5 minutes with Nick Cooper, Senior Physiotherapist
Hi Nick, could you tell me a little about your role and responsibilities?
Hi, I am a senior physiotherapist in the central High Peak region – part of the community rehabilitation team. As a team we are responsible for a diverse caseload – musculoskeletal (MSK), neuro, respiratory and rapid response, where we are involved in trying to prevent admission or to facilitate discharge. In my role I am also responsible for looking after the band 5s and physiotherapy students as their clinical educator.
What is the best thing about working as a therapist in the community?
My background is a MSK physiotherapist; what I love about working in the community setting is the way I now get to work in such a holistic way. I have to use all my skills – empathy, counselling and technical therapy skills – to care for the patients, their carers and family. No two days are the same, it can be very unpredictable – but I thrive on that sort of challenge and love having to be very flexible.
What is one of the biggest challenges you have faced in your role?
For me ‘challenge’ is an exciting and good thing. I am a keen champion of change – I look for things that could be done better and then work with colleagues to try and bring about improvements. It has been great to be involved in the Outstanding Way initiative as it has been an opportunity to share ideas more widely and to have recognition for staff suggestions for improvements.
I’m really lucky that I work with fantastic colleagues, in a strong and supportive team, with line managers who are happy for us to ‘have a go’ at new things.
It is good to have permission to try out ideas in this safe environment, but it is also helpful to realise that eight out of ten of our ideas may not work out... that said, we all know if you don’t try, we won’t find the ‘great idea’ that really will make a difference to our patients and staff!
What is the most exciting thing that has happened in the workplace over the last four months?
The past few months have been really interesting. Our team was the first team in DCHS to pilot the initial changes for the Outstanding Way. It has been good being part of the changes, but more than that to feel staff and their ideas have been, and are being, listened to!
We have also been taking opportunities to support the work of other teams; increasing the scope of our practice, seeing beyond ‘banding’ and engaging with the fresh approach to embrace the benefits. It has been good to step outside of our professional ‘silos’ and to work in a way that is genuinely focussed on patient outcomes; utilising all our strengths and all pulling in the same direction.