A patient asked me this week – why we chose to become Physiotherapists, an interesting question and one we frame to ourselves in varying tones given the mood of the day! Everybody knows someone who wanted to be a Physio and we all have different reasons like inspiration growing up from a specialist therapist, or the entertaining sports physio you had an interaction with at sports camp.
To me it was always to work for the greatest rugby team to exist, the All Blacks. As a teenager I thought a life on the road with a sports team was the dream. It also appeared that if I were a professional Sports Physiotherapist I would work once per week during the game and spend the rest of the time playing tourist on safari in South Africa, or on an Australian beach. The appeal of an 80-minute working week was very enticing as a teenager! Sadly, this is not how the life of a Sports Physiotherapist turns out. There is a lot more to it than that!
The reality of the job sinks in during the university days when suddenly, to live the dream job, you need to learn and learn fast! Considering only around 50% of all therapists work in private practice we are taught a vast amount of content from all health fields to gain an understanding of all that physiotherapists can do. These fields included understanding cardiac complications, respiratory risks, and the nuances of neurology. Tucked into these niches were small topics like paediatrics, established fields like geriatrics. But nowhere to be found was a university unit on how to get around a third of the actual job, paperwork!
There were many memorable moments during the hospital rotations which help us decide which sector of practice we all want to work in come graduation. For me helping a beekeeper learn how to walk again after a significant stroke was one moment that almost swayed me towards a life as a neurological rehabilitation specialist, a very rewarding moment for all and I had a year’s supply of honey as a thank you.
My true passion however, still lies with the private practice sector. I enjoy the challenge of what is causing your pain, what factors I can modify to improve your function, helping you run faster, or reach your exercise goals, and genuinely getting to know you as my patient. Working in the CBD is an exciting mix of sporting injuries, especially running and gym based issues. While we are also specialists in back and neck complaints, we see our fair share of just about everything. This is one of the main reasons I am so passionate about the private practice sector, you never know what will walk through the door next!
We still have time for our other sporting passions. On a Saturday, rain hail or shine you can find me working with Eastern Suburbs Rugby Club as their match day physiotherapist. On a Sunday I will be running one of the many eastern suburbs tracks keeping active.
Mostly I am a Physiotherapists because I like helping people like you.
If you would like more than top quality physiotherapy come in and see our friendly Physiotherapists at one of our three clinics in Sydney’s CBD: Barangaroo, Martin Place or Darling Park.