I had been in my post as an occupational therapist with wheelchair services for 12 months when I successfully applied for a bursary to attend the PMG Conference in Cardiff in July 2017. As a frequent visitor to Cardiff, it was particularly nice being somewhere familiar, and my initial impressions of the event were really positive, from the helpful staff at the registration desk to the ideal location of the accommodation!
I jumped at the opportunity to use the members’ £15 book voucher and, after much deliberation, settled on purchasing Human Movement by Tony Everett and Clare Kell. The book covers an area of practice that I view as a personal development need, and I anticipate it will give me the opportunity to continue to learn, and add skills to benefit my practice.
The Welcome Event was one of many opportunities to network and socialise, and to discuss the conference. The first morning of the proceedings set the tone with the inspiring talk from Chris Rattenbury - A Struggle…I think not!’. Hearing about Chris’s journey was extremely interesting, and it felt very well-balanced. He used humour throughout his presentation to help get his points across. It was also a moment for some personal reflection, and reinforced for me that the client is always at the centre of any intervention.
I chose to attend Reducing temperature at the seat-patient interface in carved foam seating by Sarah Greasley. I was particularly excited by this presentation because, in my relatively short time working within wheelchair services, this has been an issue that has often arisen with clients. It was fascinating to hear about the current research looking into reducing the surface temperature in carved foam seating.
Exploring computer vision as a platform to deliver playful home-based manual wheelchair skills training by Katherin Gerling was another session of great interest to me because my research project at university was about using gaming in rehabilitation. I was therefore very interested to see how manual wheelchair skills training could be delivered via gaming technology. Almost the entire room of attending delegates agreed that manual wheelchair training is currently limited, largely due to scarce resources and time constraints. This was a thought-provoking session which identified the challenges of making potential interventions affordable and mass-market-available.
Mobile app technologies in pressure ulcer care – an evaluation in the community by Lorna Tasker was also of great interest. It was exciting to learn how apps on smart phone devices are being used to empower clients to manage their own care. In a sector where resources are stretched, it was fascinating to hear that early results are indicating a reduction in the need for patient visits, because professionals are able to monitor wounds utilising the 3D camera. Photograph shows Lorna Tasker presenting on Mobile App Technologies at PMG Conference 2017.
Time spent in the exhibition provided ample opportunities to see the latest products coming on to the market, and to gain hands-on experience of them, as well as even more time for networking!