McGowan E1, Jutterdal S2, Glasgow P3,4, Gobert D5
1Trinity College Dublin, Physiotherapy, Dublin, Ireland, 2Swedish Association of Physiotherapists, Stockholm, Sweden, 3Irish Rugby Football Union, Dublin, Ireland, 4University of Ulster, School of Sport, Belfast, United Kingdom, 5Texas State University, Department of Physical Therapy, Austin, United States
Learning objective 1: To present experiences and perspectives of physiotherapists who are leaders in their field regarding leadership issues in the profession of physiotherapy.
Learning objective 2: To share specific case studies of effective leadership in different physiotherapy contexts globally with a view to participants being able to apply their learning to local contexts.
Learning objective 3: To discuss physiotherapists' perceptions of leadership development - relevance, content, implementation, barriers and enablers in different countries, and propose strategies as a way forward.
Description: The importance of the role of physiotherapists as leaders is increasingly being recognised as healthcare and health systems change and evolve, more complex challenges are faced and the physiotherapy profession develops (Chan et al., 2015, Desveaux et al., 2012, Desveaux and Verrier, 2014, McGowan and Stokes, 2017, McGowan et al. 2018). Leaders in physiotherapy have been defined as 'individuals who influence the actions of another individual or group toward accomplishing goals and set the pace and direction of change while facilitating innovative practice' (Desveaux et al., 2012). Effective leadership is central to ensuring high standards of care, effective organisational processes and optimal results in healthcare. In the physiotherapy profession, leadership is needed to guide the changes necessary for its sustainable growth and development (Desveaux and Verrier, 2014; McGowan and Stokes, 2017). Developing effective leaders in physiotherapy can benefit both physiotherapy professionals and patients alike because it encourages practitioners to innovate and drive change and thus ensure continual development and quality improvement (McGowan et al., 2018).
Across the world WCPT member organisations are increasingly recognising the importance of developing leadership skills in physiotherapists. This has led to leadership development initiatives ranging from one-off lectures to year-long programmes. The CSP has recently introduced a modular leadership development program which includes action learning sets, workshops and online learning, the Texas Chapter of the APTA has the Tom Waugh Leadership Development Program which adopts a mentorship model, and the ISCP has run a leadership program which involves participants completing their own change project in their workplace. Despite this growing interest, the evidence base for leadership development in physiotherapy is very limited. How best to develop leadership skills remains contested, however finding a comprehensive answer to this question is essential if effective leadership development programmes are to be developed (McGowan and Stokes, 2017).
The purpose of this focused symposium is to explore the leadership experiences of renowned leaders in physiotherapy, provide examples of successful leadership in physiotherapy, demonstrate the importance of developing the leadership skills of physiotherapists, and to describe strategies for the effective development of leadership skills of physiotherapists in a range of contexts.
This symposium will include three speakers who each have a wealth of experience as physiotherapy leaders in their fields of work: sports physiotherapy, education and leading a professional organisation. They will describe their experiences of demonstrating leadership, the challenges they have faced and the strategies they have employed to address these challenges; providing ideas that can be applied by attendees at the focused symposium in their own workplaces. The speakers will also discuss their experiences of leadership development and their perceptions of the approach and structure that should be taken in creating leadership development opportunities for physiotherapists. Attendees will be encouraged to ask questions or to make comments about their own experiences, ideas or strategies in relation to leadership development.
The intended audience will be:
· Physiotherapists practising in a wide range of areas particularly those who want to develop their role, introduce a new service to their practice or improve services in their workplace.
· Board or executive committee members of physiotherapy organisations e.g. Member organisations, WCPT regions, sub-groups, clinical or special interest groups.
· Professional organisation staff whose organisations may offer leadership development opportunities.
· Educators, particularly those who lead modules on professional issues or those who provide leadership development courses for continuing professional development.
· Researchers with an interest in leadership, education, continuing professional development or organisational development.
Implications / Conclusions: The ability of physiotherapists to demonstrate effective leadership and lead change in their workplace, the healthcare system and/or the profession is key to the ongoing development and growth of the physiotherapy profession. Designing and running effective, evidence-based leadership programmes for physiotherapists and making these widely accessible is an on-going challenge. Sharing the experiences of physiotherapy leaders and their perspectives on leadership issues and leadership development for physiotherapists will stimulate further discussion and engagement on this topic. Improving the leadership skills of physiotherapists has the potential to improve not only the profession but the healthcare system and ultimately outcomes for patients.
Key-words: 1. Leadership 2. Leadership Development 3.
Funding acknowledgements: N/A
Relevance to physical therapy globally: Leadership is important in physiotherapy for many reasons. Effective leadership in the workplace has been linked to staff well-being, team morale and organisational culture. Leadership influences quality of care, safety and patient outcomes. It is essential in driving organisational change, improving performance and achieving shared goals. Leadership is also important for the future of the profession; physiotherapists need leadership skills to advocate for the profession, inspire a shared vision and motivate others to achieve it.
Target audience: Leadership skills are important for all physiotherapists therefore this session is relevant to a great many participants at both the WCPT General Meeting and Congress.
McGowan E1, Jutterdal S2, Glasgow P3,4, Gobert D5