Ruth’s story- celebrating Physiotherapy for Allied Health Professionals Day
“I see my work as an overlap of science and art.”
“I’ve been a physiotherapist for around 15 years and have had the opportunity to work with many different teams across my health board. Recently I moved to my current role within GP practices, where I see patients who call into the surgery predominantly with musculoskeletal problems. My job is to assess, diagnose and in collaboration with the patient, to plan the management of their various joint, muscle and nerve conditions, which is dependent on their needs at the time.
My passion lies in discovering the unique ways in which each patient may be motivated to manage their specific condition. I’ve seen patients do all sorts, from attending local pole walking groups for weight bearing exercise, even though they have marked osteoarthritis of the knee, or maintaining their core strength with morning daily Pilates exercises.
It’s important to realise that there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to musculoskeletal physiotherapy. I see my work as an overlap of science and art, which has sustained my interest and enjoyment in my working life.
I enjoy the aspect of team working, which is one of the key parts of being a physiotherapist- recognising when challenges have occurred and seeking support from different colleagues, such as Nurse Practitioners or GP’s, and the rest of my team.
It is rewarding when things go well for a patient. When I reflect on that journey, it’s usually down to good communication and a shared focus. Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic there are lots of people who have been waiting on planned surgeries, such as hip replacements, and for physiotherapy. It can be a satisfying experience for both myself and the patient to work together to refresh their health goals and think about how to achieve them together. Of course there are times when it is more challenging and there are frustrations about waiting times and cancellations.
Inevitably I find that focussing on all the positives that we can draw from situations has helped me in my career, and also in my personal life.”
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