“The experience you gain through rotations is invaluable”
A specialist physiotherapist who has worked in a variety of rotational posts with East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) has credited the placements with helping him develop a wide breadth of experience and the skills to treat each patient holistically.
Mitchell Perry joined Colchester Hospital in 2014 after gaining a master’s degree at the University of Essex. He went onto complete rotations in a variety of specialties – including critical care, outpatients, orthopaedics, respiratory and on surgical and medical wards – before moving to a static position as a specialist physiotherapist in medicine and oncology.
“I feel that working in rotational posts was incredibly beneficial for me, as it has given me a wide breadth of experience in a variety of different specialties,” said Mitchell.
“You gain an insight into how each department runs and an understanding of holistic care.
Someone may come in with a broken bone but also have asthma, for example. If you’ve completed a variety of rotations you’ll have experience of each of these areas so will know how to provide the most effective treatment for all of the issues the patient is facing, and not just one.
“To help someone recover well, you need a good understanding of all of their comorbidities. Rotational posts help you to develop just that.”
Rotations at ESNEFT usually last six months for junior staff and a year for those on band six. Staff are able to express a preference about where they would like to work, with places allocated depending on their wishes, together with their learning requirements and the needs of the service. If staff find an area they particularly enjoy, they are able to apply for a static post.
“We really encourage people to take part in a variety of rotations before they settle down,” added Mitchell. “The experience you gain allows you to take a step back and look at the whole person and every part of their health when you are designing their treatment plan.
“Rotations help people be responsive and open to change while also encouraging their ongoing development, as they need to build new professional relationships and communicate with different people all the time. This is really important as it helps us to work effectively with all of our patients, regardless of their needs, condition or background.
“I love my job and am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given to move around at ESNEFT. I especially enjoy the variety, and the fact that you need to use your brain to work out the best way to solve a patient’s problem. There is always something new to learn and work towards, but I really feel that rotational posts give you a strong foundation on which you can build your clinical skills.”
Although rotations are common for therapists, they have become rarer for nursing staff in recent years. ESNEFT is currently developing plans to re-introduce rotational opportunities for nurses to help them gain insight into different areas of care.
To apply for a job with ESNEFT, visit www.jobs.nhs.uk.