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

 

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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

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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You get out what you put in!

Woo Hoo, I finally have an interview at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS trust, which is the trust I wanted to work for if I was to return to Birmingham.

 

I had previously done my ITU placement at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and was amazed at the variety of areas physios were working in. I can remember on my first day walking into the QE staff room, after having a placement at Evesham,with 5 physios, to be met with hundreds of physios and feeling a little overwhelmed. However, the team I was working with were great and I learnt so much in the 6 weeks I was there. So with regards to the interview I will keep you updated with how it goes, I am currently in the process of organising my CPD folder and revising my whole degree in one week :-S!!

As you may remember from my previous blog post, I have secured a position working with the Worcester Warriors on their summer camps. I have just had the timetable for the first week and it sounds great. I am really looking forward to taking part in the injury prevention screening and I will write up a piece so you can see what I learnt from the experience.

Throughout my time as a student I have been heavily involved with the CSP which has opened many opportunities for me. For people reading this with no background in Physiotherapy, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the largest membership organisation for physiotherapy. The CSP is a member-led organisation governed by an elected Council. They provide a wide range of member services and campaign on behalf of all physiotherapy staff and the physiotherapy profession. A misconception by many is that the Health and care professions council (HCPC) will stand up for physiotherapists if a complaint has been filed against them, this is not the case as the HCPC looks out for patients. So if you did face a situation where your practice was under scrutiny it would be the CSP who have your back!!

When I was a student, a lot of students could not see value for money by joining  the society, however, I am a firm believer of you get out what you put in. As a CSP student member you get access to the CSP library, iCSP (which professionals use as a forum to discuss relevant issues), you can become part of professional networks, get access to pebble pad, receive a fortnightly magazine, get many discounts at different retailers and  much more.  As a student I was helped out by the CSP at University. During my return to second year (as I had a year out due to injury), I was going straight back out on placement. On the first day of my stroke placement I got a phone call from University saying “you can’t be on placement as you are not registered as a student “. At this point I had already worked myself up for this day in returning back to University and had re-registered online but there was obviously a problem with their system. Luckily for me after discussion with the CSP I was allowed to remain at the hospital because I was a member phewww!!

So the whole point of me talking about the CSP is to show you what I got out of it, there are so many opportunities within the CSP website to get involved in (although you sometimes have to look as although the website is improving is still not great). For any prospective physiotherapy student reading this becoming a student representative for the CSP enabled me to to contribute to policy, present at conferences, sit on the West Midlands Regional network and set up an Unemployed Graduate Scheme which helps you stand out whilst looking for a job.  As a student representative you don’t have to do as much as I did but the skills I have developed such as communication, leadership and time management are all transferable for the benefit of my patients and future career.

From above I mentioned I was involved in the West Midlands Regional Network.  Each region of the UK has a regional network which are always looking for students to be involved. Last Friday I had a conference call with the communication team which is a  new role for me on the network . My role will try to communicate messages and integrate newly qualifieds’ into the West Midlands Regional Network. The meeting was initiated to discuss strategies to improve the West Midlands Network and how we would achieve this. My contribution was that although the website has improved we are still missing a huge market by using social media (i.e Facebook and twitter) which I will be looking to peruse for the network alongside Daniel Jackson who has taken over my role of Midlands Regional Coordinator for students.

I hope you have taken away something from my blog and If you have any questions about being involved with the CSP  drop me a message on here or twitter @lucycocker1.

Links below:

CSP Website: http://www.csp.org.uk/

West Midlands Regional Network: http://www.csp.org.uk/nations-regions/west-midlands

Look out for the West Midlands Network Study Day: http://www.csp.org.uk/network-events/monday-16th-september-2013-cpd-study-day-930am-4pm-worcester?networkid=447

No Work Without Play!

What a whirlwind of events over the last couple of weeks… I’m not sure really where to start, but I will try.

I have had some positive news on the job front, I have been approached by GB Men’s Sitting Volleyball team to attend some of their training sessions, with the aim of going with them to the Europeans in Poland. This opportunity sounds amazing and would be a fantastic experience, but at the same time I do not want to be working outside of my scope, so I plan to seek advice from qualified members to see what they suggest.

Another employment lead has come from Bournville Rugby Club. Natalie Furness a physiotherapist who gave one of my unemployed graduate lectures (showing again networking is key) asked me if I was still interested in working for the club. I have replied saying I would love the experience. However, unfortunately that is dependent on whether I can secure a full time job in the West Midlands. So although opportunities keep arising I am still limited by my ever mounting overdraft… the joys of student life.

Aside from private work, I have submitted another application for a static NHS MSK post. Although band 5 rotations have always been the norm, in the ever changing NHS environment rotations are not always suited to every physiotherapist. My long term goal is to work in MSK practice, so following my previous post with the advice of CSP professional advisers and therapy leads… I questioned myself on completing applications.. which posts are going to get me to where I need to be ?

With regards to CSP membership and HCPC registration, I still need to send off my forms . I have been a bit sidetracked the last couple of weeks and as of tomorrow I will be in Padstow on a family holiday, so will be postponing the job hunt until next Monday.

In my previous post I spoke about the opportunity that came about from Harborne Physio. I am due to start working with Gerard next week, starting off by running his social media and looking out for new venues for courses. I am looking forward to being involved as Gerard seems to be very busy at the moment… so lots to do!!!

Outside of physiotherapy, the last couple have been crazy!!! We had Sports ball Monday, gradball Thursday, my Birthday Saturday followed by Bucs nationals for the equestrian team this week. I am a firm believer that as a physiotherapy student work/life balance is essential. We do a very intense degree which requires a lot of hours, but it is important to have some down time to make the most of the experience of University. As part of the equestrian team I have been 1st team captain for the last 2 years. The role has developed my skills in time management (for being able to get my uni work done alongside training/competition), organisational (organising a competition for the University), communication (contacting other club captains and speaking to club members), leadership (being a role model to members and being able to delegate) and finally team work (working as a team at competitions to win). The hard work the whole team has put in with equestrian has been amazing and we have been rewarded this week by being crowned BUCS national champions!! Joining a club at University was the best decision I ever made, and it is a way of standing out against other graduates !! (Some pictures added below from Sports ball, gradball and BUCS Nationals).

So back to physiotherapy during my time at BUCS nationals my exam results were posted online a day early :-S!! I was pretty much set for a 2:1 in my degree which I was quite happy about but I knew if I was going to get a first it would be very much dependent on my dreaded dissertation. My dissertation explored the perceptions and experiences of physiotherapy students and how their individual learning style preferences interacted with the clinical environment. The small scale study highlighted some interesting themes:

Individuals highlighted how they saw the “environment” differently and how the nature or setting impacted on their learning. Second, was “quality”, clinical educators played an important role in facilitating students’ learning and supporting students’ personal needs. Students highlighted that more experienced clinical educators with certain attributes enhanced their learning. Third, was “barriers”. Students’ demonstrated lack of confidence in unfamiliar situations and weak evidence suggested students with reflector/theorist preferences tended to struggle in high pressure situations imposed by clinical educators. Finally, was “collaboration”, an understanding and flexibility from both clinical educator and student was important to ensure matched outcomes and goals.

I was quietly proud of my dissertation as I had spent a lot of time on it, but I wasn’t sure of the class it would get! I would advise any student to take advantage of having a dissertation tutor. My tutor Clive Liles had an interest in my topic and was so helpful in facilitating my decisions. So results were in……. I checked online and saw the number 40!!! realising I had read the credits rather than my mark!! Heart stopping moment :-S I looked again to see I had got 73% which ultimately tipped me over to receive a FIRST CLASS HONORS DEGREE ARRRRGGGH!!!!

So what a fantastic couple of weeks to finish off the best 4 years of my life! Sports ball, Gradball, turning 23, BUCS national champions in equestrian and a 1ST Class honors degree!!! I think this week will be hard to top! (maybe I should buy a Euro millions ticket.)

Again any comments or questions feel free to leave me a message on here or twitter @lucycocker1.

Graduation BallBirthday BUCS NationalsSports Ball