As a physio in the US, I have spent 8 years providing care in the public education system and private schools serving children with developmental delays and their families, 10 years in traditional outpatient care primarily serving patients with neuromusculoskeletal complaints, and I am now about to begin my 7th year in the home health setting mostly serving patients with chronic cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurological health complaints.
When I started my journey as a fresh/green physio, I recognized that my relationships with the children I was working with was of utmost importance as I tried to motivate 2- and 3-year-olds to engage in (fun!) play that would be beneficial to them. For some reason, though, I had the (false) impression that, as I morphed into an outpatient clinician working with adults, my hands were going to be most important. It took far too long for me to realize that – while my hands may be important – interconnected and engaging relationships were still the most important means by which we can bring about positive effects in our patients and communities.
Now, as a home health therapist in a large hospital network – while trying to develop and grow a small private-practice with an emphasis on geriatric care – I wonder how social and financial pressures are impacting my ability to provide care that best serves the patient under increasingly invasive, demanding, and persistent public-health models. I wonder how the commodification of service impacts my ability to be successful. I ponder if physio is still the right profession for me. The answers to such questions remain elusive. All the while, CPN is the rare space where I have an opportunity to read about what other physio are thinking about across the world and how we all struggle with some of the bigger questions that face our profession; I am reminded that I am not alone.
My interests in critical physiotherapy are both philosophical and pragmatic, trying to figure out how to balance the rights and needs of the individual with those of the larger community, providing humanistic care with the individual while appreciating the impact of the individual’s health on the larger tribe. I am not a researcher, nor am I in academia; I am a humble clinician who is looking to the international physio community for occasional guidance and more frequent wisdom.
When the CPN launched a few years ago, I was hesitant to register as a member. I am a full-time clinician and (increasingly infrequent) blogger; I thought I would feel (1) a bit inadequate among some of the brightest thinkers in the worldwide profession of physio, and (2) like an all-too-large hanger-on. But I was convinced otherwise and have found a comfortable space reading, sharing, and occasionally networking and engaging with other members. My misgivings, it turns out, were unfounded.