What has it been like for a new graduate starting a job in the Covid-19 world? How are they coping?
Kim Brodie has been working in a number of inpatients settings throughout the pandemic.
She tells her story
‘I am a newly graduated rotational band 5 physiotherapist, and have recently begun work with NHS Grampian in the North East of Scotland.
After finishing my studies in physiotherapy BSc (Hons) at Robert Gordons University, I planned to begin my post in Grampian in July. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, I worked as a physiotherapy assistant in Grampian alongside completing my final year of this degree.
As a result of the pandemic I was able to apply to the HCPC temporary register and begin temporary part time band 5 work as a fourth year student whilst completing my final university deadlines in May, following cancellation of my final placement due to the virus.
Although the transition from student to band 5 may have arrived earlier than originally expected, I was delighted to be given the opportunity as a fourth year student to join the temporary register and step up into the band 5 role to help our physiotherapy service during the pandemic.
Although I was disappointed my placement as a student in a respiratory setting was cancelled due to Covid, I was fortunate to be welcomed and supported into my new temporary role by the physiotherapy team and gained experience in orthopaedic and intermediate care settings. Following confirmation of my degree last month, I began fulltime in a band 5 role, further developing my clinical skills and knowledge as a new graduate in my current rotation, placed in a “step down” rehabilitation setting.
As a new graduate I am extremely grateful for the support I have received from not only my team but the Grampian Health Board since transitioning into a qualified role.
With Covid-19 creating a number of new challenges for physiotherapists across the health boards, NHS Grampian and in particular the physiotherapy service have been extremely supportive in ensuring all staff maintain their health and wellbeing and feel supported in the workplace, during these times of increased workloads and change. This has included socially distanced team meetings, as well as employees being encouraged to ensure that adequate rest periods are filtered into the week as well as physical activity and time spent outdoors when appropriate during work break times. This has ensured that not only myself as a new graduate, but all physiotherapists feel supported in our roles during these challenging times.
Covid-19 has presented physiotherapists with a number of different challenges, requiring a flexible and adaptive approach to working in order to implement appropriate solutions to overcoming these.
In Grampian Covid-19 has led to the introduction of seven day working across the physiotherapy service, ensuring our service users’ needs are met across the week.
Furthermore, the introduction of social distancing measures have required adaptive and innovative thinking, when planning treatment sessions for patients in both the gym and ward environments.
A number of colleagues have also been required to further demonstrate flexibility and adaptive working, following redeployment both to a variety of inpatient physiotherapy settings and to work alongside fellow health professionals on the frontline.’
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