The end is only the beginning!

Merry Christmas everyone!! Well how quickly time fly’s I feel I have only just started a new post and  I am now moving on. On the 6th of January I will be starting my new permanent band 5 post at Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and I can’t wait! As promised I wanted to give everyone an idea of what my first experiences were as a band 5 . I have been fortunate in some respects because although I have not yet completed a full rotation, I have had 2 mini ones, which has meant I have seen and learnt a lot in a short space of time. The downside to this is I have learnt a little about a lot and I now need to build on my experiences to progress my development.

So starting from the beginning my first rotation was on Critical Care Rehab. It was difficult coming onto this rotation as it had only just been made available to band 5’s and it was ideally suited to someone who had done a rotation on ITU previously. Luckily for me I had been on the same area as a second year student so at least I knew some of the team. The rehab team mainly worked with patients who had been ventilated for more than 10 days or who were likely to be a slow wean. Due to me not having completed my respiratory competencies it was difficult for me to be just given a caseload and the majority of patients we were working with were complicated rehabs. At the beginning of the rotation my senior and I set realistic objectives to be achieved by the end of the 6 weeks (It was almost like having another placement except I was qualified and no one to countersign my notes).

The sort of objectives we set were:

To be able to carry out a basic baseline respiratory assessment of a ventilated and non ventilated patient.

To have an understanding of the complex needs of critical care patients during and post admission.

To be able to formulate a problem list, treatment plan and goals for rehab patients.

To be able to develop competencies on specialist equipment.

It doesn’t seem like I had many objectives but I had to be realistic in the time I had. Throughout the rotation I was fortunate to attend weekly in service training, one to one teaching sessions with my senior and I was able to observe more senior physiotherapists in practice as well as treating my own patients. I found the one to one teaching sessions very useful as it gave me the opportunity to clarify points in my own mind. When initially setting my objectives I was asked on a scale of 1-10 how confident  I was  in carrying out a respiratory assessment which I answered 4/10. I find respiratory quite difficult because the problem is internal and not particularly visual. However following completion of my rotation I am now able to take a backwards step from my patient and work through my assessment systematically.

  • Firstly what has lead the patient to end up on critical care?
  • If they are post surgery did they have any risk factors pre- surgery i.e. Past medical, smoking, obesity, trauma, previous exercise tolerance.
  • Were there any complications during surgery?
  • Were they an emergency admission and is there any contraindications to my treatment?

So this is the sort of stuff going through my mind before even reaching the patient. Next I would spend time to read the notes thoroughly to see what lead them to be on critical care. After reading the notes you can already hypothesise reasons contributing to the patients condition.

Reduced FRC

  •  Anesthetic- reduced mucocilliary clearance
  • Pain- are they reluctant to deep breathe
  • Sputum- due to past medical condition or due to reduced mucocillary clearance
  • Position
  • lung consolidation
  • lung collapse
  • respiratory muscle weakness
  • Drowsy from sedation or opioids

So what can we help with?

  • Analgesia for pain and assistance with supported cough.
  • Sputum- ACBT, manual technique, suction etc..
  • Re-positioning to assist with V/Q matching
  • Ventilator support
  • reduction of sedation.

So we have a few things we can adopt as treatment options and this list is not exhaustive.

On critical care patients are normally under hourly observations so the next step of my assessment would be to interpret them. When writing my first initial assessment I would document:

Subjective

  1. Presenting Complaint- what did they come in with?
  2. History of presenting Complaint- why did they end up on critical care?
  3. Past medical history. Is there anything relevant which will affect their PC?
  4. SH- What was there pre-admission state what support do they have at home?
  5. What has been said by the MDT or any critical events?

Objective

  1. Temperature- every degree increase in temperature increases the patient oxygen demand by 10%
  2. Cardiovascular system: Blood pressure,Heart Rate, CVP and MAP . Are they stable does this restrict or treatment?
  3. Respiratory- Method of ventilation what support are they using? Why are they on this mode?
  4. Respiratory rate do they look distressed or have increased Work of Breathing? Why do they have increased WOB?
  5. Oxygen Saturation. Why are saturation’s low? is it due to shunt? diffusion problem? V/Q mismatch? hypoventilation?
  6. Arterial Blood Gas . What does it show? What is compensating if any?
  7. Renal- Urine output and fluid balance. Are they in organ failure? Are they overloaded with fluid?
  8. IV drugs. Is there blood pressure or heart rate being supported? Are they sedated? Do they have an epidural need to be careful of postural hypotension.
  9. Abdomen- is the gut absorbing nutrients? Is the abdomen distended?
  10. Neuro- Glasgow coma scale?
  11. Auscultation- Air entry? Added sounds? tactile fremitus? Thoracic expansion.

Treatment

  • What is the problem? What are your treatment options?

Analysis

  • What is the patient limited by? What were the results of the treatment?

Plan

  • Physiotherapy treatment plan
  • Recommendations for staff

I have not attempted to go through modes of ventilation and treatments as I could write for days but a clear understanding of the reasoning for different ventilator modes and treatments in essential to formulate and clinically reason an appropriate treatment plan. So the above is the method I would use to assess a respiratory patient. By being systematic it means you are unlikely to miss something critical as a band 5 and with experience your clinical reasoning will become stronger.

So in summary of my first rotation I can now say my confidence has gone from a 4/10 to a 7/10 however, I think I would benefit from having a further rotation on critical care to consolidate my learning.  From completing my rotation I am now able to perform multi system assessments of ventilated critical care patients to generate problem lists and appropriate plans for treatment. I have demonstrated effective skills in the respiratory treatment of ventilated and non ventilated patients. I have also gained experience of treating longer term ventilated patients, developing rehabilitation programmes and acting as the patient’s key worker at weekly goal setting meetings.

Onto my Second Rotation Medicine. I was prepared for a change in culture but the first week really was a shock to the system. Compared to critical care we had a big case load to get through each day and there was a real need to prioritise your time. At the QE we work through a traffic light system (without having the sheet in front of me this gives a basic outline of prioritising patients)

Red= Acute respiratory, Discharges, Falls.

Amber= new patients, patients who have had a decline in mobility or those requiring ongoing rehab.

Green=  Patients safe with or without aids being monitored.

From coming from critical care this was a bit of a shock because I was used to seeing all of my patients daily but on medicine it is impossible to see everyone as the priorities must get done. So my objectives for the four weeks I was on medicine were:

  1. Effective prioritisation of medical caseload using prioritisation tool.
  2. Timely and Seamless discharge planning or patients in line with multidisciplinary team goals.
  3. Appropriate referral to other services and MDT.
  4. Appropriate use of physiotherapy paperwork and documentation in line with CSP and trust standards.

Again my objectives would be a lot different if I had been working on the area for 4 months but I had to be realistic to get the most out of it. Through the 4 weeks I have developed my skills in prioritisation ensuring all patients were seen in a timely manner, I am able to contribute to MDT meetings and I have referred patients on to relevant services. Again I believe I need another ward based rotation to consolidate my skills but I feel in the short space of time I have achieved the objectives I have set.

For anyone who is about to embark on there first physio job or to any qualified physiotherapist my top 5 tips would be:

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, you’re not meant to know everything
  2. If you have a complicated patient don’t be afraid to ask your senior to review them with you remember you need to be within your scope of practice.
  3. Don’t be afraid to say no if people are putting too much responsibility on you straight away or you are feeling overwhelmed.
  4. Take up opportunities to observe more senior physiotherapists.
  5. Make sure you read patient notes thoroughly to carry out an effective assessment and treatment. You don’t want to cut corners.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I will be starting my new job in Derby soon which will allow my blog posts to continue. Please feel free to leave any comments or tweet me @LCphysio

 

Decisions, Dilemmas and Diversion

It has been a while since I wrote my last post. I have been very busy since starting my new job at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and I have also continued to  work at West Bromwich Albion FC and Harborne Physio at Barefoot Birmingham. So I have barely had time to sit down never mind write my blog. As you may be aware from my last post my first rotation has been critical care rehab which has been incredible. I have been able to see some of the long term rehab patients who are ventilated and non-ventilated and I am getting to see some of the post operative patients which all will stand me in good stead when I come to complete my respiratory competencies. It has been great to get stuck back into respiratory as I only had the one placement in my second year and everyday my confidence is building as the team I am working with is great!! We do a lot of doubles together, teaching sessions and in service training.

Now this all sounds all well and good but the last couple of weeks have been pretty stressful for me, a couple of weeks into my job at the QE I got an email through from a manager at Derby Hospitals. As you may know from previous posts I had been for an interview there but was unsuccessful (which I was disappointed with as I had done my best on the day). The email read along the lines of:

Dear Lucy

I hope you are well.

We have had some extra movement in the trust and I would like to offer you a permanent contract at Derby Hospitals…..

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At this point I read the email about 50 times before I made sense of it! Due to my interview being within 3 months they could recruit me straight away! Of course at this point I accepted but was wary that a permanent post was coming up at the QE so I was still hopeful to remain in trust so I attended the interview to give myself options.

I turned up at the QE interview consciously fine, I went in sat the written paper which asked questions on Chronic non-specific lower back pain and what the management would be? Prioritisation of a list of patients, a respiratory patient assessment, treatment with relation to the on call rota and another question which I can’t remember. I came back to sit down after the paper feeling relatively calm and waited to be seen for the individual interview…. I was being interviewed by the head of therapies and a band 7. I went in and the first few questions were absolutely fine and then it hit me….. My nerves suddenly took over me and I couldn’t physically speak the further questions weren’t particularly ambiguous and if you had asked me later that day I could have gone on for hours but instead I felt like I was outside my body looking in and couldn’t do anything to help myself…. So unfortunately I can’t recall any of the questions from that interview and you can guess I didn’t get the permanent contract…. however they were very understanding of how much the job meant to me on the day and did extend my contract if I wanted.

Now for most people this would be a simple decision to take the permanent contract, but for me not so much. I really had to sit down and right the pros and cons of each hospital and location which did keep me awake most of the night. In the end I chose the permanent contract although I have settled into the QE and I love the hospital I had to be selfish in thinking about my further development…. so I opted for continuity. So as you can imagine I am ecstatic!!! I am now a proud owner of a permanent band 5 contract and all the events and opportunities that have lead to this day have sometimes been hard but totally worth it in the end. I just wanted to say that if you are newly qualified physiotherapist looking for an NHS job don’t give up! I have had several interviews which have been unsuccessful but you can’t take it personally and you have to move on to the next one. Eventually something will come your way and it will be the reason you didn’t get the previous jobs you applied for, because everything happens for a reason.

So since I have now got a permanent band 5 post as promised I wanted to give students and new grads tips on how to write their supporting information. So firstly here are my top 10 tips for writing an application and attending an interview:

1. Read the PERSON SPECIFICATION….. this is the point all managers come back to that applicants haven’t done what they have asked. Sometimes there will be hidden questions to how they want you to approach the application. Basically don’t give them a reason to turn you away, use buzz words that are included in the person spec.

2. Make it personal to the trust, show them how you meet their vision and values if you don’t do this you might as well not even submit your application.

3. Demonstrate your transferable skills. If you have been involved in other activities outside of physiotherapy… what skills have you developed and how can you transfer them into practice.

4. Include your HCPC number and CSP membership number at the top. This means the recruiters don’t have to look through your application when it is staring them in the face.

5.Make sure you review the NHS jobs website daily. The website sends emails of new jobs at the end of the day not when a job goes out.

6. Get your application in early some NHS jobs can close within a couple of hours like the QE. Have a basic template for your application ready so you are ready to go when the job goes live.

7. Don’t make it any longer than 2 pages A4 treat it as a CV otherwise the recruiters will get bored if you are not keeping everything concise.

8.Attend interviews that you don’t want, you might change your mind when you get there and have a look around (and lets face it we can’t be fussy). Try and book an informal visit before the interview as this is something you can talk about during the face to face interview if you have one.

9. Prepare but don’t over prepare. Try and practice questions by answering them out loud as this is how you will be responding in the interview. But try to relax at the end of the day it is not the end of the world if you don’t get the job, nobody died and it is their loss.

10. Finally take in your CPD folder and make it relevant to the post you are applying for, that way they know you are dedicated to that specific post.

I can’t give you any real tips for interviews as they are all different but it is a skill you do develop…. so if you have a shocking one don’t beat yourself up about it. Below I have posted one of my applications with the name of the trust removed, I hope some of you may find it useful.

Physiotherapy BSc: Class 1 (Hons)

HCPC Registered: PH101564

Full member: Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

Full driving license.

As a very enthusiastic, driven, and dedicated person I believe I would provide a valuable contribution to the teams within X Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. I believe X Hospital would facilitate me to achieve excellence, whilst allowing me to gain a firm grounding for a successful career in physiotherapy.

I wish to emulate the trusts vision of “……”. I believe I am a very personable, polite and enjoy taking the time to take a holistic approach with my patients. I feel the best outcomes are achieved when patients feel empowered and listened to. On clinical placement one of my patients lacked confidence and I felt by taking the time to understand their goals, this aided my treatment and their outcome. Conversely, I had a situation where I had to break bad news to a patient. The gentleman was likely to remain wheelchair bound due to him demonstrating no improvement over several months. Although I was presented with the harsh reality of stroke, the process was made easier due to the patient and family trusting me as I always aimed to answer any of their concerns and provide information when they required.

Through clinical placements I have been fortunate to gain experience in Intermediate Care, Acute Stroke, MSK x 2 and Orthopaedic Outpatients, Intensive Care at a major trauma centre and Elderly Rehabilitation. During this process I have been able to demonstrate my strengths in communication, time management and ownership of my own caseload, whilst also ensuring I am providing patient-centred care. This has been evidenced by feedback from my clinical educators in my CPD portfolio.

On my last two placements I demonstrated safe, effective and autonomous caseload management in an inpatient and outpatient setting. In both cases I was responsible for discharge planning and referral to appropriate services following MDT meetings or by written communication. I have been able to successfully demonstrate this through positive feedback received from educators, patients and from the wider MDT.

Clinical placement has allowed me to develop my problem solving skills. This can be demonstrated from my experience on intensive care. Coordination of care is essential in all settings; however, in intensive care it is vital due to patients being prone to fatigue. To ensure the MDT were working in a coordinated way I helped to implement the idea of writing a treatment timetable.  The timetable allowed for patients to feel empowered by them deciding when they wanted to be seen and it allowed staff to work together efficiently.

Data protection and patient confidentiality is a requirement for any practicing physiotherapist. I have demonstrated my awareness of this in my portfolio following completion of information governance modules: Patient Confidentiality, secure handling of confidential information and Records management and the NHS codes of practice.

At University I have maintained my manual handling training which I have applied to a practice setting. An example of this was when a patient had slipped out of her chair. To resolve this I autonomously worked with a physiotherapy assistant and used a slide sheet to ensure safety and dignity was maintained by the patient.

With the new changes being implemented in the NHS, it is important for physiotherapy services to provide evidence of positive outcomes. In light of recent failings in the NHS, it is essential for a practicing physiotherapist to adopt clinical governance to ensure patient safety remains the priority. Furthermore, I understand I have a personal responsibility to provide a clinically effective service by basing my practice on evidence and working within my scope of practice. As part of my elderly rehabilitation placement, I conducted a documentation audit using the quality assurance tool and presented this to staff. The audit highlighted shortcomings in record keeping which needed to be addressed, as it had the potential to impact patient outcomes. If I was to gain this post, X NHSFT would gain a physiotherapist dedicated to the profession who is flexible, proactive and who takes a positive approach to managing change and challenges.

Alongside clinical experience, I have been an active member of the CSP. For the last 4 years, I have been a student representative and I have served as Midlands Regional Coordinator for the Student Executive Committee (SEC) from 2011-2013. This role required the ability to organise and coordinate meetings between student reps at Coventry, Keele, Nottingham, Leicester and Birmingham. The meetings discussed relevant physiotherapy issues within the student population and ensured student input was applied to the wider society. Through this role, I have had the opportunity to present at conferences, contribute to policy, sit on the West Midlands Regional network and set up an Unemployed Graduate Scheme. The scheme was set up by myself to provide free evening CPD lectures for new graduates who were in the transition between graduation and employment. These opportunities have allowed me to develop my leadership, communication, organisational and presentation skills. My contributions to the society have been recognised this year as I was nominated and received highly commended CSP student representative of the year 2013.

I am an active learner and seek out any opportunities to further enhance my professional development. An example of this was applying to work with the University Rugby League team as their pitch side support .To enable me to take on this position I had to complete a pitch side first aid course and show further evidence of CPD activities related to the post. During this role I have had to work alone in high pressure situations which have enhanced my lateral thinking skills. I have had to negotiate with players and coaches on a regular basis to ensure players who were unfit to play remained on the side line. This role has highlighted my diplomacy skills to achieve ‘win win’ situation.

Outside of physiotherapy I have a passion for horse riding, which has continued through University. For the last 2 years I have been elected as 1st Team Captain, for the University Equestrian Club, and I have represented the University at British University and College Sport over the past 4 years. This role has enhanced my leadership and teamwork skills and has demonstrated my dedication to activities I am involved in as we were crowned national champions in 2013.

I enjoy being challenged in my work and I believe that physiotherapy should remain a seven day service for the benefit of the patients. Recent news discussing how patients who have elective surgery on a Friday are more likely to have complications highlights this. I would be willing to be flexible in my work as I believe my time management skills have ensured I can create a work life balance, evidenced by my commitment to my hobbies.

As a newly qualified graduate, I am aware of my scope of practice; which includes recognising personal weaknesses and critically appraising my performance and learning. I welcome the opportunity to discuss cases with colleagues, to share best practice and further develop my clinical reasoning skills. I am excited about the new learning opportunities X NHS trust would bring.

Thank you for this opportunity and I look forward to hearing from you.

And that is really it I hope to keep you all updated with my progress as a new band 5 at Derby. Thank you to everyone who follows the blog, the support has been great and has really kept me going when times have been tough.

Feel free to leave me a comment or tweet me @LCphysio

Take a chance rather than make a plan!

For the last couple of days I have been at Physiotherapy UK. It was a fantastic conference but I must say I am quite happy to be now on the sofa writing this in front of X factor! This post is going to hopefully give an insight into some of the talks I went to and maybe inspire people to attend next year. The problem I find every year I go to Physio UK is I want to see everything so its difficult to make a choice on which talks you go to see especially since I haven’t really specialised in a specific area yet. However it really makes you a appreciate the power and diversity of our profession!

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For those who haven’t been to Physio UK lectures go on throughout the day but there are also lots of trade stands (lots of freebies to be had!) and opportunities to network. The first day kicked off with the Founders Lecture by Dr Emma Stokes! It was such an inspirational start to the day, the thing that stood out to me was the statement “Take a chance rather than make a plan”. This is so true we create our own luck and you really just have to latch on to any opportunities  that come your way(This blog is credit to that) . Take a chance even if you can’t see where it will take you because then looking back you won’t have to say what if…. I think the other main point to take from the lecture was that we need to allow ourselves time for creative thought. Sometimes as physios we make ourselves so busy we don’t have time to open our minds (I am one to say I need to make time for myself sometimes). Please find the link for a further summary of the founders lecture. http://www.csp.org.uk/news/2013/10/11/physio13-founders-lecture-calls-physios-think-creatively You can also follow Emma @ekstokes and watch out for her up and coming blog!!

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Just to highlight that this is my interpretation of the lectures I went to see as I don’t have the slides in front of me and I will only be covering a select few to keep everything concise. Each one will have a title so you can pick and choose which you read if you wish.

Lecture 1: Tendinopathy By Dr Dylan Morrissey

I have not read much about tendinopathy except for my undergraduate training and a few odd posts from twitter but this lecture gave a really good view of current practice and where we need to take it in the future. Now this was a surprise to me but a third of people with tendinopathy are sedentary! I had always assumed that running or elite sport were contributing factors.

So current practice currently involves:

  • Progressive loading- based on theories of mechanotransduction probably. This load needs to individualised to the client so it is appropriate and needs to be slow.

Conservative management of mid-portion Achilles Tendon.

Younger Active people:

  • Reasonable strength, high load- Rx: isometrics- reactive stage. Eccentric exercises, con-ecc, power.

Middle Aged recreational people:

  • Reasonable strength lower loads-Rx: eccentric exercises, concentric- eccentric, Strength and Endurance.

Elderly sedentary people:

  • focus should be to get them moving I missed this part of the slide but Rx: Concentric eccentric exercises.

Some of the top tickets for treatment,

  • Tendon Loading- tendon loading= tendon health. Potentially need to avoid casting to allow for appropriate loading to take place.
  • RSWT- Radial shockwave therapy. The ASSERT trial showed immediate and long term effect with shock wave.
  • Diagnostic suspicion- need to be aware of Intra-tendinous Tears this may be seen in younger, athletic people, presenting with impact related pain who fail with eccentric loading. Another would be Fascia Cura Tears as above but a subtle difference in client group.
  • Prevention
  • High volume image guided injections- reduce pain and allow for loading.
  • Educate and reassure.

So what should be our potential treatment time line?

  • Clinical diagnosis- Week 1
  • Stick with the manual therapy- i.e mobilisation, massage etc.
  • RSWT or HVIGI if the first doesn’t work try the other a couple of weeks later.
  • It is not until 20 weeks you would be considering minimally invasive surgery and 24 weeks for open surgery.

So what are some of the risk factors for tendinopathy:

  • Hamstring / calf strain
  • Tight hamstrings
  • back pain
  • hypertension
  • tight calf muscles.

Lecture 2: Surgical Outcomes for Achilles Tendinopathy and Tendon Rupture- Mike Carmont

So the biggest thing to get across is surgery is normally a last resort! The incident of mid portion Achilles Tendinopathy in the general population is Prox: 9-25% Mid-portion 55-66% and Insertion 20-25%. Patients are normally quite good at locating the problem subjectively during an objective assessment. The main thinks to look for during objective assessment are a gap in the tendon, compare alignment and squeeze calf.  A treatment Algorithm can be found here  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2658946/#!po=28.1250 which links to the main article http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2658946/#!po=28.1250 by Alfredson (2007).

Mike went onto say that the best treatment is exercise however other surgical options are:

  • Stripping
  • Percutaneous-  Day case, the problem with this is pain normally returns.
  • Tenotomy- open debridement sometimes with plantaris release.

All of this is all well and good but you now need to select your patients.

  • Do they need to return to sport or work quickly.
  • Surgery decreases the chance of re-rupture

However some of the complications are:

  • re-rupture
  • deep infection
  • DVT
  • Sural nerve injury
  • adhesions
  • prominent sutures
  • superficial infection

So like with any surgery the risks and benefits must be weighed up as some patients may still be in pain post surgery.

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Lecture 3: Demonstrating Improvement: how neuro-physiotherapy services are leading the way forward- Jill Lockhart

I have to admit I was a bit late for this one but what is on the horizon? :

  • Patient experience
  • Integrated Care
  • Personalised budgets
  • 7 day service
  • Emergency care challenge
  • SPOA
  • Open referral
  • Strategic approach- pathways cross boundaries
  • Workforce changes
  • LTC- Prehab, self management and integrated care.
  • Year of care.

Lecture 4: Bastion to Birmingham: Lessons learnt + future aspirations Sir Keith Porter

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I have to say that after this talk I was so unbelievably proud to say I work at the Queen Elizabeth in Birmingham, especially now I am currently working on intensive care. The talk was based on the fact that a trend had formed where on matched injuries the military appeared to have better care and outcomes for their patients. At the point of injury the main thing integrated into the military was the self help and buddy help so the soldiers knew what to do in time of crisis. It is a real shame this didn’t go through as part of the national curriculum as teaching people early may mirror the training of military personnel.

So to compare:

999 response to injured casualty:

  • First Responder- who will typically have to still wait for an ambulance to arrive for serious cases.
  • Ambulance who can either be manned with a paramedic+emergency care assistant, technician + emergency care assistant or voluntary aid.

Military

  • Helicopter
  • Consultant in emergency medicine or anesthetics
  • Military paramedic
  • Military Nurse.

In the military emergency department there will be an emergency 24/7 consultant who is exclusively trauma. There are dedicated theatres and a  massive transfusion policy (there has been shown to be a reduced mortality in patients receiving the transfusion policy). At the moment places like the Queen Elizabeth are trying to mirror this in hospital.

The main things to be aware of in serious injuries is the lethal triad:

  • Hypothermia
  • Acidosis
  • Coagulopathy

Damage control resuscitation is then implemented. This is to prevent a secondary hit  from Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. So in resuscitation medics will be permissive of hypotension, blood products will be given for volume and surgery will be limited initially. The more critically injured you are the bigger capillary leak you may have which may lead to multi organ failure through second hit SIRS.

So the critical factors to look out for are:

  • Severe metabolic acidosis ph <7.3
  • Hypothermia
  • More than 10 units of blood.

And the aims of treatment should be:

  • save life maximise function
  • manage infection
  • repair damaged structures
  • achieve soft tissue cover and stable skeleton.

There was plenty  of other lectures I attended on the day but hopefully this will give you an insight into some of the talks going on. Keep looking to the CSP website for updates of some of the presentations as they normally get posted online here is the link from last years presentations http://www.csp.org.uk/purchase/video-access

The final talk of the day was looking Physiotherapy: Post Francis. There was some great discussion which can be reviewed on the #physio13 or from posts collated by the CSP twitter feed @thecsp or follow this link http://www.csp.org.uk/frontline/article/mind-your-ps-send-us-your-qs

So overall the conference was great, I got to network with lots of physiotherapists, students and companies (which is another key reason to go to Physiotherapy UK and for students your University normally has a few funded places so take advantage whilst you can). It was great to catch up with some of the main physios on twitter to finally but a face to their name and it is likely that I will be returning next year.

I am sorry I have not been able to cover all the sessions in my blog but I hope you find the post useful. I have had lots of positive comments in Birmingham over the last 2 days so I will continue to keep updating my journey as a newly qualified physiotherapist.

As always any comments either post on here or tweet me @LCphysio.

Putting things in perspective!

This week I started my new job at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and I survived!! My first rotation is on critical care… which for most new band 5’s, who have never done a placement on ITU I am sure would be petrifying! Especially since the QE has the biggest co-located ITU in the world holding 100 beds! …. Luckily for me it is the area I did on placement so it is not all new! (Though jogging my mind on respiratory has been quite as a task, as I last did respiratory placement in my second year). But I am happy as I know quite a few friendly faces which has been reassuring.

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So not only have a started a new job this week I have also moved into a new house, which means I can walk to work! I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing both at the same time as it has been quite stressful getting everything organised, but everything seems to be back on track now 🙂 . On my first day I went to meet my line manager for an initial induction, I remember walking down to road with butterflies in my stomach and clammy hands wondering what the day would bring! I was given so much information in the morning regarding booking onto mandatory training and different contacts I needed… my brain had turned to mush and I had dates in my diary I couldn’t even relate to any more. But I figured it’s not worth worrying about as everything will get sorted in the end (I just hope I progress to a permanent contract after doing all of these training sessions!!)

Mid morning I got to go up onto the Unit. It didn’t feel too scary as I had been up there before so all the noises of monitors beeping and staff bustling seemed quite normal to me. I am currently on the rehab team on ITU which means I get to work across all the areas of intensive care which are Renal, Trauma, Neuro and Cardiac I think…. So as a new band 5 it is great opportunity to see all the weird and wonderful things! My team consists of two band 6’s and one band 8 so I am in a great environment to learn. We are currently involved in a research trial looking at early mobilisation in ventilated patients to see if this decreases patient length of stay in hospital. It is a very rewarding first rotation but I am due to rotate again in November  😦 (as I started mid way through), so I plan to write some objectives in line with the preceptorship scheme to achieve before I finish. At the QE we have an in service every Wednesday… so it will be a good opportunity to share my learning experiences each week as I won’t be able to share patients stories for confidentiality’s sake. 

From just doing my first week on ITU, it really puts life in perspective. Although I have had a few things going in my personal life recently, compared to what some of the patients and families are going through it is nothing and it really makes you view things completely differently! 

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So back onto a positive note a permanent post has just become available at the QE so I have applied for that! I have had feedback from my last interview so fingers crossed it might lead to something else if I get an interview as there is a chance they might randomly select 🙂 (but now I have met the interview panel hopefully they won’t seem as scary :-S). 

Over the weekend I am at Physiotherapy UK so I am sure I will have a lot to talk about, I am really looking forward to catching up with friends and CSP student Reps! New grads can still go on a student rate and it is great 2 day conference of CPD. See the link below if you want more information:

http://www.physiotherapyuk.org.uk/

Thanks again for taking the time to read my post. Any questions or comments please feel free to contact me on here or tweet me @LCphysio .

Day 1 of the rest of your life!

I have had a pretty hectic week in all fairness and writing this blog has become quite therapeutic to help me find time for me (which is so important whether you are qualified or student, don’t burn yourself out!).  So all of my checks have now gone through so I am now officially employed by UHB! I spoke to my manager yesterday to confirm a start date which is now MONDAY!!! Scary times. Now if that wasn’t scary enough my first rotation is on critical care!! (better get the respiratory books out!) I am very lucky because as a student I worked in the same area so at least I have some idea of where things are. One thing I will be doing is writing down some of the keys things like ABG’s, contraindications and indications for certain treatments as I know that in a new environment sometimes your mind can go completely blank so better to be prepared. I also did this as a student which was useful if I was quizzed by an educator. The things I included were:

  • blood gas values
  • Normal HR, BP, MAP values etc…
  • auscultation sounds
  • mini neuro assessment
  • contraindications for suction
  • contraindications for manual techniques
  • contraindications for manual hyperinflation
  • weaning protocols
  • decannulation protocols
  • Areas of the brain
  • Manchester Mobility Scale.

This is not an extensive list but it really helped me during placement. Alternatively you can now get mini pocket books from Flipio which has the same sort of things in a published book. See link below:

http://www.flipio.co.uk/

I am very excited to get started so I will update you on how my first day goes !!

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So last weekend I was running Seth O’Neil’s LBP: Using Sub classification to Achieve Better Patient Management course. The course gave a great insight into LBP classification which could be implemented into practice. I am going to talk about some of the stuff I took from the course . However,because it is my interpretation I will try to reference some of the main sources if you want to learn more as I think I need to go away and read around the topic myself to get a wider understanding. A great place to start would be to listen to Kieran O’Sullivan’s podcast on chronic LBP http://physioedge.com.au/pe-022-chronic-low-back-pain-with-dr-kieran-osullivan/ and the Pain Education Group website. Obviously this is not the only way to treat Lower back pain as there are many other theories but is good to attend courses so you can make an informed choice.

So as pre course reading we were given 2 papers one by Fersum et al 2012 and the other by O’Sullivan 2005. The reasoning behind classifying back pain is similar to any joint, we wouldn’t necessarily treat an OA ankle the same as an inversion sprain? So if we could why would we not classify a patient’s specific LBP problem to help direct our treatments? It is little bit more complicated than that but a good place to start is what pain mechanism is causing the patient’s pain?

So in this case we are going to look at three:

  1. Nociceptive/Mechanical Pain
  2. Peripheral Neuropathic Pain
  3. Centrally Mediated Pain

Nociceptive Pain is from activity in tissues such as muscle, joint,  skin ans viscera and can be classified by pain which is local, sharp/dull, normal aggs and eases (mechanical), predictable, antalgic pattern, absence of dysesthesias i.e. pins and needles or numbness.

Peripheral Neuropathic Pain is caused by a primary lesion or dysfunction in the peripheral nervous system. Symptoms include dysesthisa, allodynia (pain on non-painful stimulation), hyperalgesia, dermatomal pain and aggs and eases in line with neural tissue. eg. CRPS, Pain generated from the nerve. Physiology of a nerve can generate pain.

Centrally Mediated Pain is caused by a primary lesion or dysfunction in the central nervous system this can be seen from diffuse/ non anatomic areas of pain on palpation. It may be unpredictable, pain disproportionate to the nature of lesion, strong association with maladaptive psycho-social factors. e.g. fibromyalgia

A great way that Seth explains chronic pain to his patients’ is by stating:

“Firstly your pain is real!! If you can imagine doing a crossword everyday for a year- you get very good at it. This is because your brain gets bigger and creates more neurones in this area due to repetition. Therefore if your brain constantly receives pain signals your brain learns to feel pain better and becomes hard wired. So we need to think of strategies we can use to retrain your brain.”

or you can try this video how to explain pain:

There are many classification systems however this event was focused on O’Sullivan Classification (CB-CFT). Through the Fersum et al study the CB-CFT approach had far superior results compared to normal physio (MT + Exercise).

With AQP affecting MSK services in the UK it is vital we have statistics to back up our treatment effects. To begin patients should be screened using either the StartBack or Oreobro tool (these also have mobile apps).  These tools allow us to see who needs secondary intervention i.e  pain team and it also helps with prioritising  patients. One of the biggest risk factors for chronic back pain is psychological screening. One outcome measure which can be used to monitor LBP is the Oswestry Disability Index (which can be downloaded for free on if you search on Google).

The O’sullivan Classification addresses whether Back pain is:

  • Specific or non- specific
  • maladaptive or adaptive
  • movement impairments vs control behaviour

To understand this you might want to read: Diagnosis of classification of chronic low back pain disorders: maladaptive movement and motor control impairments as underlying mechanism. Peter O’Sullivan 2005.

http://ac.els-cdn.com/S1356689X05001104/1-s2.0-S1356689X05001104-main.pdf?_tid=f8c3a4f8-2c7b-11e3-b396-00000aab0f26&acdnat=1380839851_1c7b2129e94ab33b2cc108d229937340

When assessing a patient why is it that some of us ignore passive movements of the spine whereas if we were looking at a knee joint this would not even cross our mind? So if we don’t assess passive movement of the spine how do we know whether the problem is a movement disorder so loss of movement or a control disorder full ROM but painful. It is is difficult to explain this with out providing images but please refer to the resources available.

Movement Impairment Classification- Management

  • education- regarding pain mechanism
  • reduce fear
  • CBT approach
  • restore movement impairment
  • graded movement restoration
  • graded pain exposure
  • functional restoration
  • normalise movement behaviour

Control Impairment Classification- Management

  • Education- regarding pain mechanism
  • Cognitive behavioural  motor control
  • intervention
  • pain control
  • retrain faulty postures and movements
  • self control of pain
  • functional restoration
  • normalise movement behaviour.

So at large the treatment should be direction specific, control or movement specific and should take into account psych profile.

This post is more to create awareness of the classification as I am aware I need to clarify some of my knowledge so I can further implement this approach into my practice. I think as a new graduate it is difficult to reason through some of these processes without actually getting the chance to assess patients in an MSK setting on a regular basis. One thing I will be trialing will be looking at passive movements to see how this affects my clinical reasoning in practice.

Seth was a fantastic teacher and he had great feedback from the course. Seth is one of the key Physiotherapists on twitter and his feed attracts a lot of UK and international physios so it is well worth a follow @Seth0Neill.

Some other useful resources below are:

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Comments are welcome especially if it involves discussion around Sub-classification of LBP or tweet me @LCphysio

Thank you for taking an interest.

Grab Opportunities With Both Hands!

I just wanted to start this post by saying a massive thank you to everyone who has taken an interest in my blog. So far, I have had over 4000 views which is amazing and totally appreciated.

So this week I went to the CSP West Midlands Regional Network Study day in Worcester (Keep looking on the CSP website for the presentations under West Midlands Regional Network). I am going to discuss what I took from the event. See a few pictures below.

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When I was a student I was the student representative on the West Midlands Regional Network, which I have now passed onto Daniel Jackson (3rd Year Keele who kindly provided the photos). The West Midlands is a very active network and I have continued to have some involvement since qualifying which will be easier now I am staying in Birmingham. At the moment my role on the network is part of communications team which involves engaging members (mainly new grads with what goes on). The network are very welcoming and always like to know what is going on in your work place, so any issues can be fed back to the CSP through our chair Janet Davies or Rep to Council Philip Hulse. The study day kicked off similarly to a normal network meeting, so work place reports were discussed and key points in the CSP council papers and key messages were highlighted (For more information and minutes please go the West Midlands Regional Network http://www.csp.org.uk/nations-regions/west-midlands. The network meetings are great to find out what is happening in the real world of physio (for students)  and it is great way to share good practice or discuss work place issues for (qualified). For me the network meetings are a great opportunity to network and to find out first hand what issues are facing our profession.

I have highlighted presentations in bold so you can pick and choose which sections you read as there is quite a lot to talk about.

Presentation 1-“Professionalism in Today’s Regulatory Climate” Sue England who is the CSP Treasurer and Council Representative (@SueEngland10)

I believe slides will be put on the CSP website. I am not going to discuss everything in the presentation but this is what stuck with me: Firstly discussion of what defines your Scope of practice. Sue suggested it was a good thing to actually write down your scope each year. So what are you trained and competent to carry out? This changes with experience so it is good to know what the limits of your practice are. For me personally by writing down my scope this will highlight areas I need to focus my CPD to aid my career progression.

Secondly was the fact that as a physiotherapist you are an autonomous practitioner, this means any clinical decision you make you must be able to justify whether during assessment, clinical reasoning, treatment plan or record you are involved in. The first line of defense you have if you are pulled up by the HCPC are your notes, this mean they must be accurate, comprehensive and comprehensible ! As a full CSP member you have comprehensive public liability insurance (if you are working within your scope of practice). CSP membership is a bit like RAC/AA cover you don’t want to have to use it but that time you do the costs that would be covered would be equal to a lifetime cover so personally I think it is a small price to pay (fingers crossed I never have to face this!!)

Finally I found a good link to read  is :  http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130402150350/http://ahp.dh.gov.uk/2012/02/27/voicepiece-karen-middleton-chief-health-professions-officer/ . Karen Middleton, Chief Health Professions Offcier, wants AHP’s  to be transparent following recent findings from the Francis report (although most of the findings were centred around nurses, physios need to ensure we don’t miss out on funding for leadership programs or CPD opportunities) . As physio’s we generally are not very good at challenging each others practice, so Karen’s aim is to encourage AHPs to talk about the issue of professional behaviour in a more open and constructive way, which I believe was the main message behind Sue’s presentation.

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2nd Presentation: A Personal Experience of Completing the HCPC CPD Audit- Jane Toms- Communication Lead WMRN and lecturer Coventry University.

I think one of the scariest things to think about as a qualified physiotherapist is being called up by the HCPC for CPD Audit. Each year the HCPC select 2.5 % of the profession to have their portfolio reviewed. Now lets face it physiotherapists are very good at doing CPD, however, if someone was to come and raid you’re house one evening, would it be in an organised manner? If you’re like me I have 3 folders which store everything but I wouldn’t necessarily think it was appropriate to hand into the HCPC. Jane Tom’s presentation gave a great insight into the process and revealed some relieving points.

How she completed it:

  1. Read carefully what was required: Guides,videos and examples from HCPC.
  2. Look at online resources from CSP, HCPC.
  3. Read carefully what is required again
  4. Look at the assessment criteria!!!
  5. Look at portfolio and select most appropriate CPD
  6. Keep cycling through 1-5.

Jane brought in a copy of her submission and it was quite a relief to see a very thin A4 folder!!!  So what was needed in the submission.

  • 500 words about current roles and responsibilities
  • 1500 Words on how she addressed standards 1-4 with evidence to support it.
  • Standard 5 submit it!! You do not need to use all 2000 words!

So a lot less work than you thought? However, do you write the dates of any CPD activities you do?

Standard 1: Maintain a continuous up to date, accurate record of CPD: Basically write a timetable for the last 2 years of things you have done and the nature of the activity, for example formal course, discussion, peer review.

Standard 2: Demonstrate that CPD activities are varied and relevant: so link to nature of the activities you have recorded and then link to why the activities are relevant to your current role (so link this to summary of role).

Standard 3: CPD has contributed to quality of practice and service delivery: Link evidence to a form of evaluation you can do this yourself or by external feedback you may have documented. How has CPD helped your practice.

Standard 4: Seek to ensure CPD benefits the service user. Who are your service users? Basically it could be anyone you come in to contact with so patients, students, staff etc. Try to link to service user feedback eg. cards, emails, patient feedback etc… This is probably the most difficult standard.

So what would Jane do differently next time?

  • don’t feel guilty if portfolio is chaotic
  • endeavor to be less chaotic as this would save time e.g write down CPD in diary.
  • Ask people who give positive feedback to email her- emails provide dated evidence.
  • email colleagues appreciation
  • even more collecting of positive emails, cards and feedback.

Presentation should again be uploaded onto the WMRN page.

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Presentation 3 Achieving CPD Excellence- Sophie Wickens CSP Fieldwork Officer for CPD

So following the previous presentation I think the importance of CPD has been highlighted. CPD is an ongoing process. My CPD has very much focused on how my CPD activity has affected me but I haven’t integrated it into how it has affected my service users, I have said it will but I haven’t evidenced it. A way I could demonstrate my CPD in this way could be what I learnt from working with England Cricket, followed up by documenting an email from Steve McCaig who gave me positive feedback for the work I did and how the players and coaches responded to me.

What are the benefits of demonstrating excellence in your CPD?

  • encourages further learning.
  • HCPC requirement
  • Role model to others.
  • Job satisfaction
  • Become critical about own practice.
  • Make the case to employers of the benefits of attending courses. i.e. applying for funding.
  • a way of influencing commissioners.

What resources are available to you from the CSP?

  • Pebblepad/ eportfolio proformas
  • Frontline
  • ICSP- Case discussions
  • Twitter
  • Championing CPD Scheme
  • CSP Colleagues
  • CPD Champions- reflective cards
  • QA Audit Tool
  • Physiotherapy Framework
  • CPD Syd
  • Specialist physio through professional advice service.
  • Links to specialist library
  • Network meetings
  • Annual Reps Conference
  • Clinical interest groups
  • Physiotherapy UK
  • Physio Journal
  • CSP Briefing papers
  • Website.

So there are a few things to be going on with.

Presentation 4 Top Ten Things you didn’t know about NICE Naomi McVey.

I am mainly going to bullet point some of the things I learnt from this presentation as I don’t have the slides in front of me.

  1. Maybe its just me but did you know the codes on NICE guidelines symbolise the type of paper you are looking at, for example CG- Clinical Guideline QS- Quality Standards PH- Public Health.
  2. The full NICE Guideline provides an in depth report of all the evidence and a summary whereas the web format provides recommendations. Naomi advised to go to the web format first and then follow up with the full guideline if you require more detail.
  3. NICE Quality Standards provide markers of high quality care from the best available evidence, so good to use when looking to implement a quality service.

CPD Opportunities and Resources available from NICE.

Presentation 5 Moving into the driving seat- how physiotherapy can benefit from this current climate Sue Browning CSP Dep Chief Exec.

Change in the NHS is here to stay as we cannot afford to keep doing what we are doing. There is increased competition to provide services, there is a shift to primary and integrated care to promote self-management and there is an increasing demand for quality to be monitored.

Change does bring opportunity: Commissioners are looking for more efficient and better ways of working and there is strong evidence that physio is the answer to many of the major current changes. However, we cannot assume that people know the key role of physio in preventing unnecessary admissions, providing alternative pathways and keeping people independent. Therefore it is our job to go out and take control of this agenda. Everyone has a role we need to understand and look to improve our role, sell ourselves, look for opportunities round local joint strategic needs assessments (JSNA), build support with patient groups (they will be your allies), learn from others and look to the CSP website. Tell the CSP what you need to do this? As a profession we are a team and need to work together.

Finally moving into the driving seat.

  • Physiotherapy has a strong future.
  • We all have a role in creating that future from student to qualified member.
  • Services will change.
  • Seize opportunities
  • Network, network, network and access the support.
  • Regional Networks have important roles.

So as you can see I have taken a lot from one study day I hope you may find some of it useful.

Finally what is happening with me, I recently went to help out at an extra session with West Brom using Functional movement screening to assess players. This worked in my favor as I am now going to be doing some paid work for West Brom, as one of the physios was unable to cover a day so I stepped in (It shows sometimes grasping any hint of opportunity can lead to others). I will do a follow up post for all of this as I feel I have I overloaded this post with information.

Thank you again for taking the time to read my post. Again any comments please leave on the page or tweet me @LCphsyio

Opening New Doors!

I have been really busy this week. Firstly, from finding out I have been offered a job at the QE, I have been house hunting like crazy.  I knew I wanted to live in Harborne because it was walking distance to the hospital, the area was great to meet other young professionals and with Gerard also living in Harborne, communication would also be easier regarding organisation of CPD courses.  The unfortunate thing is that because it is such a popular area, houses become available and go like hot cakes so I have struggled to even get a viewing on some. But I  have found one which is only a couple of mins walk from the high st and 15 min from the hospital which will be perfect. I will be living with a 2 girls and 1 guy which will be great to meet some new people (can’t wait to start a new adventure!!!)

So after I had been to the house viewing on Thursday night, after training with West Brom, I had to drive to Loughborough University. Through networking I had been given the opportunity to assist Steve McCaig at the England Cricket U19 Profiling camp. Steve is looking to complete his PHd on causes of throwing arm pain in cricketers. The work was expenses paid so I was provided with accommodation and food which suited me. Now baring in mind that on the Rugby camps I have been sleeping in the school dorms, I kind of expected the same for the cricket (which would have been fine for me as long as I have a bed and a shower). But I turned up on the Thursday evening about 9pm to be presented with a lovely hotel room, I was thinking by this point maybe cricket is the sport for me :-)!

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First day of the Camp I had to meet Steve at 7am at the ECB cricket centre. With Steve being an Ozzy it was difficult not to gloat about the previous ashes test but I soon recognised he completely backed the England team through and through. In the morning he quickly ran through the screening program and told me that we would only have 15 mins per player so it was going to be tight (I was thinking oh my god I hope I can keep up) . So the things we were looking at were(some were extras that needed to be covered for his data collection for his PHd pilot study): Scapula position at rest, elbow carrying angle, combined elevation, shoulder internal/external rotation, straight leg raise, hip rotation ROM, Sit and Reach and Knee to wall angle and distance. Steve wanted to know if any of the previous limitations predisposed players to certain injuries or arm pain.

The most common injuries seen in cricket are: Lower back pain, Side strain, Posterior ankle impingement, hamstring strains, lower limb tendinopathy and throwing related shoulder pain. From unpublished data Steve suggested that some of predisposing factors for injuries were.

  • Throwing arm pain- elbow : Reduced total ROM Gleno-humeral Joint and External Rotation on dominant side, reduced Combined elevation, reduced grip strength as a % of Body weight, strength shoulder internal and external rotn, back extension, calf raises.
  • General LBP: Reduced Back Extension and Side Plank times, L to R imbalance on Side plank, reduced Add Squeeze (Look up muscle slings that act on the pelvis to understand reduced adductor squeeze.)
  • LBP fast bowlers–Similar trunk muscle endurance scores but difference not as great, decreased Combined elevation, Dorsiflexion and Sit and Reach.
  • Posterior Ankle impingement: Reduced Dorsiflexion Rom and > L and R difference

So these were some of the reasons we were screening the players so we can look back in retrospective to see whether these limitations are the cause of problem and so players can be given appropriate management plans. Steve has been working in Cricket for about 9 Years so he was really knowledgeable of his sport. You become to realise that each physio at the top has their own ideas and clinical reasoning. At west brom there is a strict focus on prehabilitation, whereas England cricket would focus on physical Preparation. So I think when you get into the area you want to work in you have to ensure you make decisions about how you manage your players/ patients using your own clinical reasoning and judgement, whilst basing practice on evidence. I really enjoyed the first day of the camp because Steve took the time to explain his reasoning and provided some teaching on the Shoulder complex.

On the second day a lot of the drills in the morning were focused on batting, fielding and throwing. Each player was filmed using high speed cameras so their  technique and biomechanics could be recorded. Cricket is not necessarily a sport I follow but it was good to see a break down of skills and to see the difference between the spinners and fast bowlers. I was manning one of the cameras for the batting so I got a real close up of the players. In the afternoon most of our screening was based on muscle endurance so we were looking at Back extension, side planks, calf raises, bridges whilst the strength and conditioning coaches  also carried out other functional movement and strength tests. Again we were looking at imbalances and factors which may predispose players to injury. It was great to see that the physios and strength and conditioning coaches working closely together off the same page as I believe there is a real gap in everyday practice between health professionals and the fitness industry.

So what is in the pipe line for me now, well I am attending the CSP West Midlands Regional Network Meeting on Monday to see what is happening in the region. Regional network meetings are great for networking with qualified clinicians and most are very welcoming to students and new grads. Visit your individual region on the CSP website to see when their next meeting is.

http://www.csp.org.uk/nations-regions

After having so much backing for my blog there is a potential it will be promoted on the CSP website in the blog section so watch this space.

See some pictures below from the ECB Profiling Camp:

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Thanks for taking an interest in my blog, if you have any comments please feel free to leave them on this page or tweet me @LC_physio.

Everything happens for a Reason!

So I have now written this post 3 times because things keep changing so quickly. So just to catch up on what I have been doing the last couple of weeks (I hope I can remember everything).

Last week I attended my first training session with West Bromwich Albion, which was more of an induction to get to grips with how things were run. I was working with a physiotherapist called Mel as Nathan the main man was called out with another player in hospital. As a physiotherapist I was involved in the Prehabilitation of players during their warm up, this involved:

  • Sport specific skills including proprioception some of the exercises included were:
  • Hopping to four points with one foot, at each point volleying a football back to the feeder on inside foot, laces and knee/volley. On the return to the middle point the player had to head the ball.
  • Using a wobble cushion dribbling the ball to four cones whilst standing on one foot.
  • Jumping onto wobble boards with cushion upmost. Jumping two feet and one foot.
  • Foam Rolling, quads, hamstrings, ITB, gastroc’s

It is important to encourage injury prevention within the academy and to illustrate its importance. The activities involve challenging core stability and sports specific proprioception. I really enjoyed the session as I haven’t had the opportunity to work on prehab before and I think me and Mel were both thankful for the extra pair of hands as more players turned up than usual. Having enough physiotherapists to players is key to ensure form is correct throughout.

There is now good evidence that a prevention program consisting of a mixture of: Balance training, landing with increased flexion at the knee and hip, controlling body motions especially in deceleration and pivoting manoeuvres, can significantly reduce the number of ACL injuries. So for these players who are at the start off their careers it is vital to educate them on the use of prehab (Brukner, 2012).

http://www.peterbrukner.com/acl-injuries-preventable/

Since my induction I have been on my first proper session which was fantastic. Again the session focused around Prehab at the beginning, some of the exercises we used were:

  • Hopping on one foot onto 6 wobble cushions in a line.
  • Hopping onto on a wobble board cushion side up, jumping onto the ground same foot and then bounding a mini hurdle.
  • Using an agility ladder each player tied their legs together with an elastic band and side stepped through the ladder.
  • Hopping over hurdles in a zigzag pattern and volleying a ball back to the feeder.

We then were able to follow up certain players who needed specific rehab which was great to learn about some sport specific. Next week I will be leading on prehab with another physio and will be assisting with injury prevention screening using Functional exercise movement patterns. So I will follow up with a post on this.

With regards to job interviews I have had two recently, one for Bank work with Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS trust and one for a private company called APOS Therapy. So first for Nottingham, I really was feeling a bit deflated about NHS interviews but I knew it was an opportunity for interview and although it was bank it covered all the rotations I wanted so I knew I had to give it everything. The night before I organised my CPD folder to match the person spec for the job (but of course they didn’t look at it…. Sods law) but anyway, I went in to the interview feeling a lot more relaxed than previous ones (I think it was because I was a bit half-hearted about it all… but it somehow calmed me down). The questions I got asked were:

  • Tell us about your biggest achievement to date?
  • How do you cope with stress? And how does it affect you personally?
  • Tell us about a time when you didn’t meet a deadline? What were the repercussions?
  • Why this trust?
  • What would you assess objectively for a patient with anterior knee pain?
  • How would you go about assessing a patient who has been admitted following a fall? What would you need to know subjectively? Objectively? And what would your management plan and goals be?

There was a few more which have slipped my mind.

From previous interviews I have realised the importance of not getting your hopes up.  On this interview I ensured I paused and composed my thoughts before speaking and I provided comprehensive answers for the two clinical questions. I got home that afternoon and looked at my phone; I had two missed calls from an unknown number followed by a voice mail. It was the therapy lead asking if I could call her back….. So of course I did and was subsequently offered the position! I was so ecstatic, the job was close to home and they were very positive with my feedback which was a real confidence boost. Of course I accepted the offer and then tried to prepare for the next interview still grinning.

Apos Therapy is a fast growing international company which focuses its treatment on correcting biomechanics by wearing some special boots. The product is fantastic and has had some great reviews see website for more information: http://apostherapy.co.uk/en/home . The interview was ok but it did demonstrate the simplicity of my knowledge for biomechanics but it was very interesting. Apos Therapy are very good at investing in people and providing intensive training but I was concerned as a new graduate that specialising to early would not help me to develop my hands on skills as a physiotherapist. So I decided that although I had got through to the second stage of interview at this time the job was not going to work for me, but if an opportunity arose at a later date it would definitely be something I would consider.

So I had decided the Nottingham job was for me and even though I had secured some bank work at Walsall healthcare. Nottingham would mean I could save some money. But then you will never guess what happened next….. Me, Gerard Greene and Tom Astley were just about to head out for drinks in Harborne (about 9pm) when I got a phone call from an unknown number. It was Janet Hallam from the QE ringing to say they could offer me a fixed term contract until the end of January, which could become more permanent if funding became available. I was in complete shock!! So I said I would call back in the morning! Of course I took the job it was the place I wanted to work for from the start and even if nothing comes of it, it is 6 months of NHS work on my CV J!!!

So although I have written this post three times due to circumstances changing, I can honestly say that everything happens for a reason! So hopefully my future blogs will now consist of my experiences as an employed graduate!! On a final note who’s to say networking won’t get you anywhere. Next weekend I will be working with England U19’s Cricket to assist with their injury prevention screening so hopefully this will open even more doors.

Thank you for taking an interest in my blog, feel free to comment or tweet me @lc_physio.

Pictures from the final Rugby Camp at Ellesmere College:

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Make your Weaknesses your Strengths!

I am writing this post following a roller coaster of a week. I feel completely emotionally and physically drained, and I even started question why I am putting myself through this. I know that is stupid I’ve only had 4 interviews (which I am completely thankful for) , but I think after 4 rejections in such a short space of time it does knock your confidence.  But as the title of the post claims you need to make your weaknesses your strengths and carry on.

Tough-Day-At-The-Office

So  I started on Monday with an interview at Derby Hospitals NHS trust. Due to me working with Worcester Warriors Community again this week, I had arranged my interview for 8.30 am so I could do both. Most people who know me, know I like to be organised and on time. I think I got a bit excited as I appeared to be waiting outside the interview room at 7.30 am (but better to be an hour early than 5 minutes late). So the Derby interview was based on a series of scenarios. There were 4 rooms, 3 scenarios and 1 personal interview , each room had 2 practitioners (I felt like I was on the apprentice and Lord Sugar was going to come out and say your fired or hired!!).

The first room I was in was the personal interview which I was thankful for to break the ice. Some of the questions I got asked were:

  • Tell us about you?
  • What do you think about customer service?
  • Tell us about a situation where you have had to motivate a team?
  • How do you deal with stress?

There was a few more questions but I can’t remember them all. From my previous interview at the QE I felt I shut off and needed some prompts to keep speaking (I think the nerves probably got the better of me). So on this interview I tried to keep speaking until they shut me up.

The second room was a respiratory case study (resp and neuro tend to be my weaker areas mainly because I have had less experience in them) but I felt I was able to work through the case study fairly. There were things when I came out that I could have included but I suppose when your under pressure some things don’t always come to the front of your mind.

The third was MSK, which if do say so myself I blasted. Typical presentation of a frozen shoulder but with a past medical history of a mastectomy (which can have an impact on the shoulder due to radio/chemotherapy sometimes causing tightness) so they wanted some discussion around this.

Finally was a neuro case study. They wanted to know what you know about stroke? What your goals for discharge would be? What would you do if a patient was being discharged by a doctor but you weren’t happy? Again there were some others but I can’t remember the rest.

So overall I felt a lot more comfortable in this interview but I sometimes felt I deviated from the point in the personal interview. So we were due to hear feedback on the Wednesday but I didn’t hear anything. One of my friends had already received an email to say that unfortunately they had been unsuccessful, so due to not hearing anything I thought I would be in with a chance…..But no phone call…..I rang the trust today to find out the decision but unfortunately I had been unsuccessful.  I think I had got my hopes up as I had felt comfortable in the interview and due to others receiving emails… but they just hadn’t sent mine. So as you can imagine I was pretty gutted. The feedback I got was that sometimes I was not concise in my answers for the personal section (which at the QE I was too concise and closed) so I need to find a happy medium. The only other point they made was that I could have been more evaluative in my respiratory case study (which I suppose comes with experience). They were positive in saying I was employable (BUT THEY DIDN’T EMPLOY ME GAHHHH HAHA) but unfortunately they said it was very competitive. On the other hand I did get the offer of bank work off the back of it so fingers crossed that might lead to something else (fingers and toes crossed).

I have another interview for Nottingham CIC bank 4th September so I can let you all know how that goes (I think soon I will have had an interview at every trust it feels…. so I will be the guru of interview questions).

From my previous post, I had discussed my interview at the QE, which I received feedback for on Monday. I scored 23/51 on the question paper again did well on MSK (but lacked some detail, for example I might have said ROM exercises but not specified which ones) and to my surprise respiratory was OK but I wasn’t detailed enough in the orthopaedic question.  They said I came across well in the personal interview but just missed some of the buzz words and sometimes required some prompts (more nerves than not having enough to say). But again I am on reserve list for 3 months so hopefully something might come up.

So for my next interview things I will be working on:

  • Preparing points for generic interview questions so I can be more concise.
  • Ensuring my CPD folder is linked to the post.
  • Learn to relax!!!
  • Finally work through some more respiratory and neuro case studies.

Like I said above I have been back at the Worcester Warriors this week, but working with under 12’s. It is fair to say under 12’s are a lot more demanding, not necessarily in relation to injuries but more in relation to their behavior, but we have great staff at the camps and  everything got done in the end. I am back at the camps again next week for a final week so I will update you then. Tomorrow I will be up very early to head over to West Bromwich Albion Football Club for an induction, so I am looking forward to that (but maybe not the early start after this week). But again you have to embrace opportunities that come your way.

Thank you again for taking the time to read my blog. If you have any questions feel free to comment or tweet me @LCphysio !

Welcome to the real world!

So continuing my journey I am writing this post following a very busy week in the real world of physiotherapy. This week I have been working at one of the Worcester Warriors senior training camps (12-17) as their physiotherapist. It is fair to say that looking after 87 children is quite a feat and I apologise in advance for any spelling or grammar errors as my brain feels like mush. I was employed to work at the camp through the Markland clinic which is based in Swindon and Cirencester (http://www.marklandclinic.com/). The team at Markland have been a great help this week providing me with a fully kitted out pitch side bag (not many work places would do this) and a nice water proof jacket (which definitely came in handy). So I plan to exchange some of my experience of the camp to give you an idea of what I came up against.

The first day I was met with one of the Markland team called Mike who was there to give me the ins and outs of what I would be doing and introduced me to the team. I must say after working with the Rugby League team at University, which at a push had a max of 20 players playing a game, going to 87 kids was a bit daunting :-S ! But on the first day Mike stayed around and we had a manageable caseload between the two of us. The camp was at Malvern college so we all stayed in school accommodation and were very well catered for in the food department (Definitely need a permanent job to get myself  back into the routine of going to the gym after this week.).

Our normal day would start with an optional fitness session at 7am and finish at 10 pm although when in demand you can be called out at anytime for example when some of the kids get food poisoning at 4am… So long days but as a physio we weren’t required the whole time so we did get chance to have some wind down time. I was joined on the 2nd day by another physiotherapist called Charli Robertson at first I had been told by Mike that Charli was a student physio. I was thinking oh great that is all I need 87 kids and a student physio to look after now I will definitely be out of my depth. Luckily for me there was a mix up and Charli was also fully qualified and was studying for her MSc in Sports Medicine. I would say a very good person to have around!! Our job as the physio was to assess and treat anything that came our way from blisters to head injuries. I found the whole process a great learning curve, I have never had the opportunity to work with children except for the odd MSK outpatient referral so there was a lot of sussing out the real cause of problem. For example some kids would come saying they have leg pain yet could not pin point the exact point and everything would be painful however, most of the time with some magic spray the problem miraculously vanished ;)! I really did rely on my communication skills to adapt to the different age groups to be able to perform accurate assessments and treatments. (Though most of the time I just suggested we chopped their limb off which they weren’t too keen on.) On the flip side of presenting complaints some players would play down a problem and would not tell us until a few days later mainly I think because they did not want to be seen as weak to others or to not be seen by the coaches who were potential scouts. For example we had a fractured radial head which wasn’t investigated until 3 days after the incident, but after educating them all about the importance of telling us if there was a problem we had an influx of cases, which resembled a very busy A+E at some points of the camp.

So the main things I have taken away from this camp that I will implement into my future practice:

  • The importance of  adapting my communication with players, staff and parents.
  • I have revisited assessment, treatment and taping techniques.
  • I have established the importance of communication within the team. Making sure you can speak with the coaches can give you valuable information about the incident you are dealing with.
  • The importance of not underestimating or overestimating an injury. If something doesn’t seem quite right it is important to get a second opinion.
  • The importance of knowing your own scope of practice (As a newly qualified unfortunately I don’t know everything and sometimes just need a little reminder to bring some previous knowledge back to me, if you don’t use it you lose it.)
  • Finally it has got me back into writing clinical notes (which was so strange as no one was signing them)

So I have had an eventful few days but I have loved every minute of it as I am finally using my degree to do the job I have loved studying for the last 3 years.

Some of the benefits I received whilst doing this job:

  • I got to work with 2 great teams. (Worcester Warriors and the Markland Clinic)
  • I was able to go and watch a Worcester Warriors Match.
  • I received some free Worcester Warriors clothing (everyone loves a free t’shirt)
  • Contacts for future opportunities.
  • Finally complete job satisfaction with parents, players and staff ending the camp in high spirits.

For the next 2 weeks I will be covering another 2 camps which will be great. Next week will be a junior camp so (9-12) and the second will be a split camp 2 days junior and 2 days senior, so I will let you know if I have any interesting stories for you.

Below are some pictures from the camp:

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So back to the real world in the NHS I have had a reply form Birmingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. Unfortunately this time I have been unsuccessful however, I will be on the reserve list if another post becomes available within the next 3 months so that is promising so I will keep my fingers and toes crossed :-)! Below are some of the questions I got asked in the interview (I can’t remember all of them):

15 min question paper

You have a 22 year old man who has been in an RTC and has a fractured femur and has had a dynamic hip screw to resolve this.

a)      Goals 1st day post op?

b)      Goals for discharge?

c)       2 days post admission the patient has been found to have a fractured clavicle, how does this affect your management?

You have a 28 bed ward and your band 7 has phoned in sick, you have the assistance of a band 3 assistant, what do you do?

What are the signs and symptoms of a contracted shoulder? What would your management and advice be?

What would your assessment be of a patient with Type 2 respiratory failure?

What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 respiratory failure?

What conditions would present with type 1 and type 2 respiratory failures?

Interview panel

Why this trust?

Why do you want to be a physio?

Tell us about your placements? Identify your weaknesses and learning needs.

How do you cope with stress?

How have you demonstrated you match the trusts visions and values?

Have you been involved in service improvement? How have you done this?

What would you do if a patients’ relative made a complaint that you weren’t giving them enough physio and that they had been told they would be seen 3 times a day? The patient also has dementia.

What defines a quality service? How can this be measured?

I really love the QE and I had a great placement on ITU and even when I went on an informal visit before my interview I was still shocked at how many different areas there were in the hospital that I wasn’t even aware of. I am still awaiting feedback from both Nottingham and Birmingham but when I receive it I will let you all know what I could have done differently and how this will change how I will prepare for future interviews . In the mean time before I start work on Monday I have another interview at Derby Hospitals NHS Trust at 8.30 am :-S (I am going to be the walking dead by the end of the week) and I have also applied for a bank job with Nottingham CIC Bank.

So I have plenty of stuff to fill you in with in the next couple of weeks, maybe I should say to the interviewer when they ask me why do I want to work their trust that I am fed up of writing my blog about interviews I didn’t get ;-)!

Again any comments are welcome or you can tweet me @LCphysio x