True Stories: Therese Everton – Healing hands

Healing Hands! I had two goals as an adolescent: I wanted to be a physiotherapist for children and I wanted to live in Australia. I achieved both of these things. After studying my degree in Scotland I moved out here and have been working in the care sector for 34 years. Of that time, I have been with the Cerebral Palsy Alliance for the last 13 years.

What I particularly like about working as a physio in the disability sector is that people with disability have complex cases – it is not just treating one body part – so it means that through my work I can make an even bigger impact to their lives as I’m treating more than one thing.

Working as a physio in the sector means that you are part of a holistic team that supports the person; each of us with our own speciality, such as occupational therapy, speech pathology, or psychology; but all of us working towards a common goal of enabling and improving quality and enjoyment of life for the client.

The most important element of my job is education. While it is all good and well for me to provide amazing treatments for the client, I also need to be able to empower parents and carers to be able to implement treatments at home for their child. The most rewarding part of my job is when parents are excited and proud to tell me that due to my teaching them, they can see that they’ve personally made a difference to the child’s movement.

A typical day for me involves seeing four or five clients, generally at their home, school or centre, doing assessments, implementing interventions and providing treatment. Then on top of the practical, hands on work, I also have to write reports on the days sessions for doctors, families, schools and other therapists, plus I write funding applications for things like equipment and toys for patients.

I love being a physio – each case is different and I have to solve unique problems every day. I also stay interested and engaged through professional development, reading articles, and attending conferences. There is so much progress and ongoing research in the field and I am excited to be a part of that now and into the future.

Therese Everton
Physiotherapist, SPS9
Cerebral Palsy Alliance

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