Margaret Stevenson is a support worker in stroke rehabilitation at Gartnavel General Hospital in Glasgow.
I joined about 18 years ago and I initially joined just to be part of a union – I’m happy to say CSP membership has meant so much more than that. Early in my career I applied for a job as a 'Physiotherapy Aid' in a geriatric hospital and I didn’t really know what the job involved. I was, however, fortunate enough to get the job and that is where my learning started in Medicine for the Elderly and in particular Stroke Rehabilitation.
Has your career path been different to the way you expected it to go? What made it different?
After doing Sports Therapy I thought my job would be involved in teaching classes to young, healthy adults or working with people using weights machines and cardiovascular equipment. But the classes I became involved in were with a much older population sitting in chairs. The machines I used where hoists and stand aids!
What have been your biggest surprises in your career so far?
Although I work purely in stroke rehab now, I did experience working with amputees while working in medicine for the elderly. I can clearly remember my very first amputee patient who had bilateral above-knee amputations and I was amazed by what she could do, but also shocked at the same time as this was the first time I had seen amputated limbs. I have loved working with amputees. If I wasn’t working in stroke rehabilitation now I would be working with amputees.
How has the CSP helped you in your career?
Being part of the CSP working on the Assistants Board and seeing their work in London has taught me so much about the different aspects of working in physiotherapy. Having Catherine Smith as a dedicated member of staff has been the greatest thing ever for us. I've had help and advice from Catherine whenever I needed it.
Do you have any funny stories to share with us?
Too many to mention but one of my favourite quotes from a patient I worked with many years ago as a twentysomething was 'You have lovely teeth – are they your own?'
If you could give one message to your peers from what you have learnt in your career, what would it be?
Take every opportunity you can to increase your knowledge and skills – there is lots of help available out there so use whatever you can. Most of all enjoy your job and be proud of what you do.
- Read more stories from the Associates 21st anniversary celebration