Fachenglisch für Gesundheitsberufe
Fachenglisch für Gesundheitsberufe
3.12 Working Shifts for Allied Health Professionals in Public Hospitals (p. 78-79)
In the United Kingdom, AHPs generally work a 37.5 hour week. In the Republic of Ireland, the working week is 33 hours. Occupational therapists and speech and language therapists work a fi ve-day week only (Monday to Friday). Physiotherapists' working shift s vary depending on the care they provide. Th eir normal working time is also from Monday to Friday, however, in some cases they provide weekend services and on-call services, which include weekend and night duties.
Journalist Yvonne Atkins from The Weekly AHP Gazette is doing some research for an article on the work conditions of physiotherapists. She asks Patrick (a Senior II physio), Marcio (a Junior physio) and Jasmine (a Senior I physio) what they do for their weekends at work.
Yvonne: Patrick, can you describe how your weekend work is organized?
Patrick: Well, as you know I work in a general acute hospital, which also offers elective orthopaedic surgery. This means that physiotherapy services are provided on Saturdays and Sundays and each physio staff member is on a weekend rota list. On Saturdays I usually start at 9 a.m. and I would usually go to ICU fi rst and treat the patients there. This way I can organize my day more effi ciently and see some patients again in the afternoon, if they need to be seen twice a day. On Saturdays and Sundays I will treat chest patients, who have been put on the weekend patient list by the physios on the wards on Friday or otherwise have been newly referred by the doctors. Orthopaedic patients are seen on Saturdays only, this is for "day one" patients only, though.
Yvonne: What does that mean?
Patrick: What I mean by that is that only patients who had their orthopaedic surgery the Friday before will be mobilized on Saturdays, as it will be their fi rst day out of bed (day one). It is the policy in our hospital that each orthopaedic patient must be mobilized by a physiotherapist before mobilizing with other staff members, such as nurses, for instance. Once I have seen all the orthopaedic and chest patients I will go back to ICU and after that I will go home. Fortunately, there is no on-call service provided in our hospital.
Yvonne: Well, thanks a lot for all this information, Patrick. Marcio, as I understand, your Physiotherapy Department provides on-call services. Can you tell us about it?
Marcio: Sure. "On-call service" means that physiotherapy services are provided when indicated and generally requested by a doctor or ICU nurse outside the normal working hours, like 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. for example. I was on call last week for instance. This means that I have to be available and free to respond to a call during the on-call period. Before you participate in oncall duties you will have to have completed a respiratory rotation and have worked in ICU. Your senior physiotherapist will assess your skills and competencies with you. You must feel and be competent to provide on-call services, as you are kind of on your own and you are responsible for very seriously ill patients. You should also familiarize yourself with patient referral criteria, department policies, health and safety issues and response time, for example. Last week for instance I was on call and had to come in twice during the night to treat patients in the Intensive Care Unit. I was really tired the next morning, but anyway you still have to be back at work in the morning for your normal weekly work. If you are interested in emergency physiotherapy – as on-call service is also known – you can read the book Emergency Physiotherapy – On-Call Survival Guide by Beverley Harden. I can really recommend it to anyone who is on the on-call rota.
Yvonne: This is really interesting, thank you, Marcio. Now Jasmine, what about yourself – do you do weekend work or