One of the biggest dilemmas facing the physiotherapy profession today is how to keep it alive. Given the unrelenting pressures to reform, cut costs, and redesign practice, it's hard to know whether to push the profession's stability, history and established culture, or to promote a radical new professional image. And faced with healthcare innovations that seem to be dissolving old certainties, it's hard to know whether we like it or not. Imagine, for instance, that robots were shown to be more reliable manipulators than physios, or that a low-cost assistant could do the work of post-op respiratory physiotherapy just as well as an expensively trained clinician. Would we promote … [Read more...] about Should we give up physiotherapy?
Last week I had the very great pleasure of teaching some critical thinking skills to postgraduate students at AUT University with my good friend Dr Barbara Gibson. The students were physiotherapists, nurses, case managers, occupational therapists and others, and few of them, in truth, knew much about critical thinking. So we concentrated on what is perhaps the most important, but also the hardest skill in thinking critically: questioning things that we otherwise take for granted. Because something is taken-for-granted it is, by definition, hard to see. They include things we unquestioningly support (like taking care of your own health, for instance); things that are custom and … [Read more...] about Keys to critical thinking
Spend any time thinking about innovations in practice, research, education or ideas and you come up against the problem of how to break the mold. There are all sorts of barriers to overcome if you are going to be truly, radically, innovative. Many people find the idea of change unsettling, others might be skeptical that real change ever happens. Others may be perfectly happy with how things are and ask why we would want to 'fix' something that isn't broken in the first place. Then there are regulatory restrictions and customs and practices that purposefully place limits on what can be said and done in the name of physiotherapy, medicine, dentistry, etc. Innovation, by definition, … [Read more...] about Innovation in physiotherapy
The title of this post comes from a recent story on the CSP's website, celebrating the success of a physiotherapist, Lucy Cassidy, who took the main prize at this year’s Advancing Healthcare awards. Her prize was for the development of a virtual fracture clinic at Brighton and Sussex University Trust. In responding to the prize, Lucy commented that "It’s difficult to innovate in the NHS because of financial constraints, and entrepreneurship is often about trying to find a win-win situation with the private sector to support new services." This got me thinking about why it is that the public sector should so often be thought of as such a moribund place for innovation and … [Read more...] about It’s difficult to innovate in the NHS
Marking the launch of the new edition of the Journal of Humanities and Rehabilitation - itself a notable and new creative venture - this post is about creativity. Physiotherapy ought to be a vehicle for all sorts of creative expression, given that so much of what we do is about bodies and movement. I know many physiotherapists who love dance, martial arts, singing, performance art and other forms of physical expression, as well as creative thinkers, ideas people, artists, musicians, poets, photographers and writers of fiction. But there are few creative outlets for their work within physiotherapy itself. It seems there is physiotherapy, and creative expression is something that … [Read more...] about New: Creativity