The very word can strike fear into many employees. In my previous experiences, that translated into layoffs, with those lucky enough to remain absorbing many of the jobs that used to be done by those laid off. The NHS has gone through a fair amount of restructuring in the past four years, so it has become nearly commonplace. Since 2009, I have worked for three different NHS trusts while working in the same job.
This time is different though. A colleague of mine has decided to move on to another role and resigned. Our business managers are beginning to think about not replacing like for like (a nurse for a nurse), but rather what does the job really entail and who would be best to perform that task. I think that is a brilliant approach to problem-solving and staffing appropriately.
The role I'm currently in is only a fixed-term temporary post filling in for someone (a nurse actually) while that person is seconded to another post. What this could mean for me is a permanent job and not having to start the job search all over again in August.
How could I be filling in for a nurse? Again, the managers stopped and looked at what the role entailed (acting as a consultant for residents of nursing homes who have fallen over). What matters is the skill set, not the title.
I hope I see more of this trend in thinking, particularly for my former colleagues back home in the US. I remember seeing job postings requiring a nursing degree and I would ask, "Why?" What was it about the job that required a nurse? Often it was simply historical and no other reason. As we become more highly skilled, with DPT degrees back home and the ability to prescribe over here, new doors should be opening for us. It is time for us to go where no PT has gone before!