It is important for clients to know that the physiotherapist they are working with is maintaining their competency level – i.e. that they are constantly reviewing and updating their knowledge and skills. As physiotherapists, we do this through what is termed Continuous Professional Development (CPD). This can take a variety of forms: from attending courses, to reading journals, to peer review, to providing training to colleagues and thus reinforcing your own learning etc. At SP Therapy Services, we undergo CPD in a variety of formats to strive to keep current in our knowledge and ensure we are providing best practice.
This week I attended a workshop organised by the British Association of Bobath Trained Therapists, themed “The Preterm Child”. The workshop took the format of a lecture from Virginia Knox, Bobath Tutor, followed by a practical workshop where the participants (Bobath trained occupational therapists and physiotherapists) practised treatment techniques on each other. In the afternoon, we were joined by two children with a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy – we worked with then and then discussed our chosen treatment techniques. In this way, we held ourselves to account – we justified what we had done and why, we discussed our treatment aims, hypothesised about what they would achieve, discussed alternatives, invited critique and suggestions from other therapist’s present. Throughout the workshop we also discussed current developments in disability, new pieces of equipment we were aware of, as well as developments in our service or the physiotherapy profession in general.
As a physiotherapist working primarily on my own I came away encouraged and confident in my skills. i have gained some ideas, and refreshed some of my core knowledge. I have become aware of more research and will now be able to add that knowledge to the evidence base of my reports and treatment choices. I have gained a few more contacts, put faces to names, and built upon relationships with other professionals. I also had the privilege and joy to meet with 2 young people with cerebral palsy, and their families, and to learn more about what it means to live with CP and how they would like our profession to be able to assist them.
Written by Liz Cowan, Chartered Physiotherapist.