What year did you graduate?
Class of 2012
What course did you study?
What is your current role?
Team Lead (Band 7) Physiotherapist – commencing an Operational Managers (Band 8a) post in the coming week.
How did you get into your current role?
My last placement with at King’s College Hospital within the Acute Medicine/Elderly Rehab teams. The band 7 at the time was incredibly knowledgeable, warm and welcoming. I decided at the end of that placement that this was the role I would want when I’m at that stage of my career.
I was successful at interview for a King’s rotational Band 5 job in November 2012 and started in January 2013. Since then King’s has never been able to get rid of me! Having that focus and direction of what I wanted to achieve allowed me to position myself for a Band 6 role in 2014 within the Medical Pathway (Acute medicine and Elderly Rehab) rotations. By 2016, I was successful for a secondment at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ as a Band 7 Specialist Senior Physiotherapist within the community.
This role stoked up a passion within me for the community and I honestly thought I would stay when they offered for the role to go permanent. Then in 2017 I received the call to say the role I had set my whole career on was going out to vacancy and I couldn’t miss that chance. I was successful at interview and achieved my goal. Today this is the role in remain in for the next 3 days, when I’ll be starting a new adventure as an Operational Manager for a new community Primary Care Network.
Can you describe a typical day? What do you enjoy about your role?
A typical day in my role is busy and fast paced, but I love it. From starting work at 8am to finishing at 6.30pm I only sit down for my lunch break and if I’m writing a referral/sometimes notes.
I manage two physiotherapy areas; one within the elderly outpatients assessment unit and the other an acute health and ageing unit.
No two days are the same. Some days are all clinical patient contact and then others are meetings, supervisions, report writing, guideline reviews and/or teaching. It’s the days that are a perfect blend of all the above that are the best.
The best thing about my role is being able to speak to and help people in all walks of life. The stories the population I serve can tell you just speak of lives well lived.
What do you find challenging in your current role?
There is never enough time in the day, so time management and prioritisation will always be your best friends. The role can be physically and emotionally draining at times. Like any role in healthcare we are exposed to all milestones in a patient’s life and at times these can be mirrored in your own personal circumstances. It is so important to look after your own wellbeing and that of those around you.
What advice would you give to a current student at St George’s who is keen to get into a similar area of work as you?
It is honestly such a rewarding area that you’ll be so happy you decided to specialise in it. You leave work each day knowing you’ve truly made a difference.
Which aspects of your degree are relevant for your current role?
Within the first year we had an interprofessionals clinical module with the medics. Working with different members of the multi-disciplinary team is an everyday occurrence in the NHS, so this module is incredibly relevant. It was also the foundation knowledge for the building blocks of what physiotherapy is. So whilst the first year doesn’t count to the final overall mark, be the person who is first to class and the last one to leave. You won’t regret it.
Do you have any advice or a message for current students at St George’s?
Be like a sponge – absorb EVERYTHING! Being a student is an honour and wherever you decide to work after gaining your degree the legacy of being a SGUL alumni literally goes before you. Especially in physiotherapy, SGUL students are known for their practical application and interpersonal skills because of the format of the course. This sets us apart and helps to make us incredible clinicians.
It is a strange time at the moment, but stay focused and remember why you wanted to be a physiotherapist. If you are graduating this year be patient, but persistent in the recruitment process. The current climate means recruitment has been sidelined for many trusts, but don’t worry it’s all starting up again soon. Good luck!!
Do you have any advice or a message for students considering studying at St George’s?
I had some of the best 3 years of my life at SGUL. I’ve made friends for life and was set on a career path that even I could not have imagined. Choosing SGUL will be the best decision you’ll every make within your physiotherapy career.