Day Therapy manager receives Master’s

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Date published: Monday 21 August 2017 | 09.03 GMT

Emily Stowe, St Clare’s Day Therapy Manager, graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Southampton in July this year!

We are incredibly proud of Emily, and want to send her a huge ‘CONGRATULATIONS’ from the whole St Clare family on a fantastic achievement.

Not only is it wonderful for Emily, but it’s great for St Clare, too. Emily’s Master’s in Clinical Leadership in Palliative Care, Oncology and End of Life Care, will mean she will continue to bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role at St Clare.

Emily is a physiotherapist and has been working at St Clare since 2010. In 2012 she was promoted to be our Day Therapy services manager, and has been studying part-time for more than 3 years as well. What a hero!

We had a chat with her about her new Master’s, and found out how it has helped Emily to grow, develop and lead St Clare’s Day Therapy services to the benefit of all of our patients and their families.

“When I started managing the Day Therapy team in May 2012, it was decided that I should do some kind of management and leadership training to help me in my role. It took me a while to figure out what course I needed to do, so I ended up starting my Master’s in September 2013 at the University of Southampton.”

“The format of the course involved seminars and discussion groups, rather than lectures. This was great because we learned from each other, both from the tutors and other professionals on the course. Everyone on the course had an oncology or palliative care background, but the group was a mixture of healthcare professionals. I was in a group with nurses, doctors, occupational therapists, radiographers, speech and language therapists – a huge range of people – and it was great to all learn from each other.”

“I loved it because you didn’t just sit and listen to someone talk at you – you discussed everything with others, which I felt really helped me to develop my own leadership style.”

“For each of my three modules, I was able to set my own assignments, making sure there were really relevant and useful for my role here at St Clare. My first assignment was based on exploring leadership in breathlessness management across the hospice. That assignment really helped me to reflect on what we were doing at St Clare, and led me to change the way we manage the groups. It was refreshing to find that my Master’s was already helpful for my role, straight away!”

“All three of my assignments were really relevant to my work at St Clare. It was really a two-way process, as my work at St Clare helped me in achieving my Master’s, and my Master’s helped me to develop as a manager at St Clare and to take our services forward!”

“For my dissertation, I revisited the topic of breathlessness – exploring both the physical and emotional effects it has on a person. I undertook a research project, which included interviewing St Clare patients, and researched the distress a person can go through when experiencing episodic breathlessness. Episodic breathlessness is when a person’s symptoms gets worse for a short period of time (like after walking up the stairs or when feeling stressed). I found out a lot about the emotional impact it can have on a person, and how fatiguing it can be to manage it.”

“I really hope to get my research published in a journal, to raise awareness of how breathlessness can be better treated. I hope that my paper can help clinical professionals to understand people’s breathlessness better, which will lead to improvements in their treatment. This is my first experience of the research process, and also my first time ever looking to get some research published, but I really hope that in future St Clare will do more research. It is only through sharing and disseminating information, and understanding people’s conditions better, that we can make the treatment better. So it is such an important thing, not just for St Clare, but potentially for people all round the world.”

“I am really glad that physiotherapy is now becoming more recognised in palliative care. Back when I started at St Clare 7 years ago, lots of hospices didn’t even offer physiotherapy. But now, there is a much better appreciation of what physiotherapy can do for someone who is receiving palliative care.”

“I feel that me doing this Master’s as a physiotherapist also goes to show that lots of clinical professionals can do this sort of qualification in clinical leadership – it’s not just for doctors and nurses. At St Clare, I work as a physiotherapist but also manage a team of lots of different roles, including nurses, occupational therapists and complementary therapists.”

“I didn’t always know I wanted to work in palliative care, though. When I first qualified, I went into private practice but found that it wasn’t for me. When I saw a job at St Clare for a part-time physiotherapist, I applied for it thinking that it’d be a springboard back into the NHS.”

“However when I started at St Clare, I literally knew after just 2 days of working here, that I’d found my thing. It just felt right. It sounds so cheesy, but it’s true!”

“The thing about physiotherapy at St Clare is that you get to care for so many people, all with different diagnoses, and so you get to deliver all kinds of different treatments and therapies. Sometimes you’re doing group work, and sometimes you’re going to someone’s house or working on the Inpatient Unit. It is so varied and challenging, and as a result, really rewarding.”

“Physiotherapy in hospice care is just so important in helping to empower people to live the lives they want to lead, and to support them to make the most of every moment.”

Congratulations again to Emily on completing her Master’s!

To find out more about St Clare Hospice’s Day Therapy service, click here: www.stclarehospice.org.uk/care/day-therapy-services/

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