Dual Qualification Physio/OT Watch

jinglepupskye
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I received a letter from Teesside this morning informing me about this new course that they are starting. It's a three year Part-time course for physios to gain dual qualifications as Occupational Therapists. Graduates will be able to register with the HPC as both Physiotherapist and Occupational therapist. Here's the link to the course details if anyone is interested.

http://www.tees.ac.uk/postgraduate_c...l_Therapy).cfm

It does seem to be blurring the lines between the two professions though, and I'm not sure that it is going to be a beneficial thing or whether it is the thin end of the wedge to make Physio/OT a single profession. It could end up with no Physios or OTs just Rehabilitation Therapists who have go-faster stripes and who can sing, dance and juggle all at the same time that they are massaging someone's back and teaching someone how to use a kettle that tips itself over and pours it out!
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Ironmike
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Not sure I like the sound of the module content either. There is a lot of you will be studying under the supervision of a physiotherapist mentioned. Well, if you already are a physiotherapist, what do you want to do that for!? 3 years is also a flipping long time to be studying for something like that too. If it were a year Msc then they might get takers, but I can't see anyone doing this surely, especially if they are already employed in the NHS. Put your career on hold for 3 years to become an OT, and then start all over again!?
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JackieS
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(Original post by Ironmike)
Not sure I like the sound of the module content either. There is a lot of you will be studying under the supervision of a physiotherapist mentioned. Well, if you already are a physiotherapist, what do you want to do that for!? 3 years is also a flipping long time to be studying for something like that too. If it were a year Msc then they might get takers, but I can't see anyone doing this surely, especially if they are already employed in the NHS. Put your career on hold for 3 years to become an OT, and then start all over again!?
That interesting..................... ..

On my course we had a woman who was a band 7 OT who decided she wanted to be a physio so went back to uni to retrain, she was told that although she had dual degree qualification she could only be one or the other.....although I suppose this was 5 or so years ago now

I guess the question is - why bother? Why would you want to be both a physio and an OT? I can understand people who want to retrain from one to the other as the woman on my course did, but she had no desire once she was a physio to be an OT but what is the benefit to holding dual qualification? You can only practice as one or the other in the NHS as it works currently. If you're employed as a physio you have to work as a physio - you wouldn't be able to do do the things that OT do as it would be considered outside your scope of practice regardless of whether you had trained as an OT - and vice versa, an OT would not be able to provide walking aids or do manual techniques

So you'd go back to uni - train to be an OT and a physio and then still really be no better off as you could only be one or the other

I guess eventually their thought is like Jingle said, that with changes and cuts going the way theya re, if you could get someone who was dual trained to do the job of one person, but I can't see that happening within the next 3 years which is a short time in the grandschemes of the NHS as a whole

I notice at the bottom it says that you would need to register with HPC as both an OT and a Physio - that must be a nice little earner for the HPC - Two lots of registration fees at about £120 a go.....every 2 years.........cynical? me?

Plus, according to the bottom it says you need to be able to provide CPD evidence for both being an OT and a Physio - great.....twice as much chance of getting called up to show your portfolio, plus you'd be pretty limited in your ability to show CPD as an OT if you weren't actually working as one!

Also, as Mike said, I don't really see how it takes 3 years? You can go from being a sports therapist (or have basically any scientific degree qualification) to a physio in 2years on a conversion degree - so why do you need to do 3 to be an OT if apparently their roles are so similar

PLus everyone knows Physios are the best anyway *joke*
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iainmacn
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I was under the impression that the boundaries were blurring anyway, can't remember where I read it (probably Frontline) but there was lots of talk about people working more to skill sets rather than strict traditional roles, with people expected to take on new skill sets. Already in community work (which is growing) there's a blurring of the boundaries.

I can't see how it would take three years either. There's a fair amount of overlap so I'd have thought it'd fit into one year. George's already runs a masters in Rehabilitation, and the school's been renamed something to do with Rehabilitation.

What colour trousers would the joint graduates wear?
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djk_99
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Remember it is 3 years part time, so would probably equate to one year full time.
It's an interesting concept- with the way the NHS is going I could definitely see why they would like something like this. I also think that it would increase patient centred care if the person in question was equally good at doing both- having fewer people involved with the patient would potentially mean that they get to know the patient a lot better and get things done a lot quicker, and with more focus on the patients individual problems. But could the professional potentially end up being a jack of all trades and master of none? I find it hard enough getting to grips with the work a physio has to do, let alone a whole other skill set. But I can see where it would be useful- ocassionally I've wished I had access to some OT stuff so that I could quickly sort someone out, instead of referring and all the time consuming stuff.
Iainmacn- the graduates would obviously have to wear a mixture of blue and green- turquoise perhaps?? or else get a new colour- yellow is free??
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jinglepupskye
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Yeah, it is a part time course so that is why it takes three years and you will presumably still work during that time, so no need to put your career on hold.

So far as working under a physio is concerned I assume that means that you will be developing your physio knowledge and skills at the same time as you are learning new OT skills. It is a Masters course aimed at physios so one would assume that you would go into more depth with the physio as well as doing the OT stuff on placements.

The only real benefit that occurs to me is that it avoids the kind of situation where I as a student accompanied my physio and an OT to see a patient at home. So effectively they had three people coming to visit when really there was only a need for one (or two at most).

During that placement I also fitted a toilet seat raiser, which would be a more OT type thing, so the boundaries are blurred already. This kind of course is only going to increase the blurring until Trusts start asking for Rehabilitation people rather than OT or Physio people.

I think the financial benefit to the Trusts of having dual qualified staff would be a definite selling point. It is something which is already in process with therapy assistants. Certainly I've seen advertisements, (for Newcastle, for example), for assistants to train and work across the sector for at least the past four years and prior to that I wasn't looking!
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Ironmike
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The course mentions that in year 1 you have to do 4 x 5 week placements I think it was, and in year 2 a 14 week placement. This would mean you would have to put your career on hold, or get special dispensation to take a lot of time off. Something I think you could only really do with the co-operation of your employers. I don't know enough about OT work to comment, but what would it be that they specifically do that physios can't? It would seem in my simplistic view they assess a patient's deficits and then advise them on how they can modify their environment to best effect. Is this too simplistic a view? Would a physio not be able to do all that an OT can anyway with a bit of common sense and a few weeks self study?
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jinglepupskye
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(Original post by Ironmike)
The course mentions that in year 1 you have to do 4 x 5 week placements I think it was, and in year 2 a 14 week placement. This would mean you would have to put your career on hold, or get special dispensation to take a lot of time off. Something I think you could only really do with the co-operation of your employers. I don't know enough about OT work to comment, but what would it be that they specifically do that physios can't? It would seem in my simplistic view they assess a patient's deficits and then advise them on how they can modify their environment to best effect. Is this too simplistic a view? Would a physio not be able to do all that an OT can anyway with a bit of common sense and a few weeks self study?
What OTs do:

http://www.cot.co.uk/homepage/about_...ional_therapy/

What Physios do:

http://www.csp.org.uk/director/publi...siotherapy.cfm

From a cursory look you would think that OT is very functionally based whereas Physio is very theoretical and psycho-socially based.

From experience, I would say that physios are more involved in restoring functionality whereas OTs are about making the best use of what function you have, though obviously there is a crossover area where physio shades into OT but I don't think that OT crosses into physio.

Regarding the placements the student may not be working and so the time for placements is irrelevant. Those who are working will presumably already have support from their employer and so the employer may help with the provision of placements.

The thing that I'm curious about is the funding for these courses, which isn't mentioned. So who pays the course fees? The NHS, and if so why?

Is it an acknowledgement of the lack of jobs for graduates? Are there any jobs for OTs or will students end up with dual qualifications and still no jobs? Is it a fudge to cover up the number of unemployed physio grads by putting them under a new course? So many questions.
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JackieS
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if they want us to be dual qualified eventually, I'd be interested in seeing exactly where they think the extra time is going to come from. I have more than enough work to do without adding in access vists, home visits, cognitive assessments, kitchen assessments etc
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jinglepupskye
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I've just seen this advertisement for an OT/Physio assistant in Southampton, so it looks as though Newcastle is not the only place that is going for dual qualifications for their assistants, at least.

I also noticed that they DON'T want qualified OTs or Physios to apply! So much for three years at university, they'd rather have someone with no qualifications!

It must be bloody frustrating for those who are already qualified to watch someone come off the streets with no experience and walk into a job that the qualified person could do, even in the short term, to maintain their knowledge and skills.

If I were in that position I would be sorely tempted to drop university off my cv and just mention any part-time work that I'd done during the course, especially if it had a caring and relevant background. That is not an instruction, though! And if you do do it, then it is on your own head!

Dimwit! I forgot the link! Doh! http://www.jobs.nhs.uk/showvac/8iJxbS/1876666/912623438
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Ironmike
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I guess that to do basic stuff like transfers and getting stuff out of cupboards you don't need to fall under either an OT or a physio strand. I certainly wouldn't want to spend 6 years at uni doing two degrees for a job like that anyway. Guess they don't want graduates because they know that as soon as that band 5 post comes up they'll be off. Makes sense I suppose if you are going to train someone to do a specific job within a trust.

Working in an acute respiratory medicine setting currently, and my CE pretty much does most of the OT stuff as part of patient mobs and assessment. We do stair walking, bathroom training etc. The OT only seems to get involved when it's time for discharge to liaise with family members and sort out social services stuff. I can see OT becoming swallowed up under a broader physio remit in the next decade.
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JackieS
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in our neurosurgery department we don't have OT/PT assistants - they're joint as "rehab assistants" who split their time between all the therapies (SLT, PT and OT) and in the community ICT teams assistants are generally rehab assistants covering all the therapies so i think that as a whole is not unusual and actually worked very well in our hospital

as for not allowing qualifieds to apply - to turn it round on its head - how would like it knowing that you wanteda job like that, planned to stay for long term gain and get all trained up, only to be turned down for it in place of a PT/OT graduate who then quit 3 months later.....as a trust there is little benefit to them recruiting qualifieds into assistant posts due to the high turn over of staff (we've had PTAs leave after 3 months of which 1 month is a notice period)..........and to be honest - does being a PTA actually keep up your "physio" skills? Not necessarily........anyone can mobilise someone to the bathroom or keep a stock room up to date - you can't do assessments or anything skill wise that makes a PT different from a PTA (n.b. I'm not saying PTA don't do exciting stuff, I've been a PTA and loved it, but now having been a physio, I think there is little in a PTA role that keeps up your physio specific skills, except ,maybe your communication and interdisciplinary skills but that is something that can be demonstrated even if you're not working in a physio or OT department)
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