With COVID-19 restrictions now in place across the UK, social media is proving the perfect platform for learning and development at a distance.
Continuing professional development (or CPD) comes in many forms and, now more than ever, students and qualified physios are coming to social media to learn and reflect. On 10 April, this was the timely discussion during the first Instagram Live hosted by the CSP’s Student Reference Group (SRG) @thecspstudents.
Facilitated by student members Chloe Dooley, Martin Smith and Ryan Smith, and attended by over 150 individuals, the SRG’s Instagram Live focused on CPD and naturally the topic of how to gain CPD online was high on the agenda.
According to the HCPC, CPD ensures that healthcare professionals continue to develop new skills throughout their career in order to practice safely. As a student, you are already doing CPD, but what constitutes ‘professional development’ is so much more than courses and training events.
As the social distancing measures are highlighting, online (and lockdown-friendly) CPD activities can provide stimulating and creative opportunities to learn. Student-recommended resources include, but are in no way limited to:
- Tweet chats (e.g #Physiotalk)
- live Facebook, Twitter and Instagram broadcasts (e.g @clinicalphysio and @generationAHP)
- webinars (e.g. the CSP’s Hip Sprint webinar in April)
- discussion threads (e.g. SRG member Tara’s recent Tweet on MSK CPD resources)
- video meetings (using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype or HouseParty)
- online discussions using such tools as Whatsapp (read the related Frontline article)
- podcasts (e.g. the CSP’s newscast)
- physio apps (see the ORCHA library)
- live and pre-recorded videos (e.g. Running Physio’s Youtube series)
- online articles and e-books (and online journal clubs)
- blogs (e.g. Physio Newbies)
- online training courses (e.g. e-lfh.org.uk and Physiopedia)
- and even TV.
The clear message from the Instagram Live attendees was that the reflection of the activity was as important as the activity itself. Tips on how to reflect came in droves from using digital tools (such as video, audio recordings and screen captured images) to giving yourself a deadline to write up reflections within a week of the activity. Commenters then recommended recording CPD online using the CSP’s e-portfolio, Google Drive or One Note. Speaking on the subject of portfolios, a number of graduates shared that presenting and referring to their CPD record at job interviews proved a helpful aid, particularly when providing examples.
The discussion then turned to life after lockdown and the value of face-to-face activities such as conferences, meetings, feedback from patients and staff, and recognising the transferrable skills gained through volunteering and part-time jobs.
The takeaway message from the half-hour session was that CPD should not be a chore (to appease the HCPC), but the process by which you become the best physio you can be. As you will need to carry out CPD for the entirety of your career, it is vital that you enjoy it. As Chloe and Ryan advised, periodically review your reflections to see which areas you need to develop, what activities work best for you, and how you can add more creativity to avoid getting stuck in a rut!
Speaking again of social media, you can regularly find CPD tips, events and resources on the CSP Students' Twitter, Instagram and the iCSP forum (including the recent CPD post from fellow SRG member Clementine).
Thank to you the SRG for hosting and writing up the reflection of their Instagram Live debut .
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