I have progressed from ADP Physio to APP in 3 years.
I decided when I was about 11 that I wanted to be a physiotherapist
I didn’t know anyone who was a physio and this interested me as I wanted to do something different. I was always very sporty, playing football and especially cricket. I became captain for the men’s team at the age of 16 and later went on to play in the Leicestershire & Rutland Cricket League Division One.
I studied physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham, graduating in 2015
I then spent a year travelling and working in Australia, before doing my rotation at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. It was there that I realised that I really wanted to work in MSK and didn’t want to wait for that rotation to come around, as I heard it could take up to 2 years.
I joined Connect Health in 2017
I went through the ADP which really accelerated my professional development and meant I was fully confident with red flag assessment and clinical reasoning. There isn’t the same kind of development in place in the NHS for new graduates, and it put me in a good position to apply for a more senior post.
I moved to the pain management role at Wolverhampton in July 2019
Half my role is still MSK, and the other half is in pain management.
I work with people who have had persistent pain for three months to 30+ years
We’re looking at people who have been in pain for long periods of time, so it’s not always a realistic or helpful aim to focus on getting rid of their pain. Our aim is to improve their quality of life despite the pain, by helping them to re-engage with the activities they enjoy. We look at what they’d like to achieve long term and break this down into meaningful and achievable short term goals.
It’s not always pain itself that’s the issue, it can be the secondary effects too
It can be quite complex, and you need to look at areas such as socialising, relationships, work, and financial concerns. People can, understandably, fear their pain and so avoid certain activities. This can lead to a cycle of avoidance, reduced function, increases in anxiety and lowering of mood. As physios, we help to normalise movement and understand that pain doesn’t always mean damage, however, the wider impact this has on returning to activities and social engagement is where the true value lies.
It’s fantastic to see the difference we can make to people’s lives
The job can make you reflect on how hard some people have it; whether it is caring for dependents whilst struggling with their own pain, or having to deal with continuous knock-backs in life. Sometimes it is the little things, like when they tell you they’ve be able to go out to meet a friend for coffee for the first time in six years. It’s really inspiring; we take so much for granted.
The people at Connect Health are all like-minded; we’re all passionate about what we do.
There are great opportunities for career development and the organisation is constantly growing and expanding
There’s a big focus on staff development, and because Connect Health is a growing company, there are opportunities you wouldn’t get as quickly or as readily if you were in the NHS. Things are always moving forward.
I’ve just finished my independent prescribing course
I’ve recently become an Advanced Practice Physiotherapist, and hope to progress in the future by taking on medicine management clinics and eventually become Prescribing Lead for Wolverhampton. I also want to continue to develop my interest in Pain Management Programmes and the impact diet and nutrition can have.
I’m really happy with the things I’ve achieved in the last three years but without the ADP it wouldn’t have been possible.
It’s a really good place to work, and it’s very quick moving
The pace of work is fast and there’s always that push to be doing more, so you need to be willing to work hard. Because Connect Health operates in different parts of the country, you also get to network with a lot of other physios, and share experiences.
I’d encourage anyone interested in working at an innovative organisation that leads the way in MSK to join Connect Health
It’s absolutely committed to giving the best patient care using evidence-based practice, and it’s such a good place to work.
The importance of an MDT
Leading pain management programmes alongside clinical psychologists is one of the best parts about working in pain management. Not only have I learnt a lot from working with them, I have also been able to implement aspects of acceptance and commitment therapy with my own patients. Physiotherapy and psychology complement each other so well in the service, as it’s not only the physical aspects of someone’s pain that leads to disability, it’s also the thoughts and emotions that come with the pain.
We also have independent prescribers as part of the team, who are vital in educating patients on the effectiveness of medications in persistent pain and in supporting the gradual reduction of drug usage, such as opioids. There is a rehab therapist who leads exercise sessions for patients at a local pool and gym, as well as walks. It is important we have this multi-disciplinary team as pain management is complex. Without the MDT, we wouldn’t be able to guide patients in implementing active strategies in the way that we currently do.
If you’d like to find out more about working at Connect Health, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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