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Think Out of the Box: Lessons from South African Rehabilitation Practitioners During COVID-19

Think Out of the Box: Lessons from South African Rehabilitation Practitioners During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic posed unprecedented challenges to healthcare systems worldwide, including rehabilitation services. A recent study titled "Lived experiences of South African rehabilitation practitioners during coronavirus disease 2019" provides valuable insights into the experiences of these professionals. This blog will highlight key findings from the study and offer actionable steps for practitioners to enhance their skills and adapt to future challenges.

Key Themes from the Study

The study identified three main themes from the lived experiences of rehabilitation practitioners:

Actionable Steps for Practitioners

Based on the study's findings, here are some steps practitioners can take to improve their skills and adapt to future challenges:

1. Embrace Collective Leadership

Effective leadership is crucial during crises. Practitioners should advocate for a collective leadership approach, where decision-making is shared among team members. This fosters a sense of ownership and ensures that all voices are heard.

2. Prioritize Mental Health

The emotional toll of the pandemic cannot be overstated. Practitioners should prioritize their mental health by seeking support, engaging in self-care activities, and advocating for workplace mental health resources.

3. Innovate and Adapt

The pandemic has shown the importance of being adaptable. Practitioners should continue to explore innovative solutions like telerehabilitation to ensure continuity of care. Investing in technology and training can make these solutions more effective.

4. Advocate for Resources

Access to adequate resources, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and technology, is essential. Practitioners should advocate for equitable distribution of resources to ensure they can provide safe and effective care.

Encouraging Further Research

The study underscores the need for ongoing research to understand the long-term impacts of the pandemic on rehabilitation services. Practitioners are encouraged to engage in or support research initiatives that can provide deeper insights and inform future practices.

To read the original research paper, please follow this link: Lived experiences of South African rehabilitation practitioners during coronavirus disease 2019.


Citation: Balton, S., Pillay, M., Armien, R., Vallabhjee, A. L., Muller, E., Heywood, M. J., & van der Linde, J. (2024). Lived experiences of South African rehabilitation practitioners during coronavirus disease 2019. African Journal of Disability, 13, 1229. https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v13i0.1229

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