There is quite a lot of pessimism and negativity among healthcare professionals at the moment. Reduced funding, job cuts, professional encroachment and general uncertainties about the future are having a bad effect on people's health and wellbeing. So I thought it might be a good idea to take a moment to remember what makes physiotherapy so great. Not all of these things will be relevant to every physiotherapist, but most will. Physiotherapists: Touch people. Very few people can do this, and almost no others get to touch people for therapeutic reasons. Some touch to perform a procedure, others to care, but few touch to reduce pain, help move or build strength, flexibility and … [Read more...] about 10 reasons to love physiotherapy
Today's blogpost comes from CPN member Hazel Horobin. Hazel is a Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy at the University of Brighton in the UK. I warmly welcome Jonathon Kruger as the new CEO of the WCPT. What an amazing job he steps into, representing physiotherapy/physical therapy globally. I guess though that one of the issues he will struggle with most is the national variations in professional recognition. This concept is frequently encapsulated as professional ‘autonomy’ and I would like to explore this. Our treatments are frequently thought of as being the consequence of reasoning processes (Norman, 2005). However, sociologists talk about issues of ‘structure’ and ‘agency’ when … [Read more...] about Can we establish a global paradigm for physiotherapy treatments?
When Voltaire, the French philosopher and writer, was on his death-bed in 1778, he was asked by his priest if he renounced Satan, he replied "Now, my good man, this is no time to be making enemies." I heard the quote again the other day when I was talking to a friend about the way that the greatest enemies of progress are often one's own colleagues and friends. The subject came up because of two instances in nursing that had shown how unstable some professional ideologies can be when exposed to critical scrutiny. The first instance was the debate surrounding the publication of David Thompson and Philip Darbyshire's paper Is academic nursing being sabotaged by its own killer … [Read more...] about Making enemies of friends
Late last year I spent a very nice hour with CPN member and passionate physiotherapy-reformer Paul Lagerman, otherwise known as The Naked Physio (link). Paul's website has been using blogging, social media and podcasting as a way to debate our profession for a while now, and he has just published a conversation we had about the past, present and future of the profession and the role that people in the Critical Physiotherapy Network are playing in transforming the profession. You can hear the entirety of the podcast here or through Paul's site. … [Read more...] about Critical physiotherapy podcast
Neil Maltby's excellent blogpost yesterday (Algorithm is going to get you) was a refreshing reminder of some of the odd things we do in the name of science-based physiotherapy. Neil's post was about how we look for pseudo-scientific measurement of things that otherwise can't (and shouldn't) be measured. I've blogged about this before (see here, for example), and complained bitterly about our lack of sophistication when it comes to subjective phenomena like breathlessness, pain, loss (of functional ability), etc., that are the bread-and-butter of everyday life for working physiotherapists. No-one ever wakes up in the morning with a bad headache and says "Wow, I've got a really bad … [Read more...] about More on the measurement of pain
When I entered physiotherapy training in the 1980s, there was a rule at my school that said you had to be more than 5 feet tall to gain entry. I wonder what the people who had made this rule would think about my school recently graduating our first tetraplegic student? Times change, and people's priorities change too. A quick scan through textbooks from the 20th century and you will see that physiotherapy was once dominated by young white women. Now we recruit a lot more men, mature students and people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Part of the reasons for this shift has been the need for physiotherapists to be more representative of the populations they serve, and to achieve … [Read more...] about New: Students
There's a phrase that I've come to use over and over again in recent years whenever I've presented at conferences or talked to people about the research I do, and I use it because it beautifully encapsulates what I think is perhaps the main problem now facing the physiotherapy profession. It comes from a book written by a New Zealand doctor who is part European and part Māori. His name is Glenn Colquhoun, and he's written some fantastic books about health care, using poetry and prose to express his ideas (see this link to his work). In one slim volume titled 'Jumping Ship,' Colquhoun describes his experience coming to terms with his Māori heritage. He spent a few years in the far … [Read more...] about New: Reflection