Blogs

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Returning to Practice as an Allied Health Professional

''I studied BSc Physiotherapy course at Coventry University and during my studies I worked as a Healthcare Assistant at Warwick Hospital. Whilst awaiting registration I worked as a Therapy Assistant at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW)

Once registered, I worked at UHCW as band 5 Physiotherapist doing the core rotations, and then progressed on to a Specialised Band 6 Rotational role.

Before returning to practice, I was away from Physiotherapy for just over 2 years, I took a break from my career due to family commitments that required us to move location. I was only just over the time I needed to register but with Covid-19 happening during my time off I knew there would have been many changes. In order for me to be update to date with guidance and practise, it was best practise to pursue my carer through return to work.

I was in contact with the Wye Valley inpatient Physiotherapy team about potential bank work whilst in talking with The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) regarding my registration. My line manager became aware I needed to complete my return to practice (RTP) and kindly offered to help. After further conversations I applied and interviewed for a band 4 Therapy Assistant position on the bank, in which I was successful.  

I was able to complete supervised clinical hours whilst working at the hospital and then completed self-directed practice at home to complete the set amounts of hours required for the amount of years I had been away from practice.

I found it really beneficial to be able to work at the same time as doing the supervised hours, as this allowed me to gain exposure to clinical practice and being back in a ward environment whilst earning a wage as well. 

All the staff in the Physiotherapy inpatients department have all been very supportive during my return to practice. They have all helped and advised me how to use the systems and protocols, as well as advice working for the Trust and its surrounding areas. I was also supported in ensuring I received training and exposure to specific areas required for my clinical hours and self-study.

I would advise anyone thinking of returning to practice that it is not as scary as it seems. I felt quite nervous about returning but knew I needed to do it sooner rather than later, and I’m really glad I did.

Also by completing set hours after a break allows you to be up to date with new clinical guidelines. The HCPC guidelines do leave it up to you to decide how and what you need to do within your hours, so it’s a good idea to have a plan prior to starting to help make the process smoother. If you have other commitments there is also a 12-24 month guideline, which allows flexibility.

I’m currently really happy to be back in clinical work and plan to look for further opportunities to pursue this.''