A time for change

Written by Grainne Donnelly on . Posted in .

I think we can all agree that the last 18 months have been an experience like never before. A global pandemic, lockdown, home-schooling, new ways of working, new ways of socialising and much much more. We have all experienced growth and changed our perspectives and priorities. Personal life circumstances and the desire to be flexible to support wider family through illness helped to drive the changes that we have made. For Absolute Physio, the changes are aplenty…!

The irony of our change is that if ever there was a time to open and develop a private physiotherapy service, the time is now. Covid-19 has put immense strain on our health services and many are working at reduced capacity. Waiting lists are extending and more people are choosing to access private health services sooner. However, we really had to look at the reasons why we set up Absolute Physio and whether we were actually working to meet these goals, or working to meet the expectations of society.

With that in mind, we put our priorities, hopes, ambitions and job satisfaction on the table and we navigated the change that is needed to make our occupations work for us in terms of business growth, job satisfaction, work-life balance and giving back/contributing to our fields. Here is where it took us:

Patrick, co-founder of Absolute Physio and lead musculoskeletal physiotherapist, has stepped down his clinical services and is expanding his horizons into new depths. He completed a Masters in Software Development and Data Science while simultaneously up-skilling in entrepreneurial property investment. Some would say very very different than physio…huh? His take on it is that this new sector is very black and white…you are either right, or you are wrong. Whereas the field of healthcare is always grey, we cannot know absolutes. Good luck in your new venture Patrick.

Now back to me! I had thought about leaving the public sector for quite a few years and never gathered the courage to actually jump. “A good Government job”, “You couldn’t leave the NHS”, “What about the pension” are just a handful of examples that were repeatedly thrown to me over the years. However my family circumstances, the pandemic and the world coming to a standstill changed my view. I no longer wanted to continue doing what everyone expects me to do and wanted to follow my hopes, dreams and ambitions. So I jumped…! And I am still falling! But I have never looked back. It was the right choice for me. I am getting to use my training and skillset to do the type of meaningful work that I have always wanted to do. I am growing my business in new directions and I am also making better use of my time, which in turn lends to a better work-life balance. Overall, I feel like I am getting to help people to my best potential. I deliver the evidence informed clinics that I strive for, and I am getting the opportunities to participate in clinical research. This means that I am helping contribute to the research base that in turn informs our clinical practice. In 2021 alone I have had the opportunity to contribute to 5 research publications, two of which I led. My new direction has also enabled me to meet and connect with like-minded people and make lasting work collaborations and friendships. You know who you are, I am honoured to have connected.

In terms of Absolute Physio, I pretty much monopolised the pelvic health service via our social media channels anyway, so not much really changes on that front. Alongside running clinics at Absolute Physio and contributing to research, I am growing my online presence and expanding my teaching resources and opportunities. I also co-host a podcast with my good friend and pelvic health colleague which aims to break the taboo surrounding pelvic health and disseminate evidence informed information…check out ‘At Your Cervix – the podcast’ wherever you tune in. I will be keeping you all informed of additional changes as we approach 2022 and I would like to thank each and every person who has supported us, utilised our services and enabled us to grow. None of this would have been possible without you all.

So for anyone out there with itchy feet or feeling the pull towards an unorthodox direction…step back from the situation and work out what it is that you want from life and from your profession. Are you achieving it currently? Can you achieve it better by following the direction of pull? I understand how scary making a change can be and I am happy to open the conversation via my social media channels should anyone wish to discuss further.

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