Rachel Barrow

Rachel Barrow is a rehabilitation assistant, working in patients' homes to support prescribed exercise programmes, motion tracking, and complex neuro and MSK cases.

I became an associate of the CSP around a year ago when I began working in this role. Both myself and my employer felt it was important to be part of a recognised community - one that affords me the opportunity to learn from fellow support workers, where I can access information and that offers a degree of protection.

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

After I finished college I became interested in working in the health and social care sector. I considered nursing but felt I wanted to take time out from studying. I became a support worker to people with learning disabilities and found I really enjoyed learning on the job and through experiences. Working alongside a physiotherapist however has motivated me to get back into education. I’ve recently applied to do a health and social care degree.

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

My career has differed from my expectations when I was younger. I suppose I envisioned a more linear career pathway as opposed to going from a support worker specialising in learning disabilities to a rehabilitation assistant to then getting back into education.

What have been your most enjoyable experiences in your career?  

For me, the most enjoyable and rewarding aspect of my job is developing a good relationship with the patients I work for. Seeing improvements in people is also incredibly fulfilling and there's a great sense of achievement in knowing I contributed in a small way.    

What have been your biggest surprises in your career so far?

I think what I have found to be most surprising is the range of problems people can face in their lives. This leads to the involvement of many more disciplines than I had anticipated. The different areas you can become involved in is interesting and exciting to me.

How has the CSP helped you in your career?

I’ve enjoyed reading and learning from various articles in Frontline magazine. I may soon be attending training courses advertised in the journal.

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

I think it’s great that support workers are valued and their work and contribution to physiotherapy is recognised. It’s encouraging to know that associate membership has been in existence for 21 years and I hope it continues for many more.

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

To keep an open mind about what direction your career could go in.