Kellie D’Orsa was getting ready to board a plane to New Zealand when the pandemic hit earlier this year.
As the founder and sole operator of Cardiac Skills Australia – a business specialising in cardiac ultrasound training for medical professionals – travel was essential to her ability to conduct workshops both interstate and overseas.
When restrictions put a halt to travel, the Torquay businesswoman knew she had to quickly transform the way she operated in order to meet the demand for her services.
“After New Zealand I was scheduled for workshops in Noosa and then Sydney,” said Kellie, whose work has also taken her to Singapore, London, China, Indonesia and Taiwan.
“I had to pretty much think on my feet and start training up senior educators in each state to deliver what I would normally do myself.”
Kellie, an accredited cardiac sonographer, established Cardiac Skills Australia in 2013 after seeing a gap in the market for training doctors who work in emergency, ICU and anaesthetics.
But she says the pandemic, while challenging, has seen her business undergo huge expansion and she now has a team of 30 trainers and speakers working across Australia and New Zealand.
“I use a simple, step-by-step approach and it’s just taken off, in particular in the last year but importantly since March with the lockdown,” Kellie said.
Closer to home, Kellie recently conducted a focused workshop for doctors from the Barwon Health ICU and Epworth Geelong emergency department which she said was well received.
“The audience that I teach requires this training more than ever,” she said.
“Doctors on the frontline need this cardiac ultrasound skill at the bedside to diagnose if COVID has affected a patient’s heart function.”
The single mum-of-two says while she has missed travelling, she has relished having more time with her daughters and hopes her work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit will rub off on Alegria, 9, and Abigail, 8.
Kellie has used the enforced time at home to focus on other aspects of the business, including working with Gruff Design on a website update and planning her first Torquay two-day workshop in mid-January next year.
She has also co-authored a text book and collaborated with Swinburne University students on the development of a cardiac-related App.
“I’ve always been someone who makes the most of any opportunity or challenge that is thrown at me and thankfully I’ve been able to turn a negative into a positive,” Kellie said.
“It’s all about adapting as a small business owner, thinking on your feet and outside the square.
“You just have to in these circumstances.”
Find out more by visiting cardiacskillsaustralia.com.au.