Physiotherapist - Suzie
As a young child I enjoyed looking after my next door neighbours baby. Most vividly I remember when the first one was born and there was something wrong with her, she had a brain haemorrhage and they were not sure what disabilities she would have. I spent many afternoons helping to bath, feed and play with her and her sister when she arrived. I remember her slowness and differences and how I had to make allowances for her.
I was fed up with school at year 11 and wished to go nursing. My parents would not stop me, however they pointed out that one more year and nursing would still be there along with so many more choices. My father made a deal with me that he would o.k. any days off that I felt I needed to last the distance. I didn't take up the opportunity once and went from an average student who truented to a pass allowing me entrance into virtually all courses at university.
I suppose I was lucky to have been shown that it was my choice as to where I wished to head. My mother encouraged physio as she saw the opportunities for travel, private practice and diverse specialist areas. Being too young to really grasp what I "wanted to do with my life" this was a helpful guiding reasoning. At all of 18 I had little idea of what I liked further than rock bands, hiking and getting a car.
One of the best experiences I had was to work at McDonald's
when I was fifteen for a period fulltime. The fun sure gets taken out of that two night a
week pocket money earner. When it is day in day out it really gives you a good perspective
on whether you would like to do this long term. What were the options? A career that
offered something else. I feel this was where my education had impact. It would only come
from me making something different.
I studied at university for four years. Once I had my degree I was required to do a registration year to consolidate my skills with supervision. At university we had many on the job practical 5 week clinicals in various hospitals. Nothing prepared you for a job like actual clinical work. I am sure it is the same everywhere, the theory is only a small component and most of the learning takes place with experience. You won't really know what any job is like until you have been there and done some of it. I found I thrived on problem solving and this career set me up with a basic knowledge of principles with which I could this in this field.
I began working in the hospital sytem full of enthusiasm. This was gradually dampened by an often nightmare-ish workload due to under staffing. I couldn't apply my principles and gain a sense of completion. The next step was to set myself up in private practice from scratch . I decided how much I would like to earn to be comfortable and how much time was needed to treat people well. With this clear in my mind I built up a successful and rewarding business from walking into a newly set up doctor's surgery and renting a room.
There is a multitude of pathways in Physiotherapy. You can do post-graduate study, research, specialised areas such as sports medicine. I have done study in alternate medicine as I found it complemented my skills. Hospitals are committed to assisting staff to maintain and upgrade their professional skills. To date I have never been refused assistance for training by my employer and have always been successful in gaining each job I applied for.