Published on: Tuesday 17 Aug 2021 at 13:46
Vanessa, our Physiotherapist, had to adapt her ways of working due to the COVID pandemic. Here we have a glimpse into what her role involves:
8.30am – I arrive at the Hospice and check to see if any urgent referrals came in overnight. I attend the daily referrals meeting to discuss new patients and to see if any require physiotherapy support.
9.30am – I go down to the Inpatient Unit to see Steve, a 54 year old man with complex symptoms related to a brain tumour. He needs physiotherapy input to help him manage moving from his bed to the bathroom – a task which he really wants to carry on doing independently. Together we find a solution.
11am – I start a virtual ‘Managing Breathlessness’ session and four outpatients join me, via video link from their own homes. I teach breathing exercises, fatigue and anxiety management, and tips for diet and exercise. The group also get a lot out of chatting to each other and really appreciate the peer support.
2pm – I drive to Waltham Abbey to make a home visit to a lady called Sue. She is 65 years old and is undergoing palliative chemotherapy for breast cancer. Sue is experiencing weakness and fatigue. I met her the previous week and we talked about her goals. She really wants to have strength and confidence to be able to get out into her garden to see the flowers she planted earlier in the year. We chat about how she has found her exercise plan, and using the walking stick I provided her with the previous week. I review her exercises and then observe her walking out into the garden. Looking at the steps she has to negotiate to get into the garden, we discuss whether she is happy for me to make a referral to the hospice occupational therapist for an assessment for safe access into and out her house. Sue is very happy for this referral to be made. I show her some more exercises to help build her strength. Sue’s next goal is to be able to go out with a friend for coffee.
4pm – I arrive back at the Hospice with just enough time to write up my patient notes from the day, make the referral to the Occupational Therapist. I also catch up on any urgent telephone calls.
*Names and circumstances of service users are representative, and do not refer to actual people.