– Sarah’s surprise at loving T&O –
You can tell that Sarah is thoroughly enjoying the challenges in her new role at UH Bristol. She only joined us in January, having previously spent 12 years working in a similar role at a hospital in Yeovil, but already feels like a crucial part of our team.
Why Trauma and Orthopaedics? Sarah says if you’d asked her as a student if she’d like to go into T&O, her reaction would have been that it’s boring and she wouldn’t want to do it. But she says with a laugh: “Now I find that astonishing! I really love the combination of both the acute ward setting, and being able to apply some of my musculo-skeletal skills. And it’s a role that’s always full of variety.”
Sarah finds T&O so rewarding: “You really can make a difference in a job like this”, she says. “Just getting someone back on their feet after an injury is a really incredible experience. And it’s also about rebuilding confidence – if people have had a fall, there’s a fear it will happen again. It’s like trying to walk on ice.”
What’s so special about working in T&O? Sarah says it’s having the time to develop good relationships: “Being able to take the time you need, particularly with the elderly or dementia patients is really great. If you give them space, break things down, make it simpler, or take away some of the extra stimulus, you can achieve great things. By giving a little more time, sometimes you get things done quicker.”
Problem solving is key in a job like this believes Sarah: “For every single person, there will be things they can’t do, but the patient still needs to function, have a wash, get around. And it’s about trying to facilitate that. You need to be creative, optimistic and have a sense of humour.” Sarah says Physiotherapists are always seen as a bit mean. “If a patient wants the toilet, I won’t fetch the commode, I’ll say ‘let’s see if you can walk there’. It’s looking at natural ways to help with rehabilitation and not de-skilling or de-functioning our patients.”
If you’re ambitious, this is a great place to be says Sarah: “We’ve got great appraisal and mentoring processes, where we’re encouraged to think about where we want to go next and what we need to do to achieve that. We’re also given access to the main nursing teaching programme, which helps extend our knowledge further.”
Sarah’s a country girl at heart, but that’s ok because she lives just a few miles from the city, where there’s no end of country lanes and trails to explore. And she says: “When I want a bit of life, just a short drive or trip on a bus or train, and I’m in the heart of a truly vibrant city”. They say variety is the spice of life and that’s certainly true for this Physiotherapist.