Michelle, Physiotherapist | Staff Feature



New Westminster
Royal Columbian Hospital
Health Science Professionals> Physiotherapy
this story

As a physiotherapist (PT), I love the sense of camaraderie and opportunity for professional growth and development. It is a privilege to collaborate with a great team towards client-centered goals.

Having completed the University of British Columbia (UBC) physiotherapy preceptorships, I have worked at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster and Fraser Health sites over the past two decades. Exploring new areas of clinical practice from acute care to specialized outpatient clinics. I have not only developed skills in interprofessional care but have also remained current in my clinical practice by continuing professional development opportunities with some of the financial incentives available to me. I have gained skills in evidence-based practice and the critical appraisal and integration of research into practice. This has further maintained my passion in physiotherapy and allowed me to pursue advance certificates in Hand Therapy, Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS), Interprofessional Pain Management and candidacy for a Master’s degree.

I work part-time at two different sites and practice areas which has allowed me to remain connected to the UBC Master of Physical Therapy program and serve as a committee member for the annual Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Day of Education (PARADE). Through the latter, I have been able to forge community connections and collaborate with colleagues to create a great networking opportunity for Fraser Health PTs, rehab assistants and their students.

In 2011, alongside my occupational therapist colleague and with the support of a team of plastic and orthopedic surgeons, we established the first comprehensive Hand Therapy Program at Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC). The program aims to support the needs of clients without the financial means to access hand therapy services south of the Fraser River.

Working in a public practice gives individuals the opportunity to finesse their entry level skills, given the multitude of opportunities in Fraser Health, both casual and permanent. With the recent introduction of virtual care and provincial language services, those who have previously had barriers to health care will now have more accessibility to health care options. It is great that we can provide alternate access options to our clients and work-from-home options for many employees.

As a lifelong resident of the region, I have seen so much growth. Fraser Health has taken steps towards justice, equity, inclusion and cultural humility and I feel blessed to live, work, learn and play on these unceded lands. I am proud to be part of these diverse communities, personally and professionally. I look forward to Fraser Health’s initiatives to improve its residents and my family’s quality of life and overall wellbeing.

I have become acutely aware of the importance of mental health for the elderly who may experience social isolation and youths who are vulnerable to the challenges and pressures of technology and social media. Through my decades of work at Fraser Health, I have accrued accumulated ample vacation leave to spend with my family. We ensure we minimize screen time to enjoy community volunteer events, engage in spiritual activities and participate in recreational sports together.

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