Physiotherapy…… so why did I become a physiotherapist? How did I get here? Well it’s obvious, the first step to take was to leave school with ‘A’ levels to start a career in the City of London working for a merchant bank. After 6 seriously busy but enjoyable years, I started to realise that there must be more to life than making people happy by making them money.
I sought another career and looked to my genetics. My mother was a nurse and although the work was hard she enjoyed what she did. When seeking more information about nursing however, a leaflet in the same pigeon hole stood out, ‘Why not try a career in Physiotherapy?’. The leaflet explained that I would work with a huge variety of people learning a huge variety of skills and encountering a huge variety of conditions on the way. Fantastic, what’s not to like? So I became a physiotherapist. I’ll gloss over the part about having to get another 2 ‘A’ levels and going through the anguish of trying to get a university place, and finally qualified in 1997, the fully fledged article… Except I wasn’t the fully fledged article!
This brings me to one of the true joys of physiotherapy, which is learning; the fact that learning never stops. Sometimes, I felt the more I learnt the more I realised what I didn’t know. So I went off to Australia to do some more learning. On returning I learnt at Cheltenham General hospital, becoming a senior physiotherapist. I then went to a private hospital in Gloucester to learn and work more closely with consultants, colleagues and a senior doctor in the British Olympic Medical Team. I then joined Courtyard Clinic and continued to learn from the amazing set of therapists that we have at the clinic… Easy!
So what have I learnt?
I have learnt that I am passionate about working with people to overcome their problems and pain. I have learnt that each person is beautifully unique and as such they need to be listened to and observed. I have learnt that you have to get your hands on people to understand what’s not quite right and to see if you can change something to get it right. I have learnt that there are many pieces to the puzzle and that often it’s not just physiotherapy that can solve it.
That’s why Courtyard works so well. We have an amazing variety of superb practitioners that we can work and problem solve with. However, perhaps the most important thing I have learnt is that people are amazing. If they are treated well not only will they invariably get better, but they may well leave having exceeded their expectations.
Which now comes to the vision bit… I want an environment where people can come, not only to get better, but to exceed their expectations. Becoming a Director at the Clinic, with Jo Turner, has allowed me to continue building the Clinic’s reputation and create an environment where we can all exceed.
Making people happy by making them money never really motivated me. Making people happy by listening to them, getting my hands on them and solving their problems, now that’s something else!