Working for free?

Physio Rob Davies writes about volunteering with St John Ambulance

Rob Davies Senior Physio, Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital

As a physio who currently volunteers for SJA I can categorically state that I am not ‘working for free’. 

I volunteer to give back to my local community and wider society.

Additionally volunteering for SJA has afforded me many opportunities allowing me to gain broader knowledge and skills (both clinical and non-clinical). 

I actually joined SJA to help my university application and since that day 12 years ago I have undertaken a significant amount of training including how to use AEDs, administer medical gases, take ECGs and manage a wide range of medical and trauma presentations. 

Under the document drawn up between SJA and the CSP, at the very least physios will be fast tracked to the role of ‘advanced first aider’, with recognition of prior learning/external courses. 

As a regional CSP steward, who also sits on the national executive of the National Group of Regional Stewards, I have to say that I’m extremely glad that the CSP has worked with SJA to achieve this level of recognition for a group of AHPs that are all too often under recognised and underutilised. 

As it is a voluntary role there is no obligation on volunteers to attend specified events. 

Additionally, I can reassure people that the SJA management is very much aware of the impact volunteering can have and encourage volunteers to maintain a healthy work-life balance.  So is it a case of physios working for free? Certainly not! It’s actually a great opportunity for us to showcase our knowledge and skills and simultaneously raise our public profile, with the support of an organisation that encourages professionalism and patient-centred care through evidence-based practice and CPD. 

  • Rob Davies is a senior physio at Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital

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