Work experience- from the other side!


I know that title probably seems a little strange, so let me explain.

     This week I have had the privilege of working along side a team of physio's. Like many people with cerebral palsy I receive physio myself, meaning that this was a chance for a bit of a role reversal. However this does including seeing the amount of admin work which was involved. Yes, I was aware that a lot of it was dealing with referrals, discharge forms, reports and general observations- this week allowed all of that to all be put into perspective. Also what I did on my placement and what I have been able to get out of it is why it was the perfect placement for me.

     Firstly I instantly felt extremely welcomed by all of the team, which was really lovely. As well as getting compliments on my AFO zebra print splint, from the moment I walked in, this is not something which is incredible common, but something which was seen as pretty normal for them. Furthermore I think that the physio placement was perfect for me as they knew what they were doing with me. These things included helping me up and down the stairs, not panicking when I fainted, understand fatigue levels and being more then happy to put my wheelchair in the back of someone's car when moving locations. Something which I found the best was that they quite enjoyed carry crutches, making them feel like a 'proper physio', as it shows their role.

    During my time with the team I was able to observe and help with multiple hydro/ rebound therapy sessions, do a visit to a residential home, observe the admin reports, help a bit in reception, attend meetings and be a part of manual handling training (and relax!). So you could say it has been a very busy week, just sad it's over so fast! (can I do another week?). One thing which I found really interesting was being able to meet all of the service users and the carer/ parents which came with them. It was really nice to be able to talk to the parents/ carers and see how much of a benefit the service was to them and seeing a range of adults with learning disabilities being able to access the service on a weekly basis to improve their quality of life. Also seeing how a disability of any kind has effect/ what impacts it has had on the family.

      Throughout the week I got use and see new equipment which I haven't had chance to do before. These were mostly the hoists and slings which were used when transferring some service users who were unable to do so themselves. By doing this it allowed them to access the trampoline and swimming pool, something which wouldn't be available in the mainstream community.

     Due to personal experience of physio's and what benefit they are able to provide, also medical knowledge in general. I felt that I was able engage more with service users and the work with the team well. For example I was able to show knowledge on how to self- transfer from one chair to another (it's harder then it looks!!), even if I did feel bad for the instructor afterwards.... being a little bossy! Also during one of the hydro- therapy sessions I was able to assist in the training of student physio's. Now for those of you who have never had hydro the term 'seaweeding' will be alien, however stay with me, it is just a name given to one of the exercises which a physio can perform on a service user. Therefore I was the guinea pig for this training exercise, it is very relaxing for the service user so I didn't mind having a snooze for a while as they all took it in turns to have a go. Also more physio for me is probably a good thing! It meant I could give them all feedback as I know what it's meant to be like, making me the professional in that situation :)

      Finally I would just like to thank the whole team for allowing me to experience 'the other side' and just generally putting up with me! It has been a very enjoyable and interesting placement, which couldn't have happened without the support which I was given. At one point it was looking very likely that I would be spending this week in school, not on a placement. So I'm very glad I was able to complete any placement, never mind one which I found so beneficial and would go back to tomorrow if I could!

- Chloe x

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