The Modern Day Quest Takes a Turn – Maternity Leave and Physioplus

Well, this is possibly a new record for the fastest time that a new project of mine has gone sideways but in my defence, the whole world has been turned upside down so that made it challenging to get this going. Suddenly I have all three kids at home with me all the time. Thankfully, these children need to sleep sometime so there remains a small window of time in which to Get Things Done.

And then, like the superstars they are, TeamPP created and launched a new course of Physiopedia Plus: the Coronavirus Disease Programme. This programme features four courses; an overview of the virus and associated disease, infection prevention and control, the role of physiotherapy and respiratory management. If ever there was the perfect course with which to launch my quest, this was it.

I won’t go into details about the course material itself (take it yourself! It’s available for free . Instead, here follow my reflections, using one of the reflective frameworks suggested on Physiopedia.

What was my role? As per my first post in this series, I planned to work my way through some Physiopedia Plus courses, on the one hand to get the benefit of the information (review, upgrade etc) before returning to work from maternity leave but also to write about the experience in the hope that some of my thoughts and findings might be of interest or benefit to other people.

What were the problems? Just finding the time! In a house of three young children who are being kept home from school and day care, free time is definitely a challenge. Quite frankly, I don’t have much left in the tank by the time the kids are sleeping at night so ensuring there is adequate overlap in their naps is crucial for getting anything done, especially something requiring concentration.

Having said that, being able to take this course at home with the ability to pause in order to do laundry/ prepare food/change diapers/feed babies made it far and away more manageable than any in-person course I’ve taken. And with in-person classes, courses and conferences around the world being cancelled in light of the pandemic, online courses will only become more appealing for continuing education.

What happened? Planning was key. I made sure my Physiopedia Plus log in was up to date the night before (don’t want to waste crucial minutes resetting a password!). I aimed to get three children napping or at least occupied in their rooms at the same time and as soon as that happened, I logged in. I had one false start when the baby woke up as soon as I sat down but once she was again asleep, things were cooking.

What was the outcome? I did the first and second courses with only one pause for household tasks and I passed the respective quizzes. It took another two days to get the third and fourth courses finished just based on available time.

What did I learn? I understand the naming of the virus versus the disease associated with the virus. I know what the recommended hand washing technique is (I thought my technique was adequate before. It wasn’t but it is now!). I realized that – yikes! – it has been a long time since physio school and my cardiorespiratory training, making the Respiratory Management course a challenge for me but at the same time, it vastly deepened my awe and appreciation of the front line workers who are caring for those already suffering from COVID-19.

What now? The final component of the programme is to do an assignment β€œto consolidate your learning from this programme of courses and promote thinking around how you might implement what you have learnt in your own professional practice and the practice of others.” That’s what I’m working on right now. I have lots of thoughts and ideas after taking the course. Now I just need to capitalize on more of those precious napping minutes to corral them into some sort of order!