Each week a new person is invited to curate the @NHS Twitter account to share their NHS story.
This week it’s Sam McIver. Whilst studying at Coventry University, she went on numerous clinical placements, including one with Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Trust where she now works.
She says: 'These placements really fuelled my passion for Physiotherapy within Mental Health. My job is incredibly varied, with lots of exciting projects in the pipeline and I have a growing interest in conducting and participating in research in order to improve the care provided to service users.'
Having used Twitter as a student Sam is no stranger to the benefits it brings. She says: 'I have always loved being part of the physio community on Twitter. It’s great for networking and an invaluable tool for finding out about the latest physio research. It also allows me to get a snapshot of the views and opinions from clinicians to researchers as Twitter doesn’t really allow for jargon.'
The NHS spotted her account and saw her passion for raising awareness about how physical and mental health interlink.
She says: 'It’s a really good opportunity to showcase the varied work physiotherapists do; the other health professionals we work closely with, and also to raise awareness of the link between mental and physical health.'
Whilst at Coventry University, Sam found a limited about of research on physiotherapy and mental health which sparked her research dissertation which explores the perspectives and experiences of students on patients with mental illness. Her work even inspired the university to include a module on mental first aid training.
She adds: 'I’m really passionate about improving the education of future students in the area of mental health. Most people you treat with a long-term condition have some sort of mental illness and it impacts on the rehab you give to them. As a student you don’t get any teaching on mental health and we need more education on the mental health conditions that are so prevalent amongst people with long-term conditions.'
As a result she and her team regularly visit universities to provide lectures and workshops on the subject.
She says: 'It's all been really positive so far and I’ve had a huge amount of engagement from both people working in the NHS and members of the public. I’ve done some twitter polls to try and capture how many people are aware of physiotherapist’s working in this niche area but I also plan on using the week to really engage with people and showcase the varied and important work we all do.'
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