A New Year Reflective Exercise

I thought that at the start of a New Year it would be a great opportunity to reflect over my past year working as a complementary practitioner during covid. It is best practice to review how my overall practice runs focusing on my private practice, provision of clinical reflexology to the NHS and the delivery of my face-to -face training courses.  Adopting a reflective format will highlight where operational changes have been made and their impact from the patient perspective.

Assessing how my private practice has functioned during covid has been a difficult task. Mainly because it was necessary to bring in innovative and un-tested methods to enable me to continue to see patients. The challenges being to follow evolving Government Health & Safety and professional guidelines whilst providing a holistic service. I set about this by implementing changes to my contact and appointment options by adding and up-dating covid information to my website/email.  Adjusting appointment schedules to make allowances for surgery cleaning between patients and my donning & doffing PPE. The most important change has come about through covid vaccination. In my opinion informing patients of my vaccine status has re-assured them of my professionalism and how seriously I take my duty of care for them.  The success of my actions was illustrated by feedback from a Weymouth lady with acute sciatica. “Thank you so much for seeing me at this difficult time Abbigail, and helping with my pain. Knowing you were vaccinated I felt very safe in your hands and left after reflexology feeling relaxed and the pain significantly lessened. I have carried out your suggested stretches and pleased to say I am now pain free”.  

Assessing my provision of Clinical Reflexology service to the local NHS Hospital cancer services was an easier task as I routinely carry out “snap-shot” patient survey’s which supply data on the performance of the service and effectiveness of the therapy in this case clinical reflexology. Consent/Evaluation forms are filled out by every patient receiving clinical reflexology at the Fortuneswell Ward, Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy clinics at DCHFT. These forms inform annual audit and funding applications. A patient comment  “I am so grateful for this service (reflexology) I didn’t know what reflexology was but look forward to coming for my chemotherapy sessions now after experiencing how reflexology relaxes me and helps me cope with chemo and it’s side effects. ”.

Assessing the effectiveness of my face-to-face training relied on participant feedback questionnaires. Participants score the main learning points of the course, identifying areas that need more input. My course is evidence based and it’s content constantly up-dated with research findings. Participant comment “Brilliant course I learnt so much. Highly professional standard of course content and attention to detail. I felt safe throughout the day knowing all course attendees were vaccinated and Abbigail’s strict covid protocols were observed at all times. Will recommend”. I conclude this exercise sharing an email response to my last article. “thank you Abbigail for bringing loneliness to the fore, living alone I never considered myself lonely until the restrictions brought about by covid. Living through this experience as taught me the value of contact with my family that live away and the simple pleasures of friendship. I feel calm and in a strange way more resilient and optimistic for the future after having my vaccine. I hope others feel the same. Do keep writing your articles as I always feel informed and uplifted after reading them”