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Personal contribution a win-win for all
Giving back to his profession through volunteering on a committee is something Scott Willis, APAM, considers a part of his professional development. The time and effort, liaising and meeting with his peers and other industry leaders on committees and at meetings helps him gain knowledge and skills in general business practice, advocacy and policy.
‘I have found it a good way to not only help the profession, but to help me also learn more and develop my personal skills,’ Scott says. ‘If you have experience in private practice as to how a physiotherapist fits within the health system, then why not take a seat at a table that can help make change and improve processes for physiotherapists?’
For the past few years, the Tasmania-based practitioner has been busily balancing family life and his clinical practice with a few hours a month volunteering with the APA at state and national levels. The APA Business group national chair is calling on his peers to show interest in joining a committee to help drive the profession.
‘I am lucky and fortunate to be part of a great profession, and it is time to give something back as physiotherapy has been good to me. I feel it is my duty to do so,’ Scott says.
‘If every practitioner could give one or two hours a year for some advocacy and policy work—it doesn’t have to be on national level— that equates to a couple of million dollars of work that the APA could achieve for free. It’s a win–win for everyone: we learn and we better the profession in partnership with our governing association.
‘If you have a passion about something, it’s an opportunity to develop that further—even speaking at a conference for the profession or another organisation that wants, and needs, to learn about us to raise awareness of what we do and how we can help them.’
Scott says the personal building of business skills and a wide service offering within a private practice is a necessity for any physiotherapist who wants to meet the ever-increasing demands of consumers.
‘We are a service industry now, more so than a health one. Consumers demand a service—especially with the rise of “Dr Google”, they want it at all times and at their convenience. They want to be provided with a variety professional services in a great facility, so we keep this front of mind in our business plan.
‘There is more extensive training required to be an accredited exercise physiologist as opposed to that required by a gym instructor. A physio understands movement patterns, which can help prevent musculoskeletal injuries or metabolic disorders.’
On graduating from the University of Sydney in 1993, Scott started working at the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie, switching to private practice with Coastal Physiotherapy in 1997. The multiservice practice has clinics in Burnie and Somerset, specialising in rehabilitation, exercise physiology, hydrotherapy and treatment for sports injuries. Three decades into his career, he remains as passionate as ever about going to work each day.
‘It’s my passion, because you can change lives by changing function,' he says.
Motion capture technology improving patient engagement on rehabilitation wards
Amy Rathjen, APAM, is undertaking a study to see whether pedometers encourage patients in rehabilitation wards to move more, thus improving mobility outcomes.
Trialling video games in stroke rehabilitation
A team of Tasmanian researchers are nearing the end of the first trial in the southern hemisphere of the Jintronix Rehabilitation System, an exercise-based video game for stroke patients.
StGiles story: adapting to meet the needs of the community
The polio epidemic of 1937 saw many communities struggling. Significant numbers of deaths were recorded, but it was the ongoing challenges of treatment and rehabilitation of hundreds of children that seemed onerous.
Taking physio to rural Tasmania
Nine members of the TAS Branch set up a pop-up clinic at the state’s premier agricultural event, Agfest, to engage with and inform the public on the benefits of physiotherapy.