Continuing our highlight of May being Physiotherapy Month, we recently caught up with Hedi, a physiotherapist working on the Personalized Support and Stabilization (PSS) team.
PSS is a relatively new initiative created to provide up to eight weeks of community/home support and “reablement care" to increase self-reliance and optimal functionality for the frail elderly. An interdisciplinary team of professionals work together to support people to safely transition from hospital settings back to their homes. This type of care at home aids recovery and aims to get clients active and back to enjoying the activities they love as soon as possible.
“Our team is comprised of a physiotherapist (PT), occupational therapist, rehabilitation assistants and nursing staff," says Hedi. “In my role, I use goal-oriented activities to regain or improve a client's independent functional capacity at home. I enjoy helping my elderly clients 'get back on their feet'. As a community PT, I love being on the road, out in the fresh air and having the independence and flexibility to plan my own day!"
Hedi has been with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) for almost 25 years and a PT for 30 years in almost every area of practice except community. “The prospect of learning new skills and working with a new team excites me," says Hedi. “I felt that I could use my experience in acute care, private practice and CAMU (Complex Activation Medical unit) with a client's reablement at home." At CAMU, Hedi was was part of an incredible team that helped the geriatric population return home and experience functional independence after long hospital stays. “I find that working with PSS has given me new respect for community physiotherapists. Also, the challenges I face in the community allows me to be creative, resourceful with a greater degree of autonomy," she says. “Every day provides me with many new exciting learning opportunities."
It is always inspiring to see the care provided making a difference. Clients have progressed quickly from being immobile to walking outdoors with four-wheeled walkers. “I have also had the privilege of connecting with some of my past CAMU patients in their homes, helping them regain their function and independence in their own environment," she says.
Hedi joined the PSS team about two months ago. “I've been on a steep learning curve adapting to my new role at PSS! Despite the challenges of COVID-19, I've found my orientation and especially the new virtual element of my training to be very thorough and in depth. When in need of additional support, I've also had the opportunity of reaching out to experienced team members in the community."
The VCH Values (We Care for Everyone, We Are Always Learning, and We Strive for Better Results) are incorporated in Hedi's role throughout her tenure. While in my role on CAMU, she had the privilege to orientate and support new graduates and students in their practical placements. “I look forward to taking on students in my new role and giving back to our profession. I find that every day brings exciting learning opportunities, especially in light of the diversity that my role brings."