It is tough but I wouldn't change it as I love my job(s)! I really enjoy the balance between both the theory/research of teaching with the practical and clinical elements of being an ETA physio. I just have to be very organised and be efficient in my work and play!
My time spent as a Physio for the ETA is mainly at the weekends so I have an idea of when and where I have to best to concentrate my efforts. There is a lot of travelling around the country for training camps, which can be tiring, however there is a cross over between the research I am undertaking at university and touch, looking at injuries sustained in touch and the physical demands of the game. I have however found that on occasion my social life has taken a backseat due to touch, especially when I had to miss some home games of my beloved Manchester City Football Club!
Dedication, perseverance and a little bit of luck! It took me 3 attempts to get on a Physio course but I knew it was what I wanted to do from an early age so I kept on with my dream despite the knock backs. I loved having students when I worked clinically full time, it really made me assess what I was doing and why, and it was fantastic to see students having a 'lightbulb' moment and knowing you had helped them get there! It was from this that I got into teaching on a seconded role with a local university as a lecturer-practitioner.
I was very lucky as these opportunities don't come up that often and I really was in the right place at the right time to find out about the position. From there I moved into full time teaching but missed the clinical aspect so looked for some part time clinical work and the ETA medical team was just becoming established at that time, and, with luck on my side again, I became involved. It was never my intention to get into sports physiotherapy, but the medical team I work with are excellent and despite the long hours and travelling involved it really is worth it. 4 years in and we are an established team with a great working relationship with our players, despite the issues that having squad members spread all over the country can bring!
Both are very challenging and no one day is the same which is part of the reason I get such job satisfaction. There are some cross overs such as the use of my anatomical and pathology knowledge but I like the quick thinking and analytical skills that being pitch side brings. My teaching job requires more precise organisation and prior planning that is not as appropriate on tour with the England squad, where anything can happen and you have to be able to think on your feet! Not only that my teaching job is much warmer and drier!
I use SPORTTAPE for both teaching sessions with the students in university and pitch side with the ETA. The students are always amazed by the results we get from such a non invasive treatment and its ease of use. It also lasts which is great when you are dealing with a medical team budget!
With touch being a summer sport we see a lot of grazes and grass burns when the ground is dry so we use a lot of opsite, an adhesive spray dressing. we also get through a lot of gauze and orthopaedic felt for making insoles, but SPORTTAPE has to be one of our main essentials. I love seeing the boys in pink! Also mustn't forget a bag of haribo (for the physio's!).
I have tried it and was roped into the first touch league in Manchester many moons ago, however being unable to catch is a slight hindrance in the game and therefore I don't think I am going to make the England squad. I am much happier to stay on the touchline where my skills are best put to use!!
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