Staff Spotlight: Being a Physiotherapist in palliative care

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a Physiotherapist in palliative and end of life care?

Meet our newest Physiotherapist, Andy, who joined us in January this year when, after many years as a practitioner, he decided to venture into palliative care.

Having worked in a variety of settings including acute hospitals, GP surgeries, sport, and musculoskeletal physiotherapy, Andy felt ready for a change. Before even applying for the job, he came in to meet the friendly team, which completely swayed his decision to apply.

The variety of each day is what Andy enjoys most about the role, as well as the chance to constantly improve his knowledge and skills by working with an experienced specialist team.

“Working as part of a close multi-disciplinary team is a huge bonus for me – so that’s Clinical Nurse Specialists, Occupational Therapists and other Physiotherapists,” he said. “We are able discuss clinical care of patients together to ensure the best possible outcomes.”

Rehabilitative palliative care is centred on patients’ personal goals and provides a culture of enablement. It optimises choice, independence, autonomy and dignity, and has the potential to reduce disability and dependence, both on families but also on hospices and health and social care services.

Andy added:

“Making a significant difference to someone’s quality of life even in their last few months or weeks is an element of the job that provides me with a great deal of satisfaction.”

Palliative and end of life care is often not considered as a typical career route for physiotherapists, but Andy said he was surprised to find it was the right fit for him – especially thanks to his relationship with his colleagues, and he thinks it could surprise others people due to its uniqueness.

He explained: ““In other settings it may be difficult to find the time to build a rapport with patients and their families however in palliative care it is essential to listen and understand patients and family concerns in order to support them in such difficult, and often complex circumstances.

“The role may be at times challenging emotionally however there is always support available from the team whenever I need it.”

“Everyone is so positive and upbeat and they go above and beyond to help patients and families during really difficult times, and it’s great to be part of that.”

We currently have a vacancy for a skilled, compassionate and experienced physiotherapist to join our team. Please visit www.johntaylorhospice.org.uk/about-us/all-vacancies/ to find out more.

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What our patients think

“The care was second to none”

“At such a heartbreaking and difficult time, the nurses and care assistants knew exactly what to do and to say – we’d have been lost without them. The care they provided for my beautiful wife was second to none and I’ll be forever grateful.”

Roger Perks

“Nothing is too much trouble”

“I can’t thank hospice teams enough. From fitting grab rails in my house and ordering a reclining bed, reviewing of all my medication, providing me with new medical equipment and even helping to organise domestic help for us at home – they’ve covered everything but are always willing to do even more.”

Jackie Bannister

“I don’t know where I’d be without them”

“The support I get is truly is invaluable and I honestly don’t know where I’d be without them. I’m able to talk openly about my illness and ask for advice and support if I need it. I’ve made some incredible friends and the hospice is a very special place full of laughter and kindness. “

Liz Warren

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