We're coming to the end of a long academic year in New Zealand, so that means lots of examination and assessment of nervous students. This time last year I took over a postgraduate paper called Health Professional Practice with a view to 'reshaping' it. For years it had been delivered in a standard fashion: block study, lots of lectures and tutorials - mostly directed at students rather than engaging them, boring assessments. I decided to shake things up a bit. The paper needed to be much more about what made the students 'tick' as health professionals; their experiences, ideas and issues. But it also needed to get them to critically examine their professions in ways they hadn't … [Read more...] about Innovation
Mike Stewart posted an interesting picture (link) on his Facebook feed a couple of days ago (thanks to Paul Lagerman - The Naked Physio - for the link, and Mike for posting). Participants on Mike's course were asked to respond to the prompt; "If I designed a healthcare course for students, the first 3 lessons would be...' The responses proved interesting. https://www.facebook.com/100008119901926/posts/2199382033675772/ My suspicion is that if you asked any experienced physiotherapist, they are likely to say something similar. In fact, the evidence suggests that most employers, practitioners, and consumers want their clinicians to have good communications skills, be empathic, … [Read more...] about What is at the heart of physiotherapy?
It's sometimes reassuring to imagine that when the robots finally take over, and all of our mundane repetitive tasks are in the hands of automatons, we will still want and need the comforting touch of real people. I've argued as much myself, suggesting that the future for the physical therapies is assured because people will always want skilled, caring, thoughtful physical touch - the kind of touch no machine will ever be able to replace (Nicholls 2017). But what this argument misses is that its entirely possible for robots to replace physical therapies because they are robots. This point is explored in this beautiful short film by Oliver Schwartz, that explores the relationship a … [Read more...] about Very touching: Physiotherapy in the age of non-human companions
In Nikolas Rose's superb analysis of the history of the 'psy' disciplines (psychology, psychotherapy and psychiatry), he identifies something about psychology that the 'phy' professions (physiotherapy, physical therapy) ought to look very closely at. Rose asks why it is that psychological thinking is all pervasive these days. Psychological ideas have slipped into everyday language and ways of thinking, everyday experiences of tension and sadness have been given psychological names and diagnostic criteria, and there are now whole bookshelves full of self-help guides to managing every aspect of your psychic life. Rose asks how this happened; 'Psychological expertise now holds out the … [Read more...] about Physiotherapy unlimited
Ben Cormack wrote a post on Facebook yesterday that touched on an important point about innovation and creativity in physiotherapy. The post read: Therapeutic exercise can often literally suck out all the motivation to do it. It can be so meaningless & monotonous. We exercise because it makes us feel good or we want to look good. We play sport because we enjoy the social engagement or the game. We engage in meaningful activities that use our bodies because we can switch off from the world or they provide fulfilment. We need to tap into the things that inspire people to move rather than just tell them to exercise (link). Notice how in each case Ben argues that we do … [Read more...] about Transforming physiotherapy
Managing uncertainty in healthcare: Revisiting and advancing sociological contributions 27th Sociology of Health & Illness Monograph Editors: Nicola Mackintosh and Natalie Armstrong One of the most pervasive themes in the sociology of medical knowledge and its critiques is the role of uncertainty in clinical practice. This 27th Sociology of Health and Illness Monograph will revisit this enduring phenomenon in the context of changes over the recent past, notably the emergence of the construct of 'overdiagnosis', increasing public anxiety over health and risk of illness, shifting patient expectations on the benefits of scientific innovation and the reliability of clinical … [Read more...] about Call for papers: Managing uncertainty in healthcare
I recently had a very enjoyable holiday with my brother who was visiting New Zealand for the first time. At a cafe filled with follies and other quirky craft pieces I asked by brother - who is an accomplished photographer and teacher - what the difference was between an artist and someone's who's good with crafts. His answer has stuck with me ever since. "Artists", he said "deal with problems." The example he used was of Grayson Perry, a ceramicist who makes replica Greek urns. Amongst the ceramics community, Perry's pots divide opinions. Some with a stronger interest in the technical craft of ceramics deride his work as sloppy and poorly constructed. But what makes Perry an … [Read more...] about What’s the difference between a technician and an artist?