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  • Lian Yun-Perng, Physiotherapist

Why would a Physiotherapist leave their organization?

Recently, I met up with a friend who happens to be a Physio as well. B is one of my few friends that has contemplated leaving their current organization many times but it just didn’t materialize yet. B offered me a different perspective of what people want as an end goal.

At this moment, I learnt three new perspectives:

Below are a few reasons on why some people leave their organisation

Reason 1: Learning support / clinical training

Physios decide to leave their organization because they aren’t learning anything clinically. They feel like a technician; it’s the same thing every day. There is no one to guide them or to question them on their assessment or treatment options. These Physios want to grow but there is no one to turn to; they hope for a senior that would challenge their thoughts and improve their clinical reasoning skills.

Advice: The only advice I can offer is to follow certain people on the internet and to learn from them if you’re waiting for an opportunity to leave. Although a physical discussion is not possible, it is still beneficial to learn from them through their post and comments. I am a strong believer of making things happen and not waiting for it to happen. So, take up the responsibility and drive your own learning. We can’t change the environment but we can change ourselves.

Reason 2: Remuneration package

Some Physios want to increase their earning power and money is their main driver.

Advice: You could renegotiate your remuneration package with your management before taking things a step further. However, it is somewhat difficult to renegotiate terms with your current organization and you do not want to portray yourself as being money minded. Otherwise, it would be best to understand your contract agreements and negotiate your terms before committing to the job.

Reason 3: Management style

Some organization have no management or structure at all. You may be asked to do things beyond your scope of practice and most will feel unhappy. Unfortunately, I believe most people leave because of their management. Their managers function more like a boss than a leader and not many people can adapt to that kind of management style.

Advice: Bear with it, complain but do your job. Leave when the right opportunity and deal comes. It is not possible to change your management. Do not waste your time fighting against the management. The only one that “loses” is you.

Reason 4: No future

This would contain a bit of everything that I have mentioned. You just don’t see a future in your organization. You can’t advance into a managerial position nor can you improve your clinical skills. The only reason you’re staying is to support your commitments in life or there’s no other opportunities yet.

Advice: I would say leave when the right opportunity or deal comes. Try to make the best out of everything. Sometimes you just have to hang on and wait.

Reason 5: Leaving the physiotherapy field

Sometimes you feel drained and tired of working as a Physiotherapist. Your job doesn’t pay that well and the cost of living is increasing. Your bosses demand a lot and create an unpleasant working environment. The above said leaves you with no choice but to leave the physiotherapy field. It is really sad but you have to do what you have to do.

Advice: You may choose to leave your job and hopefully you will still be able to use your physiotherapy knowledge and skills in other fields like an occupational health officer, health advisor or physical education teacher. You may change job but your skills are still valuable.

For employers: How to keep your staff?

Practise open communication

Be fair

Provide learning support/training

Appreciate and remunerate accordingly

Consider the welfare of the staff

Staff is a being; not a robot

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope to continue writing and sharing. Please support me by recommending my website or page to your friends.

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Lian Yun-Perng  

UK Qualified Physiotherapist
Bachelor of Physiotherapy

Keele University, United Kingdom
Diploma in Physiotherapy

AIMST University, Malaysia

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