Your continuing professional development (CPD)

'I often feel like support workers get a little bit lost when it comes to CPD,' says physiotherapy assistant with Ysbyty Gwynedd, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Polly Hornby.

Polly Hornby, physiotherapy assistant with Ysbyty Gwynedd, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

'There is so much information and learning opportunities out there, but as support workers we are often more generic than registered physios.

'It can therefore be difficult to know where to start.  I have found the Open University to be excellent at providing me with structure and allowing me to develop my own personal interests which I can bring into my workplace.  

'I have been lucky enough to have secured funding to enrol on a variety of different Open University courses over the years via my trust's education and training department.  

'I started with K102 ‘introduction to health and social care’ which is a level 1 course, so it is a great starting point for those that may have not done a degree before or have been out of education for a while.  I then progressed onto level 2 courses in ‘death and dying’ and ‘dementia’.

'More recently I have enrolled in ‘science in healthcare’.  All of these courses have enabled me to increase in my depth of understanding and improve the quality of service that I provide my patients.  

'On a personal note it has increased my confidence and giving me the belief that I can achieve academic success.  I also feel it helped me achieve a band 4 post, it was certainly discussed at length during my interview anyway!  

'The Open University provide many free, short courses, as well as longer ones.  

'Currently there is an excellent short course available entitled Infection and Immunity, which I’m sure is relevant to the vast majority of support workers at the moment.  It is free, all online (so you can do it at your own pace) and you even get a free statement of participation upon completion.  

'Why not give it a go? It will look great for your CPD and who knows, maybe you will decide to sign up to other modules with the Open University and achieve even greater things.  BSc in Health Science anyone?'

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