How to develop your physiotherapy career
By Dan Allard
We recently mapped out the typical career path of a physiotherapist and have expanded on this to show how you can take practical steps to develop your career.
How to make the most of clinical supervision
Clinical supervision will provide you with opportunities to learn how to improve your practice. You can also work alongside colleagues to benefit from mentorship and guidance. It should be carefully planned and held in conjunction with your supervisor; they will be able to help you to critically evaluate your practice. Clinical supervision isn’t just about enhancing patient care; it’s a core requirement of your registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and is also heavily advocated by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).
Should you be using professional frameworks?
If you are ambitious, you could choose to create a personal development plan to outline your career goals and keep you motivated. This can help you understand your strengths and weaknesses, and decide whether there are any specific competences which could advance your career.
You may also wish to refer to the CSP’s physiotherapy framework. It is a useful tool clearly outlining the expected knowledge and skills of physiotherapists at each stage of their career. Due to its comprehensive nature, the framework is relevant whether you choose to work in an NHS role or specialise in private practice or an agency physiotherapy job.
Have you considered new areas of clinical practice?
As you progress your career, you may decide to expand on your capabilities through new areas of clinical practice. A common example is undertaking additional training in areas such as injection therapy or independent prescribing. Once you have completed your training, you will need to confirm details with the HCPC who will annotate your file to show your enhanced capabilities.
Those who have completed further training will be able to apply for advanced practice roles. This will give greater scope for professional development as well as higher earning potential.
Why not apply for a leadership development programme?
For those with clear ambitions to move into leadership roles, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has a fully-funded leadership development programme. The programme is held in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire or the University of Hertfordshire. Funded places are available for those working in permanent physiotherapy jobs at band 6 or 7 and have management responsibility for others.
The leadership programme is also available to those working in agency physiotherapy jobs through self-funded applications.
The programme enables potential leaders to learn about different leadership styles and find new areas for personal development which is applicable to different healthcare settings.