New starter physiotherapy
04.26.23|Posted by Ascenti Team

What to expect as a new physio at Ascenti

Starting a new job can be overwhelming, especially a first job out of university or when you are early on in your career.  MSK Physiotherapist, Emma Webster, shares her own experience of what it is like to join a new company and start a role as a MSK Physiotherapist with Ascenti. 

At Ascenti we pride ourselves on our clinical development and training programme which starts from day one of your role as a physiotherapist with us. 

From application for the job and interview, to your first day treating patients in clinic, you will receive support at every level, and no matter your experience we will be with you every step of the way to ensure you are settled and happy in your journey as a newly graduated physio. 

MSK Physiotherapist, Emma Webster, shares her own experience of what it is like to join a new company and start a role as a MSK Physiotherapist with Ascenti. 

Applying for the role 

As a new physiotherapist straight out of university, I was really worried about starting my first job. I wasn’t sure what to expect or how I would manage the transition from student to professional. After weeks of searching for suitable positions, I found a posting for an MSK Physiotherapist with Ascenti. Whilst the job itself was fantastic I was even more impressed with the company philosophies and the support it offered to new starters.  

The application and interview process were extremely straightforward and every contact I had made me feel excited to start. One of my biggest concerns was how the company would manage my health and other disabilities, but I quickly learnt that there was absolutely nothing to be worried about. All my needs were addressed quickly, and I was given everything I needed to be the best physiotherapist I could be. 

Shortly after accepting the position, I met with my new Area Manager. The introduction was nice and relaxed, and we enjoyed a friendly chat over a Costa Coffee whilst we discussed the role and the process of starting. I was also able to arrange an informal visit to the clinic I would be working in to give me a clear sense of what to expect. Unfortunately, on arriving at the clinic location, it quickly became apparent that it wasn’t going to be a suitable environment for me due to my disabilities. My heart sank. I was terrified that being unable to work at that site would mean the job offer would be rescinded, but this was not the case. Before we had even finished the visit, my manager provided me with a list of other available clinics, and we arranged a visit later in the week. 

The alternative location was a brand-new clinic due to open in Salford Quays. Despite the increase in responsibility in building the clinic up from scratch, the location and office amenities made it a perfect fit. My manager and I worked together to set everything up, including equipping the space with all the additional tools and items recommended by occupational health to support my individual needs. The result was a clinical space that I felt confident and safe working in, despite working alone. 

The welcome week 

Prior to officially starting with Ascenti, I was sent a few devices, including a laptop and phone, along with login details for the various online systems I would need to use. Despite a few minor hiccups with passwords, the set up was very straight forward and I was grateful for the opportunity to become familiar with the digital tools before the induction training began. 

The official induction lasted a week with the first three days dedicated to exploring and learning the patient management system. Rather than being thrown in at the deep end on my first clinical day, the induction allowed me to practise completing patient notes and using the booking system. I was also granted access to the training account for the full duration of the week meaning I could continue to practise outside the dedicated learning sessions.  

The first few days also included presentations from different departments in the company to give an overview of what their responsibilities were. This made it easier to identify important points of contacts for things such as governance, HR, and marketing. There was even a chance to meet the Chief of Operations – Physiotherapy, Dan Pemberton, which was particularly enjoyable as it really made me feel like a valued member of the company. 

These initial three days were all conducted remotely using video calls which meant that there wasn’t any additional travelling to other locations and created a more relaxed atmosphere. Working from home also allowed me to use my home PC alongside my work laptop making it easier to take notes and navigate the online tools without having to keep opening and closing numerous tabs. 

The second half of the induction week was spent shadowing other physiotherapists in their clinics. As a new graduate this was probably the most invaluable experience of the whole week. It was an opportunity to not only see all the systems in use, but also get a feel of what to expect in terms of patients and conditions. I was fortunate to observe several different clinicians which was fantastic as each one gave me a different insight into the day-to-day workings of the company. What was most impressive was that every single one of them commented on how much they enjoyed working for Ascenti and described it as the best job they’d had. This made me even more excited to start. 

The first week in clinic 

With the welcome week and induction complete it was time to put my new knowledge and skills to the test. I arrived on my first day in the brand-new clinic early and set myself up for an exciting day of meeting all the new patients. Although I’d hoped for a perfect first day it turned out to be more of a trial by fire, with several events which really tested my ability to adapt quickly under pressure.  

The day began with an unscheduled fire alarm right as my first patient was due to be seen. The entire building had to evacuate and by the time we were allowed to return, the appointment only had half its time remaining. This was followed by another patient who arrived late and proceeded to explain that they didn’t want face-to-face appointments and only wanted video sessions; something I was unable to offer. On top of this there were several communication barriers which made it extremely difficult to complete the assessment.  

By lunchtime I was completely disheartened. I convinced myself that I’d never be able to assess patients within the allotted time, and I didn’t even know where to start when it came to performing special tests or creating treatment plans. Even though I had excelled at university, I felt like a fraud.

This is where Ascenti really demonstrated their commitment to supporting their staff. Shortly after reaching out to my manager, they opened a video chat and I explained everything I had experienced so far. Immediately, my manager assured me that nothing I had done was wrong and that the situations I’d experienced would have been a curveball for anyone. She reassured me that this was an exceptionally strange day and not a representation of what the clinic would be like every day. Straight away I felt calmer and was able to continue the day with much more confidence; even when several more complex patients arrived. 

The second day was much smoother, and I was able to meet with my mentor and clinical leads for my area. Each of them confirmed what my manager had told me the day before and explained that they were always available to assist if needed. 

With my anxiety eased, I was able to approach my next patients with more confidence and quickly demonstrated that I could complete a full assessment and apply all the skills I had been taught on my degree. 

Whilst my first week started off a little shaky, I soon found a rhythm and was able to begin to develop my own system for managing my time efficiently. Any questions or concerns I had, were immediately raised with my mentor or manager who responded quickly and offered the assistance I needed. Despite working by myself, I never once felt alone.

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