The Accelerated Development Programme was the real clincher for me
I was a little apprehensive about working in MSK, due to a bad experience on placement, however I felt it was time to face my fears. The ADP sessions are every Wednesday morning 9-12, at the head office in Newcastle. The first module included the cervical and the upper limb. We move logically downwards to the shoulder, elbow, wrist, etc. You learn everything.
It’s similar to university but now it’s solely about MSK and very in-depth, covering subjective and objective assessment and management of certain conditions. Tammy was an excellent teacher and the peer support and camaraderie was brilliant – everyone has been really helpful.
I wasn’t looking forward to PhysioLine
I had a negative preconception about PhysioLine, as I was told by many of my previous colleagues that it wasn’t a good idea as patients aren’t even seen. However, when I went through the training I thought it was only a good thing. It reduces time constraints in clinic as the subjective assessment is already complete.
There are lots of benefits to working at Connect
The other great thing about working at Connect is the variety. I see many different conditions which certainly keeps you on your toes and it’s a great way of increasing your MSK skill set. I also love getting a day off on my birthday.
On top of the ADP, I attend the regular in-service training – these take place on Tuesday mornings every 3 weeks and it’s a good time to see all the team and socialise as well as learning something new.
I enjoy being out on my own in clinics working as an autonomous practitioner. In some of my previous roles, you didn’t get the same freedom and working at Connect, it finally feels like I’m actually doing physiotherapy, as opposed to just walking down the street with an elderly person.
Advice to others in my position
So my advice would be if you know you want to do MSK, come to Connect and don’t hesitate! No matter what your skill level they will support you. Looking back I would have definitely have applied earlier.
Working at Connect offers excellent opportunities and the company looks after you – I didn’t get the same feeling in the NHS. Connect is well managed and the support is so much more advanced and integrated here. I’m always getting updates such as new evidence and I’m kept in the loop with everything.
Whilst I took a sideways step in terms of salary, the benefits outweigh this. The training and development, career pathways, support and variety is so much better. The work life balance is OK – it’s a healthy amount of stress and time flies by as you have to work hard.
So what does my future hold?
I’m coming to the end of my ADP and I will get my pay-rise as a result. I feel the next step is Senior Physio with some hard work in front of me. I’m getting married in summer 2018 in Northern Ireland to the girl of my dreams (I was not forced to say that, honest) and would love to carry on with my martial arts and perhaps do the Great North Run in the next couple of years.