I decided I needed a change after several months of coming home complaining about my day at work. In my previous job I felt unvalued with no opportunity to develop my skills as a practitioner. The workload was draining due to NHS waiting list demands and the constraints of 20-minute appointments. My colleague described it as being like a hamster on a wheel; there was no end or a spare moment to catch up. After several moments of reflection, I started to question myself and the value and benefit of the treatment that I was giving in the limited time that was available. I thought out of that vast number of patients that I was seeing each day, how many of those were going to have the long-term outcome. It didn’t make me feel good and at that point I knew something needed to change.

An opportunity presented itself. The director of Sun Rehab asked me what I wanted to achieve working for him. He was not only flexible about working hours and travel but more importantly, he was open to any new ideas, projects, etc which I could bring or put forth which we could explore together. I was enthusiastic at the prospect and yearned for new challenges and experiences, and that is exactly what I got when I came to work at Sun Rehab.

What I enjoy about working for Sun Rehab is that every week can be different. A large proportion of my time is working in an occupational health department for a large reputable automobile industry and car seat manufacturing site; both of which I had no prior experience in and was completely alien to me. I had several years’ experience working in an occupational health environment and Sun Rehab embraced that skill set and within months, I was working towards my ACPOHE accreditation, building my competency framework through CPD, and attending courses.

A typical day would be assessing and treating employees with a range of acute or complex MSD’s caused or made worse by work. I may be asked to perform work place assessments to establish whether a process is suitable for an employee’s temporary/long term adjustments or to observe an employee undertaking a specific process and making recommendations. I attend case management meetings with managers and human resources to discuss an employee’s fitness for work or to justify any long-term adjustments/capabilities.

Within the last 6 months, I have completed my level 1 and 2 DSE training and have been asked to travel across several different sites to undertake assessments for employees complaining of MSD’s. I assess, make immediate adjustments and provide advice on any recommendations. Sun Rehab have coaxed me to just outside my comfort zone when I was asked to present to a group of office workers to encourage and promote active working. Although this initially filled me with dread, the feedback I received was very positive. The information and evidence that was gathered for the presentation was also useful as it can be applied when undertaking future DSE assessments.

To sum up, I am approaching nearly a year of working for Sun Rehab. In that time, I have enhanced several competencies and gained new skills, which I continually use and apply most days. I have had two appraisal reviews already with management to access my progress and where I want to develop within the company. I feel that I have more direction and focus than in any other company I have worked for and feel supported along my journey. I have been involved in new projects and ideas, which keep my interests high and provides variety to my working week.

Abby Radley

Chartered physiotherapist