Andrew Burns describes his fast-tracked journey from student, new graduate, ADP and now Senior Physiotherapist with Connect, and why he loves the variety.
I always had an interest in sport and the human body
I was a competitive swimmer from aged 11 to 18, winning gold medals in the national championships. I had a lot of injuries and experienced physiotherapy throughout my swimming career. Later I took up water polo and powerlifting. I took a year out before university, working at a leisure centre as a lifeguard.
That led me to a degree in Sports Therapy
But ultimately I wanted to further my skills and be in a more clinical environment, so completed a Physiotherapy MSc. As part of the course we have a placement, and mine was with Connect. In September 2017 I joined Connect having been fortunate to be chosen for the Accelerated Development Programme (ADP), which gave me a year of development and increased responsibility. That really upskilled me and prepared me for a more senior role, resulting in becoming a Senior Physiotherapist in October 2018.
I knew I wanted to go into MSK
I didn’t want to do my physiotherapy rotations and wanted to go straight into MSK and I had a good experience as a student in a friendly team. I was lucky that Connect gave me a good career pathway with lots of support and CPD at such an early stage.
The move to senior physiotherapist was a natural transition
I’d been given support to prepare for it and it wasn’t a major change in terms of the amount of patients. I did take on a bit more responsibility, taking a team lead role supervising students, but it was a gradual thing and an opportunity, not a shock.
The ADP really equipped me to manage the move
It was really beneficial. Everyone on the course found it interesting, and it definitely upskilled us and made us better physios. It was so useful, with lots of different people taking sessions and sharing their experiences.
There’s such a variety in the job
You can work in the gym, on PhysioLine or face to face. It’s never boring, or the same thing every day. For example, today I did face to face in the morning, and I’ve been in the gym this afternoon. On Thursdays, I do a full day from home working on PhysioLine, and not having to commute every day makes such a difference.
I’d advise anyone to take on more responsibility wherever possible, and put your name forward for tasks and other roles within the team. With hard work and the opportunity for continued training, you can progress quickly and reap the rewards.
Connect really invests in people
There’s ongoing monthly in-service training, where different professionals come to talk to us about different services and case studies. Connect also supports Personal Development Planning; for example, I’m going to be doing strength and conditioning courses shortly.
There are limitations in any job
We work in very busy clinics and access to gym equipment could be better, but it’s manageable. We have over 1,000 people in the gym each month. But this is an opportunity; we’ve just taken on a couple of new physiotherapists and a new graduate, so we are expanding all the time.
The job satisfaction is the best thing, but it’s also really flexible
You can have long days, but the job is so rewarding and working in a great team makes it worth it. I work longer days over 4 days a week, so get a day off during the week. Plus, you get your birthday off!
We’re given trust, freedom and support
It’s a very good set up, I really like how it works. We’re very evidence-based and given freedom in terms of clinical reasoning. We have a great support network, for example from the Clinical Assessment Treatment Service (CATS). Everyone is really welcoming, so this in combination makes it a good place to work. As soon as I started, I felt part of the team.
If you’d like to find out more about working at Connect, contact firstname.lastname@example.org