Work Placement Blog, by Neve Scanlon


My name is Neve Scanlan, I’m 16 years old and I’m a Transition Year student in Deele College, Raphoe. I will be writing a blog each month describing my time and experience at J.T Physiotherapy, working every Wednesday from January until May.

January Blog

As I said I am at TY student at Deele College and a huge part of TY is work experience. When we started the year we were told to find two work placements that we have an interest in or somewhere we might want to work in the future. My passion is sport and I was lucky enough to get into two great sport related jobs. Finn Valley AC and of course J.T Physiotherapy in Letterkenny.

I have had a love for physiotherapy for all the wrong reasons, injuries. I picked up a few sporting injuries along the way and I was in and out of different physiotherapy clinics. I was amazed with how easily a physiotherapist could diagnose my injury and put me back on the road to recovery. From then on I knew I wanted to become a Physio.

I had tried so many clinics throughout Donegal but no one would take me on as a TY work placement student. I must have tried everywhere. I was actually in J.T physiotherapy for treatment following an ankle sprain. I had sent them an email with my CV attached but didn’t think I would hear back from them, but to my surprise I did. They told me to speak to the manager. That’s when I met Packie Mailey and he told me that they’d take me on for work experience. The rest is history.

I started my first day on the 10th of January. Nervous but very excited to see what the day would bring. The first person I met was Anne-Marie the receptionist, she showed me around and introduced me to all of the staff. My first job at J.T. was learning how their booking/ online system worked. It was surprisingly more difficult than I imagined.

Packie then got me to do some research and advertising work. It was interesting to see how beneficial research can be for improving a business. It was coming up to 12 o’clock and I thought my day couldn’t get any better but then Sinead one of the Reformers Pilates instructors invited me to join the class. That was the highlight of the day, I must have told everyone how good reformers pilates was when I got home. I got a quick 5 minute pep talk from Sinead on how the reformers worked, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing but luckily I had Sinead there to help me along the way. I was doing arm/ leg/ core work, it was great. It was more than I had ever expected to do at work and I’m so lucky to have this opportunity.

After lunch, still buzzing from my jam packed day, what more could top it off? Luckily my first day was also CPD day (Continuous Personal Development) all the physios come together and talk about new research, it allows the physios to learn and have the most up to date research. Physiotherapist Áine was taking the CPD that day and she discussed new findings in neck pain and ways and means of fixing an injury in the neck. I wasn’t sure of the technical terms but I was able to get the jist of it. It was amazing to see how a group of physios can learn from each other. After the CDP I finished off my research and then it was time to go home. That was only week 1 of my work experience.

Sadly I was dosed with the flu which was making the rounds during the New Year and I missed out on two weeks of J.T. Physiotherapy Work experience. I was so disappointed and I could wait to get better and get back to J.T. Physiotherapy.

I recovered from flu, two weeks later I started back at J.T Physiotherapy. I began the day similar to my first week. Anne-Marie showed me more in depth work on the online systems. I was beginning to understand how it worked. From profiles, bookings, classes and so much more.

I went and did a few jobs for Packie, research on some new screening technology they were considering purchasing for the clinic. The NordBoard, GroinBar and HumanTrak. I was tasked at finding out what each piece of equipment did, who they were used for and would it be beneficial for J.T. Physiotherapy to have. I was allowed to take part in the Reformers Pilates class, I had a better idea of what I was doing that time, the hour seemed to fly by.

As the end of my day neared I was able to speak to some of the physios about their path to becoming a Physiotherapist which for me was very interesting. And then it was time to go home, another week completed at J.T Physiotherapy.

February blog

A month into work experience already.

The snow hit in February and as it was snowing all day it meant the clinic was very quiet with patients unable to get to their appointments. I helped Anne-Marie on reception as it was busy with many phone calls and rescheduling appointments because of the snow. Once reception had quieted down I was tasked with filing many different forms that are in the clinic. I managed to get about half of it done.

I then went out to my favourite part of the day, you guessed it, Reformer Pilates, it was so fun. Our football training had been cancelled due to snow so I was able to do a some reformers classes. Reformers pilates has been so good for me and football. I had never heard of it before I came to J.T., I thought it would be just the same as pilates but it was completely different. It’s great for strength work and anyone can do it.

I finished off the filing and then the day was over. Even though its work, the day flys in and out.

Now that I’m into my second month here I’m slowly getting used to how everything works, from the online systems, where everything is, how it works etc. On the first day I was so nervous and I didn’t know what to expect but over time I’ve become more confident. There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes in a business that you don’t really think about but throughout my time here it’s something I’ve noticed. From reception, bookings, cancellations, queries. Physios writing reports and notes on each patient in their free time. Management creating new ways for advertising and keeping the place running smoothly. I never realised how much actually went on behind the scenes and its been an aspect of work experience I had never thought of.

The following week I spent the day learning the online systems with Anne-Marie. Packie arrived in and explained to me that they needed someone to work on reception on Saturday and was I interested. I was. Anne-Marie went through anything I’d need to know or would need to be able to do. At the end of the day Packie asked would I go in on Friday for some extra training. I did so and was ready for my first day of work at J.T. Physiotherapy. I actually got on ok and didn’t find it too bad on my own. It was great experience as I was able to experience yet another work aspect of J.T. Physiotherapy.

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