Julie Knight is a senior physiotherapy technician specialising in adults with learning disabilities at Aneurin Bevan Health Board.
What career aspirations did you have for when you left school? Did you know what you wanted to do?
I left school and went to college to complete a secretarial course - at that time having those skills you could get a job virtually doing anything. I completed the 1 year full-time course and had the desire to travel the world and become a cabin crew member. I thoroughly enjoyed my job, loved meeting different people from all over the world and seeing some wonderful places.
Later, when I was pregnant with our daughter, I was made redundant. I was extremely lucky to be at home with her for the first 3 years of her life. In that time I completed a full-time access course, as I wanted to be a speech and language therapist. Unfortunately I was unsuccessful in entering Cardiff University.
I applied to Aneurin Bevan for admin roles in SALT. My CV was passed onto the physio department. From there, a secondment came through for, adults with learning disabilities as a physio tech, I completed all the necessary competencies, NVQs, moved up my grades and have never looked back.
What have been your most enjoyable experiences in your career?
I enjoy the client group whom we work with. The smallest difference can make our day and we are constantly sharing that information within our great team. We provide carers with knowledge, helping them, helping our client group. We offer a very flexible service to ensure our clients are at the forefront of our minds at all times, we completely understand what our client groups feel and have a vast amount of knowledge about them, covering a very large area in South Wales.
What have been your biggest surprises in your career so far?
Biggest surprises are moving from the private sector to a public sector environment. I found it a hard transition for various reasons. The policies, the red tape, the mandatory and statutory training that has to be completed. I was a 'just do it' person and it came somewhat as a shock more than anything. However, understanding the ethos now, and seeing I am part of a huge, well-organised Trust which is changing at a rate of knots is challenging and I love it.
How has your CSP helped you in your career?
The CSP has provided me with a lot of knowledge and has helped me with not only my career but with my role as Regional Health & Safety Rep. I joined the Health & Safety network as a workplace rep. The CSP provided me with the training to ensure that I could carry out my role, along with ongoing training. I was awarded with the Health & Safety Representative of the year 2014 by the CSP which I am still extremely proud of.
Do you have any funny stories to share with us?
Recently a colleague and I went on a home visit, we walked into the flat, on guard as we had not been to this particular home before. The sister approached us, pointed to a chair with a blanket over it, in the corner of the living and said 'please excuse my sister, she passed away a month ago and we haven't been able to bury her yet'.
At which point my colleague and I immediately looked in the corner, to discover the lady's ashes, covered by a blanket with her photo. We both were not sure what to expect. We held our breath for five seconds - the word 'relieved' comes to mind!
What does the 21st anniversary of CSP associate membership mean to you?
The anniversary is a great opportunity to celebrate. It is a huge achievement to keep the Associate members. People do not understand how important it is to be a member of the CSP to ensure that you have the correct support and protection, along with the added benefits of being a member.
If you could give one message to your peers from what you have learnt in your career, what would it be?
To work hard, express yourself in the correct manner, treat people how you would like to be treated.
- Read more stories from the Associates 21st anniversary celebration