In 2017 I became the first physiotherapy support worker to gain the Wales level 3 diploma in physiotherapy support.
It gave me the confidence to develop further and I went on to complete a level 2 gym instructor course. This is because while patients are on the cardiac rehabilitation programme we, in the Caerphilly cardiac rehabilitation (ABUHB) service, use a local gym and I needed to have the knowledge to assist other MDT members, ensuring that our patients were using the equipment safely and correctly, to prevent them getting injured.
I then went on to use my level 3 diploma in physiotherapy support to complete a level 4 exercise instructor qualification with BACPR (British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation) which has given me a much better insight of cardiac issues for working in cardiac rehab.
Without doing the level 3 diploma in physiotherapy support I would not have been able to progress onto the level 4 exercise instructor course with BACPR.
I’d encourage other physiotherapy support workers in Wales to complete the level 3 diploma in physiotherapy support because I feel that it has helped me in my everyday job. For example, improvements in my clinical note writing and much more to support my work in a community resource team. It has also given me the confidence to progress further with higher education.
There is currently a higher level qualification for therapy support workers in England in the level 5 assistant practitioner programme. This doesn’t exist in Wales, however, a level 4 therapy assistant practitioner apprenticeship is in development.
My progress and qualifications so far have given me the confidence to look to complete this when it is available and to go further in higher education.
- Sheryl Barnett, physiotherapy technician, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
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