Covid-19 came as a huge shock at the time. Our clinic was trading with restrictions for 3-4 days and then within the space of 12 hours we were closed. No treatment ! No clinic! Nothing. This was unseen in our industry which meant there was no road map as to what we do next. To add to the complex we had been taken out of practice after being classified as a “massage palour”. As the manager of a Health Clinic with 7 highly qualified myo and remedial therapists this lit the fire to see us through COVID. We weren’t going down for this !
After the initial calling of clients, ensuring them we would do our best to help, setting up telehealth, zoom meetings with referring partners, and sending at home pain relief solutions to clients we had to make the tough decision to stand down all 7 therapists and 3 administration staff indefinitely. This by far was our hardest day. We took pride in providing our staff with careers and salaries in our industry but this was unsustainable if we wanted to be back at all. We , at this point, were able to provide what we pride ourselves on to staff or to clients.
As a clinic of 8 years we had a solid foundation of planning and structure but nothing prepared us for this. As the next few weeks unfolded it was time to fight to be recognised as an ‘essential service” so we could at least help a few clients and have a few staff back. Although lengthy and frustrating this was a great blessing in disguise. We put a call out to clients asking for their feedback on our profession to present to our local government. The overwhelming support and kind words from clients, staff, and friends was truly heartwarming. They were with us in this as well and needed us back. On top of this we were able to see associations unite, therapists unite and business come together to help as one unit.
This is when we realised things would be OK. Our vision may be different now, our staff on different hours, treatments altered but with the amount of support and love we had received we knew we would make it through. This only continued as our clients returned and couldn’t wait to see our faces and be treated. Feedback from clients who had seen other practitioners in the meantime where “just not the same” and the enormous thanks for being there to help.
We are now 4 weeks back into full time clinic treating and it is like COVID was a weird awkward dream. We have had overwhelming support for our industry and staff, the books are full and we are adding to the team. We have been able to employ all staff again, with some learning valuable lessons about work-life balance and gratitude for their profession.
We have one last hurdle of returning to our sporting teams in the near future. However, COVID brought us perspective, love, drive and the strength to know we are prepared for pretty much anything now.
I hope this helps explain how our journey was. Always happy to answer anything else. However, a huge thank you to MA during this time for being one hell of an association !