Danielle Wright

Danielle Wright is a Band 5 technician working in surgery and amputee rehab at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.

I first joined the CSP August 2003 after starting as rotational physiotherapy assistant. I was encouraged to join by my colleagues and advised of all the benefits of being a member - iCSP, a dedicated associate officer, course options and much more. I work within inpatient surgery, including general surgery, gynaecology, vascular and plastics. I work with both in and outpatients within our amputee service, including prosthetic rehabilitation and gait re-education.

What career aspirations did you have for when you left school?  Did you know what you wanted to do?

I didn’t really know what career path I wanted to follow until I did a sports leadership award. When completing the award we worked with adults and children of all ages with lots of different disabilities. I really found it rewarding, seeing these children improving and making progress in each session. It was after the course I decided to start looking at jobs within healthcare.

Has your career path been different to the way you expected it to go?  What made it different?

When I first started my job as a band 2 physiotherapy assistant I was informed at interview that there was no scope to move up to the next level. However in time I was offered the option to attend therapy assistant courses that were advertised in Frontline magazine. I was encouraged to complete physiotherapy modules at Hertfordshire University and went on to complete NVQ level 3 in Physiotherapy.

After completing all these my manager pushed for technical instructor (Band 4) position. I was then lucky enough to be offered one of these posts. I remained in this post for many years until I spoke with my CSP rep about my job role and responsibilities. With my rep and manager we looked into re-banding and after a very lengthy process I have just been re-banded as band 5 physiotherapy technician, surgical and amputee rehabilitation specialist.

I never thought that this would be an option but I am so pleased to be in this position and to have the recognition for the work that I do. I do not feel this would ever have been possible if it wasn’t for the help, support and guidance of my CSP reps.

What have been your most enjoyable experiences in your career?

I have enjoyed working with a great department of people always thriving to improve patient care. I have enjoyed over the years seeing the way medicine and physiotherapy profession has developed. I have had many enjoyable experiences, from receiving lovely thank you cards of appreciation or when you see the patient you have been working with finally walk out of the hospital after many months of rehab.

After receiving my support worker of the year award, one of the Frontline magazine reporters came to my trust and spoke with colleagues and patients of mine. It was so so lovely to hear the kind words my patients had to say about me, even the ones I had to be quite firm with at times! Those kind words and comments are why I really enjoy my job and why come back I come back day after day, year after year.

What does the 21st anniversary of CSP associate membership mean to you?

The anniversary is a fantastic celebration. Being able to look back and reflect on the first associate members and how their roles and responsibilities they had then to the ever-evolving career of physiotherapy assistants today.

Job profiles are changing all the time with physiotherapy assistants, generic and rehabilitation assistants. There are more organisations out there starting to look at these roles and develop into specialties and teams.

Opportunities for associates are evolving all the time. For me this is because of the hard work and support of the CSP, ensuring we offer the best for our members and support them and workplaces as best we can. I think it’s great to be able to celebrate the development and achievement that has been made over the past 21 years. Here’s to the next 21!

If you could give one message to your peers from what you have learnt in your career, what would it be?

You have to be prepared to embrace and move with the changes. Take everything you can from all situations, learning from treatment sessions, colleagues, patients, cares. Make the most of all your opportunities given to you.

Get involved and be part of a passionate organisation. I have found my time on boards invaluable; it’s given me such great information and knowledge for not only my own career but for the future of the associates.