Natalie, Physiotherapist, NHS Tayside

Natalie stopped practising as a physiotherapist when she moved to Canada. She decided to return to practice when she moved back to Scotland 5 years later.

My name's Natalie. I'm a physiotherapist and I completed the return to practice process over a six-month period in 2020.

I'd moved to Canada and given up my HCPC registration, but when I moved back to Scotland, this prompted me to think about returning to physiotherapy.

At the start of the process, I was feeling quite unsure as I wasn't aware of what the return to practice process entailed and I was quite worried that I might have forgotten all my physio skills.

So, I found out that the updating period can be split into supervised practice, formal study, and private study. I spent half of that time doing supervised practice and then almost another half of the time doing private study, with a couple days of formal study with webinars and online courses.

I found the supervised practice quite daunting initially, as I was worried I would have forgotten a lot of things, but my supervisor and the team that I worked in were really supportive and encouraging, and I found the experiences that I gained during supervised practice helped me focus on what to study for my private study and overall, I felt like it was a really positive experience.

Once I regained my Health and Care Professions Council registration, I managed to get a temporary contract within the same team that had done my supervised practice with, and then luckily this led on to a permanent contract.

My tips and advice for others considering the return to practice process would be to start organising the supervised practice element quite early on, as it can take a bit of time to get all the paperwork sorted that you need before you can start. Once you're doing your supervised practice, the experiences that you have will really help focus your private study and your formal study time.

I'd encourage anyone considering return to practice to give it a go. You'll find that the core skills that you need for your job don't go away and that your confidence quickly improves.


How long did your return to practice journey take?

I completed the return to practice process over a six-month period in 2020.

Why did you decide to return to practice?

Just after we arrived back in Scotland the COVID-19 Pandemic hit and I spent a lot of time at home thinking about what I wanted to do. I realised I missed the job satisfaction of working with someone to try to achieve their goals and improve their quality of life. I felt the urge to get back into physiotherapy.

How did you find returning to practice?

At the start of the process, I was feeling quite unsure as I wasn't aware of what the return to practice process entailed, and I was quite worried that I might have forgotten all my physio skills. I had no idea where to start.

After contacting some friends and former colleagues, I found out that the updating period can be split into supervised practice, formal study, and private study. I spent half of that time doing supervised practice and then almost another half of the time doing private study, with a couple days of formal study with webinars and online courses.

I found the supervised practice quite daunting initially, as I was worried I would have forgotten a lot of things. However, my supervisor and the team that I worked in were really supportive and encouraging, and I found the experiences that I gained during supervised practice helped me focus on what to study for my private study. Overall, I felt like it was a really positive experience.

What did you do after you completed your return to practice?

Once I regained my Health and Care Professions Council registration, I managed to get a temporary contract within the same team that had done my supervised practice with, and then luckily this led on to a permanent contract.

Do you have any advice for someone thinking of returning to practice as an AHP?

My tips and advice for others considering the return to practice process would be to start organising the supervised practice element quite early on, as it can take a bit of time to get all the paperwork sorted that you need before you can start. Once you're doing your supervised practice, the experiences that you have will really help focus your private study and your formal study time.

I'd encourage anyone considering return to practice to give it a go. You'll find that the core skills that you need for your job don't go away and that your confidence quickly improves.

 

AHP Return to Practice

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