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Transition-from-office-to-clinic | Blog | Physio.co.uk | Leading physiotherapy provider in Liverpool and Manchester.

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Deansgate (Manchester) »
3-5 St John Street, Manchester, M3 4DN
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Piccadilly (Manchester) »
6 Minshull Street, Manchester, M1 3ED
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Stockport »
9 Mealhouse Brow, Stockport, Cheshire, SK1 1JP
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Macclesfield »
36 Charlotte Street, Macclesfield, SK11 6JB
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Southport »
150 Lord Street, Southport, Merseyside, PR9 0NP
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Sale »
17 Claremont Road, Sale, Cheshire, M33 7DZ
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Tameside »
West Pennine Consulting Rooms, Pennine Drive, Ashton under Lyne, OL6 9SE
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Rodney St (Liverpool) »
88 Rodney Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 9AR
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Speke (Liverpool) »
David Lloyd, 6 The Aerodrome Speke, Liverpool, Speke L24 8QD
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Eccles »
86 Worsley Road, Eccles, Manchester, M30 8LS
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Rochdale »
The Strand Medical Centre, The Strand, Kirkholt, Rochdale, OL11 2JG
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I’ve recently started to work for Physio.co.uk, and I’m extremely grateful to be where I am. It’s been a long and challenging road from office worker to a working physiotherapist but well worth it, so I would like to share my story.

Early Ideas

I had been working in the office-based world of debt counselling for roughly three years before I started to get itchy feet. I knew I wanted to develop and do something new but I didn’t know exactly what.

Back then I was offering solutions to significant financial problems that people had found themselves in, often having consequences for their family relations, sleep, and general wellbeing. After dealing with the client it was not uncommon to have clients vocalise their instant relief and say how much of an impact that short interaction had been. It felt good so I knew I wanted to continue to help people in some way.

Initially, I was thinking along the lines of a life coach, hypnotherapist, or anything that could help people in some way. Physiotherapy had crossed my mind but I was unsure about having to go back to college and having to go the long way around. I put these career changing thoughts on hold for a while because my manager at the time asked me to go work in Lisbon for a 3-month secondment that turned into a 3-year stay! I put it on hold but it was always at the back of my mind…

It was around that time my old school friend suggested physiotherapy to me again. He had gone to university the first time round, at the age people normally go and he had been qualified a fair number of years. The conversation came up one day and he simply said ‘You know what Ben, you’d make a great physio’. So I think that was enough to instil enough confidence that I could do it if I really wanted it.physiotherapyBack to school

So in January 2011, I returned to England and I asked my employer if I could go down to 20 hours a week in order to attend an Access to Higher Education course at my local College. It was a great stepping stone and found it extremely, well, accessible…

The challenge at this stage was in actually securing a place on a physiotherapy course at university. Even though they are highly competitive I was confident as a mature student I could prove my worth and dedication. To improve my chances, I volunteered in a multiple sclerosis charity a number of times, I shadowed a specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapist for a few days as well as spending some time with physiotherapists in various departments in my local hospital. By the end of my college course, I had ticked all the boxes; I passed with distinction and wrote my personal statement with passion and enthusiasm, proving that I had thoroughly researched the physiotherapy degree and what a career as a physiotherapist had to offer.

Out of 5 choices, I received 3 offers of interview. I felt destined to start my physiotherapy journey within a matter of time. All I had to do was attend the interviews and let the offers roll in. Even as the first two responses came back negatively I kept my optimism because I knew that I had performed well at the third and this one was the last to come in. Interestingly, during the same two-week period of waiting for the final response the house where I was living was sold and was given the notice to move, I had some employment changes resulting in the loss of my job and, I broke up with my girlfriend at the time, not so bad if I was going to make a clean break but the final response came back as a DENIED. So within a matter of 2 weeks, I had lost everything!

Back to the drawing board

That was a tough time! I knew I had hit a new low but not rock bottom. Things could always be worse right? I had no money so I went to live at my Nan’s house and was having commute 35 miles to a sushi restaurant job. I was it a strange time, but I just kept the faith that things would improve. I knew that I would only lose out if I gave up so I just simply had to be patient for a year try again (and again if need be). I just focused on my job and ended up loving the sociable aspect of waiting on tables at a popular sushi restaurant in Nottingham. Luckily the second time around I was more fortunate. I had a successful interview at Manchester Metropolitan University which felt great from the get-go. I will always remember and am eternally grateful to my interviewers who gave me the opportunity to get on the ladder.physiotherapyBack on board

A physiotherapy degree is pretty challenging. There are three main body systems and thus three main types of physiotherapy that we are involved with; Musculoskeletal (I couldn’t even say that word when I first encountered it), basically what you’d think of a physiotherapist working with injuries of the muscles, bones and soft tissues. Neurological physiotherapy i.e. working with conditions affecting brain and nervous system, and Respiratory physiotherapy that involves working with conditions affecting the lungs and the cardiovascular system.

Each year we focused a third of the time on each system with barely a break in between so it was extremely intense. A mix between written and practical examination offered a chance to be assessed in various ways. Interwoven in the second and third years were practical placements where we had chances to apply our acquired knowledge in clinical settings, these placements were also assessed.

Overall I’d say it was a relentless and steep learning curve! By the final year I was really enjoying it (I enjoyed it all the way through in fact but especially the final year). I really enjoyed the final modules of critically appraising current evidence in treating musculoskeletal conditions and another module on chronic pain conditions. I felt that I had chosen a useful and meaningful subject to write about for my final dissertation.

By and large the degree challenged me in so many different ways and brought out the best in me. It has provided me with skills and confidence in how to problem solve.  I’ve learned how to break down problems logically and then being creative in solving these individual aspects.

As with a lot of things, you must leave it just when you start to get comfortable with it. But, all that patience, perseverance and hard work paid off and I finally qualified June 2016.

Back to the future

As the old saying goes – ‘It’s not about the destination (even though it’s good being here) it’s about the journey’. I’ve enjoyed the journey, even the rough times because you can look back with pride that you stuck with it no matter what.

All in all, it took 6 years from leaving my full-time job to starting to work for Physio.co.uk.  I’m now feeling great in my first physiotherapy post and there is so much more to learn! This is why it is a great career choice.

So if you’re thinking about making that career change to physiotherapy, then go for it! It may not be easy but if it was easy it would be less of a story to tell.