Written by Judith Allen
Co-Founder, Niche Jobs
When I tell people I work in healthcare, most think I work in a hospital. The truth is, I hate them!
So, being a Physiotherapist
is probably a poor career choice for me you may think? You'd be wrong.
As a community specialist, I work with people in their own homes or, sometimes, I might arrange an appointment at their gym or swimming pool to go through whichever exercise programme or therapy regime I had set them; no hospital in sight.
The beauty about community working (and the bit I love about it) is that you get to meet your patients in their own environment. You see first hand the struggles they are having in their everyday life, and you get to do something about it.
Having completed my rotations in acute hospitals, something pretty much every physiotherapist chooses to do as a junior, I came to work in a community setting as a senior physiotherapist for the variety it offers.
My caseload here is mixed, something that working in a hospital can't always offer. Rather than specialising in neurology, musculoskeletal, or respiratory, community physiotherapists treat a little bit of everything.
I see community physiotherapists as the Doctors
of the physio world; having to know a little bit about a lot of areas. When you're faced with a patient who's very poorly, there's no immediate support from other staff to help you like in a hospital, so your emergency first aid and nursing skills must be up to date.
It's this variety that keeps the job interesting for me.
It's massively rewarding to see people reach goals that are important to them. For example, to get back outside when they thought they never would, or simply just to make a cup of tea.
I've met some great people along the way; an amazing lady who fought with the French Resistance during World War II, a Battle of Britain pilot, writers, artists, to name just a few.
It's great to think I've helped them to remain as independent as possible.
It is stressful at times. There’s no getting away from that with the pressure the NHS is under, but as I leave the office and get into my car to start my visits, that pressure is all left in the office and I only think about the people I'm off to see.