About two years ago, I shadowed Physiotherapy Assistants in my own time at a local hospital, to see what their job entails. I only knew what they do from a patient perspective and I wanted to find out more.
I started doing some shadowing work after first contacting the department by letter, enquiring that if I decided that this role was for me, I wanted to see that what I was currently doing and planning to do, would put me on the right path of showing interest in this work. I was advised to do some shadow work, where I could see and have a chat with the assistants. If I was interested, I was given an email where I could arrange this.
First day of shadowing
My first day of shadowing work, I spent a day seeing four areas, so some areas I had a couple of hours and some not quite. Two areas in the morning and two areas in the afternoon.
The first area I went on, I knew the area already and knew I would not cope because of it being a very busy area and noisy. It’s a situation I normally find I cannot get out quick enough in panic. As I spent a couple of hours there straining to listen, with some lipreading and feeling really tired towards the end from the concentration of listening and taking in what I was being shown, I found myself surprisingly calm.
When it was time to go to the next area, it was much calmer and so I found myself I was able to completely relax and ease up on the concentration of listening, with it being much easier to listen to the next assistant I had. She shown me the job she does on there and I started to fully enjoy what I was seeing.
The first area in the afternoon I went on, after being on there about half an hour, I really started to see myself on there. I kept saying to myself, I can do this. This surprised me., as I could not tell you the last time I had a can-do attitude, but right now, I was feeling positively strong with it.
The last area I went on in the afternoon, I enjoyed too. I did not dislike, but I wasn’t sure if I could see myself on there.
More shadow work
Later on, I arranged more shadowing work, but this time a full day shadowing two areas I was interested in. I came away still liking the one where my can-do attitude started and I also liked the other area too.
Having a full day on one particular, the assistant really worked with me, to make sure I got a good day out of it. There was time before lunch and before end of shift, so she took me to one side and we went somewhere quieter so she could tell me of a folder I could create for myself, called a CPD ( Continuing Professional Development.) With her getting to know me better for having a day shadowing her, knowing my before and now, she thought that if I created myself a CPD, it would be really interesting to do because of the transformation this shadowing work has gave me. I have certainly took up her advice and working on this folder, which she explained what to include in it and shown me where I could look this up on works intranet. I won’t explain in detail what this folder contains, as this post would be really long.
Through some shadowing days I have had so far, getting to see their roles and asking questions has really opened my eyes for me, including on a personal level.
I discussed with quite a few of the assistants where I would not manage doing this job and they all told me the same thing, of not to worry. If I am suitable for the job, they would work around me. If I can’t phone, where a phone may be used at odd times, someone else would do that part. The Trust would work around this.
I was so grateful to be able to shadow them, as on a whole it left me with some positive feeling. If you can get the chance to do this yourself, in trying out something, or shadowing like I did, that interests you, do see if you can take it up.
© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.
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