A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A MANUAL & REHABILITATION THERAPIST – IPTAS

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A MANUAL & REHABILITATION THERAPIST

Jill works from home, having converted her garage into a clinic space. She sees patients every weekday when her children are at school and she also works 3 evenings a week to facilitate her patients that can’t attend during the day. Working from home is important to her as it means she has no commuting time, gets to spend time with her children and still have a fascinating career. It means she can be very efficient and get personal errands done in between consultations. The odd late cancellation by a patient doesn’t bother her because she’s at home and there’s always a way to put the time to good use.

Jill’s practice is general and she sees patients of all ages. Her most common patient & presenting problem would probably be a 40+ year old woman with work related neck and shoulder problems, followed by men and women with lower back pain. When she helps someone in a particular company or organisation she often finds they refer many co-workers, who in turn, refer their family members and friends. This means she sees all sorts of injuries and conditions, making her work challenging and always interesting.

Recently a patient who works locally in a big company has suggested that she come in to his office to give a series of talks and offer mini-treatments. He claims all the advice and help she gave him could really help many others he works with. Jill thinks this is a great opportunity and is currently carrying out some more research around the area. She will commence with a couple of morning talks to small groups and carry out mini-treatments to explore this new source of patients.

About 6 months after initially setting up practice, Jill offered the local Medical Centre free trial consultations for all the GP’s and practice nurses. A couple of them availed of the offer and now they regularly refer patients to her if they think her hands-on patient centred approach would suit their patient. She lives in a village where word of mouth has helped build up her reputation and she is now well known in the area. She takes her time with each patient, working with them to try resolve their problems. This attention to detail and conscientiousness has paid off as many of her patients  are now great advocates for her and continually recommend her.

Jill comes from a big family, has lots of nieces and nephews and three children of her own. Having experienced 3 pregnancies, each very different, and also observing her sisters experiences she became very interested in women’s health, particularly in relation to care during and after pregnancy. She now regularly sees pregnant women, mostly for pregnancy related back pain, pelvic girdle pain, rib pain and general supportive relaxing treatment. They appreciate that she has had direct experience of pregnancy herself and is able to reassure and offer much practical advice. Her yoga teacher, who also teaches pregnancy yoga often recommends Jill to anyone in her classes who has musculoskeletal problems. In turn, Jill often recommends yoga to the patients she thinks will benefit from it. She attends advanced yoga every week herself and believes it helps keep her flexible, strong and helps manage stress.

Jill sees a lot of older adults in her practice and as a result has also developed a special interest in working with them. Her training provided her with an understanding of the physiology of ageing and the things to look out for in this age group. She appreciates the importance of movement and exercise to combat many age related conditions and she makes promotion and education around exercise an important part of her consultation. She gives occasional talks to the local ICA (Irish Country Women’s Association) and local Men’s Sheds. This has resulted in many of them coming to see her for treatment.

Jill doesn’t work directly with any sports team as this often involves weekend work and she wants to spend weekends with her family. She still sees sporting injuries but if she feels they require more in-depth rehabilitation, strapping or fitness testing, she refers them to a colleague who has specialised in sports injuries. In turn he tends to send her any pregnant patients or older patients that he feels would be better under her care.

What Jill needed to establish her practice:

  • A recognised qualification and insurance (The qualification gave Jane the knowledge and confidence to assess, diagnose and treat a broad range of injuries and conditions)
  • An interest in the field
  • A target market (business needs customers)
  • A suitable premises

What Jill needs to maintain her practice:

  • Maintain her own health, being careful to keep a healthy work /life balance
  • CPD to keep abreast of developments and maintain membership of her professional association.
  • Up to date insurance
  • Good record keeping
  • Marketing & networking skills to keep her patient numbers at a level that suits her personal circumstances
  • Good referral channels and contacts

What Jill needs to develop her practice:

  • Further qualifications to specialise in certain areas: e.g. Incontinence and Pelvic Floor Health, Falls Assessment and Preventions, Exercise for Older Adults, Health Promotion.
  • Expand into new markets capitalising on experience and knowledge, e.g. working with Doula Association, work with yoga teacher to deliver pre-natal talks, expand into working with other older adult community living organisations and residential organisations by delivering talks, assessment and education that will boost her profile and generate new patients.
  • Research best form of marketing / advertising for her business and possibly become adept at social media marketing and maintaining a social media presence.
  • Networking with more GP’s who provide care for antenatal and older adults, link with other older adult organisations