN) as an introduction to:

  • surveillance
  • risk reduction
  • early lymphoedema management following breast cancer treatment

It provides the BCN with essential information and practical tools to assist their clients. It also enables them to be aware of current lymphoedema management strategies. This course is not designed for the BCN to have the skills to manage lymphoedema but may be a stepping-stone for further lymphoedema education.

Learning Objectives

The two day course provides the BCN with the opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills and clinical reasoning in breast cancer related lymphoedema. This course will utilise and expand upon their current knowledge and skills to facilitate their learning experience. It is hoped on completion that the BCN will feel confident to provide their clients with up to date information and a strategy depending on the presentation.

Upon completion of the course, the BCN will be able to:

  • Describe the anatomy of the lymphatic system.
  • Discuss the physiology and pathophysiology of the lymphatic system.
  • List the factors leading to oedema/lymphedema formation.
  • Explore the factors to consider when assessing a client with lymphoedema.
  • Explore the subjective assessment of a client at risk or with early lymphoedema.
  • Explore the objective assessment of a client at risk or with early lymphoedema including:
      • measuring the circumferences of the upper limbs with a tape measure;
      • the role of bioimpedance;
      • perometry
  • Compare physiotherapy rehabilitation options following breast cancer management including the importance of exercise and the management of treatment side effects.
  • Discuss the current lymphoedema education following both sentinel node and axillary lymph node dissection.
  • Explore treatment modalities for lymphoedema including exercise, manual lymphatic drainage, compression bandaging and garments, intermittent pneumatic compression and laser.
  • Develop clinical reasoning skills for a client who is at risk of lymphoedema or has early stage lymphoedema.
  • Develop skills in manual lymphatic drainage for breast oedema.

Course Structure

The course has a distance learning component and a face to face component. The course is underpinned by evidence based learning and the content reflects the current best practice in lymphoedema management.

Distance learning component

The distance learning component is included in an e-learning manual and via two e-learning modules provided by Klose Training

  • Anatomy and physiology of the lymphatic system.
  • Principles of complex decongestive therapy.

The distance learning component will prepare you for the face to face study days. It is estimated that the Klose online training can take up to 9 hours. There are approximately another 5 hours of learning via the e –learning manual. The Klose anatomy and physiology module will also include formative online quizzes which you must achieve 80% and you have three chances at achieving this.

Participants are encouraged to commence this component as soon as they receive their course information. They will receive it via email approximately 4 weeks prior to the face to face study days. All quizzes for the Klose training module should be successfully completed prior to the study days.

Face to face component

The face to face component is made up of 2 study days (16 hours). Dissemination of information and skills is via interactive lectures, activities, practical workshops and group discussion.  It is an excellent opportunity for you to share your knowledge, skills, ideas and have a forum to troubleshoot a variety of aspects of breast cancer rehabilitation, lymphoedema surveillance and management. The information for the face to face component will be given out on the face to face study days.

Completion of the course

On completion of the study days and successful completion of the Klose training module the participant will be provided with a certificate for 30 hours continuing professional development.


Maree O’Connor – Principle Presenter & Course Instructor

Maree O’Connor is a physiotherapist and has over 22 years experience in the area of lymphoedema and physiotherapy following breast cancer management. Maree has worked in both the private and public sectors and established the first comprehensive lymphoedema clinic at the Mercy Hospital for Women in 1994. Whilst she was there she assisted in establishing the Lymphoedema Compression Garment Fund.

Her involvement in lymphoedema has not only been from a clinical perspective. She was part of the steering committee that established the Australasian Lymphology Association (ALA) and was their first president. At a state level Maree has a close association with the Lymphoedema Practitioners Education Group of Victoria and served on their committee for many years as well as serving as president. Maree has also been on numerous committees and working parties in relationship to lymphoedema both at a state and federal level. She is past chairperson of the ALA Education Training Guidelines Subcommittee and of the ALA National lymphoedema Practitioners Register Committee of Management which is a web based register of lymphoedema practitioners.

Maree is also on the executive committee for the Australian Lymphoedema Framework. She co-chairs the education committee for the International Lymphoedema Framework.  Maree enjoys teaching at lymphoedema courses and making it an authentic learning experience as well as speaking at health professional and public seminars. She is the co author of the Lymphoedema Handbook.

Sarah Harmon – Presenter / Tutor

Sarah Harmon is a physiotherapist with over 17 years experience in lymphoedema management. She has completed both the Level 1 and 2 lymphoedema courses, and was involved in co-ordinating the Level 1 course during her role as President of the Lymphoedema Practitioners Education Group of Victoria. She has worked in the public system at the two major Victorian Lymphoedema Clinics (Mercy Hospital for Women and Southern Health Lymphoedema Service at Monash Medical Centre) and now works privately in Surrey Hills. She presents at many breast cancer forums, providing education on ‘lymphoedema and care of the limb’. Her interests in lymphoedema remain broad, ranging from early detection and management of lymphoedema post breast cancer to the intensive management (CPT) of longstanding lower limb lymphoedema.

Michelle Pardy – Invited Presenter

Michelle Pardy has over 20 years experience. She has worked in the areas of Neurology, Women’s Health and more recently Muskuloskeletal Physiotherapy and Complex Pain disorders. She is also a qualified yoga instructor and uses her yoga and physiotherapy experience to deliver an exercise class which will focus on the individual needs of each client and introduce them to a safe and effective practice.

Course Inclusions

The Registration fee includes:

  • Distance learning information.
  • Klose online modules valued at $175 US.
  • Participation in an exercise class.
  • Hands on practice of various assessment tools for lymphoedema and treatment techniques.
  • View state of the art equipment for the assessment and management of lymphoedema.
  • Course material for the face to face component.
  • Resources.
  • All morning / afternoon teas and lunches.

Lymphoedema Education Solutions Participant Agreement Terms and Conditions

The following agreement is made between the participant registering for the course (as indicated on this registration form) and Lymphoedema Education Solutions (LES).

Course Payment and Refund Policy 

The total tuition for the course is $575.00(GST inclusive). An invoice for the deposit payment will be sent to you about three months prior to the face to face block and will hold your spot until the total amount is due. A place will not be held in the course without confirmation of receipt of a deposit. You will then be invoiced for the balance 8 weeks prior to the face to face block. Please note that the $50.00 deposit is non-refundable. You will receive your login details 4 weeks prior to the face to face block so you can commence the online modules, at which time your payment of $575.00 will become non-refundable. A tax invoice will be provided on complete payment of the full course amount.


Notification of cancellations must be sent by post or email All cancellations incur an administration fee of $50 (GST inclusive).

Places are limited and minimum and maximum course numbers apply. All workshop practical sessions are completed in pairs and therefore even numbers are required.

In the unlikely event of a course being cancelled, prior to commencement of the online learning, all course fees, including the deposit, will be refunded.

Scope of Practice

The applicant acknowledges and understands that the course is designed for practitioners with suitable existing health professional qualifications.  The course description identifies which types of health professional qualifications are required.  The applicant undertakes to the course provider that it is suitably qualified in accordance with the course prerequisites and holds a current registration.

Course Materials

All materials provided in courses and workshops are protected by Copyright and intellectual property laws.

Reproduction and re-transmission of the materials, in whole or part, in any manner, without prior consent of the copyright holder, is a violation of copyright law. Individuals must preserve any copyright or other notices contained in or associated with the materials. Users may not distribute copies to others, whether or not in electronic form, whether or not for charge or consideration, without prior written consent of the copyright holder of the materials.

Privacy Policy

We respect your personal information and your privacy is important to us. We will use our best efforts to protect your personal information from unauthorised access.  We may use your personal information to contact you from time to time about products and services we think you may be interested in.  Part of the course involves communicating via email with other course participants and for this reason you agree that your email address may be shared with other course participants.  We may give your details to course sponsors and exhibitors unless you ask us not to.  Please ask us if you have any queries about providing your personal information.

Upcoming dates

Melbourne June 2020

Distance learning: starts 20 May 2020

Face-to-face dates: Wednesday 17 June 2020 – Thursday 18 June 2020

Registration: Wednesday 17 June, 8.00am

Course times:

  • 17 June 8.30am – 5pm
  • 18 June 8.30am – 4.30pm

Location: Victorian Lymphoedema Practice, Surrey Hills, Vic

Cost: $575.00 inc GST

Postponed until 2021 due to COVID 19. New dates will be available in the coming months

Expression of interest

If you are interested in a workshop in your state, its essential you register your interest. Let you colleagues know about the possibility of these workshops. There are minimum numbers that need to be reached before a workshop will proceed. Fill in the form below to register your interest.