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In perspective - Don’t keep your knowledge to yourself

CSP’s Annual conference is for all – including associate members, says Angela Brett

More associates than ever before were at last year’s showcase event for the CSP, its annual congress.

I am thrilled that associates will also be attending the Physiotherapy UK CSP Conference and Trade Exhibition 2012, due to be held in October.

Associates should be treated no differently from students and physiotherapists in respect of attendance at the conference.

We all need to develop and learn, and to be able to pass information to our clients.

 I have attended three CSP congresses in the past and relayed information on a number of things, including a new piece of equipment and a research project.

I came away from the event with that all important feeling of not only understanding a condition, but having a sense of empathy with what the patient experiences.

That’s something that an ‘expert’ in a subject can share.

It is a fantastic opportunity for support workers to choose topics relevant to their working areas.

Many of us take new ideas and valuable experiences back to our workplaces, sharing with the teams we work in and a much wider audience.

This is particularly important as support workers are increasingly asked to take up some of the work previously done by physiotherapists.

Each speaker has an important message to get across to the whole profession and associates recognise how it fits in with their tasks.

 The roles in a physiotherapy team are so vast that it would be difficult to put something specific on for everyone.

Take communication – we all have to communicate verbally or by touch and in a way that works between the clinician and patient.

I enjoy asking my patients ‘twenty questions’ or showing ‘twenty pictures’ to find an answer to something.

 I don’t need to be a physiotherapist to do that but I often have slightly more time to discover the answer.

A lack of knowledge often leaves associates frustrated but attending conference is a wonderful chance to grasp as much information as possible and reflect upon it.

Just think how skills are enhanced with more knowledge gained by an inclusive approach applied to the whole profession.

We all have important parts to play in delivering physiotherapy and need to feel a valued member of the CSP family.

Managers and team leaders could enrich staff skills and patient care by encouraging associates to attend Physiotherapy UK 2012.

There will also be time for them to network with other assistants. A multi-skilled support worker makes for a more versatile workforce.

And if you’re a support worker with a passion for your career and who enjoys learning, then this conference is for you, whatever your job title.

The knowledge and experience gained at conference is contagious, spread it about –  don’t keep it to yourself! (See pages 20-21 for more information.)
Angela Brett is chair of the CSP’s Physiotherapy Associates Board

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