Introduction (1970) will be used to analyse the

Introduction

 

The aim of
this essay is to reflect on, analyse and evaluate CPD activities undertaken
during my clinical placements and as a student physiotherapist. Bortons model of
reflection (1970) will be used to analyse the experiences by considering,
what? So what and now what? This model allows the process of reflection as it
involves describing the CPD tasks (what), analysing the outcome (so what) and
devising an action plan for future CPD activities. Performing a strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis of the CPD opportunities
has also been completed in order identify areas that require improvement (See table 1).

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Description-What?

 

 

According
to the government’s agenda for lifelong learning, a great emphasises is placed
on the importance of continuing professional development (CPD) within the
health care field (National Archives, 2017). The Health and Care Professions
Council (HCPC) is the regulatory body for all health care professionals and expects all health care professionals to continue to
develop their knowledge and skills so as to be able to practise safely and
effectively (HCPC, 2015) Clinicians who engage in CPD tasks display more
confidence and demonstrate a better understanding of concepts (French and Dowds, 2008). Engaging in CPD tasks
is important for health care students as it enhances motivation for collaborative
learning and allows the development of organisational skills (Cordingley et
al., 2005). Since
physiotherapy is
an ever-evolving profession, engaging in CPD activities as a student
physiotherapist can help to keep up to date with current research and therefore
practice based on current evidence (French and Dowds, 2008).  The HCPC have set five standards that all
health care professionals should meet to stay registered. These
include; continuous engagement with CPD and keeping an accurate portfolio,
ensuring that CPD involves a mixture of different learning activities, ensuring
that CPD contributes to the quality of practice and service delivery, making
sure CPD benefits the service user and providing evidencing of CPD
when requested to do so. According to HCPC, a health care professional’s
CPD portfolio should include evidence of self-directed learning (reading
journals/articles, reviewing books/articles), formal and educational learning
(courses, research, attending conferences), work-based learning (learning by
doing, peer review, in service training), and professional learning
(presentations at conferences, supervising students) (HCPC, 2017). Taking part
in these activities, will help all health care professionals to provide safe,
effective patient centered care (HCPC, 2017).  

As an MSc pre-registration physiotherapy student, I have had the
opportunity to develop my CPD portfolio by attending in service training during
my medical rehab placement, designing a patient information leaflet as part of
my CPD task, attaining OTAGO certification and finally attending a course on
taping. I have provided evidence for all these CPD activities in appendices.

 

Analysis – Now what?

Reflecting
on the CPD tasks I have accomplished so far, I believe I have met HCPC
standards 1 and 2 as I have had the opportunity to participate in diverse CPD activities as
mentioned above. This has enhanced my knowledge and skills in a variety of
physiotherapy settings. Moreover, it has allowed me to develop a variety
of skills that are essential to become an autonomous practitioner. The
HCPC guidelines suggest that all health care professionals participate in a
range of activities, so as to develop different skills via diverse avenues.

 

Formal Learning

According to French and Dowds (2008), formal
learning is considered to be less ideal due to its style to present information. In this type of setting, learning
is a one-way process where there is minimal interaction between teacher and
student (French and Dowds,2008). An example of a CPD task within my portfolio that would be
considered formal learning would be the OTAGO certification(Fig.1) I acquired
last year. Reflecting back on the skills and knowledge I gained
by undertaking this course, I am confident I will be able to safely lead a
group exercise class for the elderly. Moreover, it will enable me to implement
various rehabilitation and training strategies and come up with a tailored
exercise program for the elderly population. Since, I plan on working as a
rotational band 5 physiotherapist in the NHS, this qualification will allow me to
lead a group exercise class for individuals with balance and other mobility
issues. Moreover, it will provide me with an opportunity to demonstrate and improve
these skills. The elderly population usually present with co morbidities which
make working with this patient population very challenging and therefore
require a clinician to have adequate critical thinking skills. This skill set is a crucial
part of practice especially when practising based on evidence. By
attaining this certification, I was able to develop and nurture this skill
set.  To further develop my
formal learning, I plan on attending group exercise courses like pilates,
cardiac rehabilitation classes before I start my job in the new year.

 

Professional activities

An
example of undertaking a CPD task that would be considered a professional
activity is when I designed an exercise program for patients with low back pain
(see Fig. 2) during my elective placement. Designing this program helped me improve
the structure of my assessment, analysis of my assessment and treatment options
for patients with this condition. This program was a collaborative effort with
an undergraduate physiotherapy student. By working with another student, I
found that communication, cooperation, accountability are vital skills that I
need to nurture so as to be a successful physiotherapist, especially since I
plan on working in the NHS. Kennedy
(2005) stated
that collaborative working between individuals of similar educational level promotes
healthy competition and motivation for learning. Based on this experience, peer
support and accountability are two areas I need to improve so as to be an
effective team player. In order to build my portfolio in this area, I plan on
taking part in similar collaborative presentations within different departments
during my rotations.

 

Self-directed learning

Self-directed
learning is an area I would excel in due to my reflective personality and my
passion for physiotherapy. This will allow me to identify my strengths and weaknesses
more easily during my career. Although self-directed learning is a challenge
due to time constraints, I have tried my best to improve my self-directed learning
by organizing and dedicating at least an hour of my time to read an article
about a topic that interests me. An example of self-directed learning that I
have undertaken would be a strapping course (Fig. 3). This
course allowed me to develop my manual handling skills, which I believe
are essential especially if I want to be a physiotherapist for a sports team. This
course involved using different types of strapping on common areas of sports injury. I
feel that this course taught me a lot in regards to sports injuries due to the
amount of time we spent and the depth of information we learned. Although
this certification wasn’t a requirement for graduation or to meet HCPC
standards, I believe it shows that I am motivated and it is  good evidence of self-directed learning, which
is of importance in CPD as professionals should take responsibility for
the activities they participate in. Moreover, this course provides evidence of meeting the
HCPC standards 3 and 4, which state that the CPD task should contribute to improving
the service provided and should benefit both, the clinician and the service
user.

 

Work-related learning

An
example of work related learning I have been part of is the patient information leaflet (Fig. 4) that I designed as part of my
placement 5 CPD task. The leaflet was developed on rehabilitation exercises
after anterior cruciate ligament(ACL) surgery, a common surgery for athletes.
This activity allowed me to develop writing skills for a specific population.  It was important to design a leaflet using
language that was clear, concise and understandable so as to provide information
that can be effective. Moreover, in order for the leaflet to be effective, it
was vital to combine the leaflet with good communication and explanation to
ensure the patient fully understand the importance of the exercises and how to
perform them. Designing this leaflet shows evidence of meeting the HCPC standards
3 and 4, which state that a CPD task should benefit both the service provider
and the service user. Although, a lot of time and effort was put into designing
this leaflet, it was only applicable to patients who have had an ACL surgery,

 

Reflecting back on
these 4 CPD tasks I have completed, I believe that I have
shown a good level of commitment to learning and responsibility
to provide safe, effective patient centered care. Nonetheless, I believe there
is still room to expand my CPD portfolio as two out of four tasks I participated
in were a requirement in order to pass a module. It is important that I should
be proactive and take responsibility of undertaking more CPD activities once I am
HCPC registered. As a future health care professional, it is important
that I am organized and able to systematically collect or record my CPD
activities so that I am able to provide written evidence of CPD tasks, as
per HCPC standard 5, incase I am audited.

Now what?

I believe that in order to advance my career as a physiotherapist I need
to incorporate SMART goals which may help to diversify and
expand my CPD portfolio. By using SMART goals, I will be able
take in to consideration any potential threats/reasons that may inhibit CPD
participation such as time constraints. Before becoming a licensed and registered
physiotherapist, I intend to participate in various other CPD tasks such as
attending conferences, becoming a member of Chartered Society of Physiotherapists
and other similar organisations. This may help the recruitment process as
evidence of continuing CPD may prove beneficial to attaining a job in the NHS
and could be the differential factor from other applications. As mentioned
earlier, it is important that I am organized and able to record all CPD
activities I have undertaken. In order to do this, I plan on using Bortons model
of reflection as soon as I am done a CPD task to ensure clarity. A possible way
of recording reflections and other CPD activities could be by taking advantage
of the CSP e-portfolio, which allows documents to be uploaded and recorded. By
doing this, all my CPD tasks undertaken will be in organized and in one place which
will make it easier to retrieve in the future.

In conclusion, I believe I have gathered a good amount of CPD activities
as a student Physiotherapist. I have also identified some of the strengths and
weaknesses of my current CPD activities and thought out a possible plan for
future CPD. 

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