Staff Spotlight

Promoting independence as a long-term care physiotherapist

Jessie Harrison, Physiotherapist

Witnessing the challenges her grandfather faced in a long-term care facility with limited access to allied health services inspired Jessie Harrison to become a physiotherapist.

After graduating with her Master of Physical Therapy in 2022, Jessie worked across several long-term care sites in the lower mainland and joined Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) in October 2023. Now working at Minoru Residence in Richmond, Jessie assesses and treats residents to promote independence. This involves developing mobility and fall prevention care plans, creating personalized exercise programs, conducting therapy sessions, and collaborating with other health-care professionals to ensure comprehensive care.

One of Jessie’s favourite things about her job is getting to know each resident and their family. “Working with individuals with dementia holds a very special place in my heart,” she says. “It requires creativity, patience, and a willingness to understand their unique needs.”

Jessie adds that physiotherapy in this setting highlights the residents' resilience and potential for recovery. “It’s the small victories, like seeing a resident regain mobility or manage pain more effectively, that remind me of the importance of my role. I am inspired by our resident’s strength and resilience to overcome obstacles. Many of the seniors who I work with have experienced significant hardship over their life, and it is truly a privilege to be part of their care.”

A collaborative and supportive team at Minoru

“I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of the interdisciplinary team at Minoru. My colleagues and leaders are dedicated professionals who all share the common goal of providing exceptional care to our residents,” Jessie commends. As a member of the team consisting of physicians, nurses, social workers, dietitians, occupational therapists, recreation therapists, and more, Jessie emphasizes that collaboration is the cornerstone of their work. Their daily leadership meeting serves as an open forum to address concerns and ensure residences receive proper support, while multidisciplinary care conferences connect the care team with residents and their loved ones to review care plans and explore other ways to enhance the residents’ wellbeing.

And on a personal note, Jessie shares how flexible scheduling options and access to spiritual health practitioners have contributed to a positive work-life balance and her own overall wellbeing.

“At Minoru, everyone’s role is valued and appreciated. Our facility would not be able to operate without the amazing work done every day by our administrative, housekeeping, engineering, and food service teams.”

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