Emma Jackson is working with the SWRG to progress the support worker agenda in her region – Northern Ireland – and we hope that will include representation on the CSP NI Board.
She explains her journey so far:
Who am I?
My name is Emma Jackson and I am a stroke and neurosciences physiotherapy assistant at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, which is both the major trauma and regional acute hospital for the North of Ireland. I am relatively new to the NHS, I started in February 2020, just before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, so it was quite a time to join, but I feel it’s the job I’m meant to be doing and I find it so rewarding and fulfilling.
What brought me to physiotherapy?
I have been a volunteer with St John Ambulance for nearly five years, working alongside the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and providing medical care sports and community events. This got me interested in helping people and it was a drive to do something that mattered that brought me to it. My day job was a massage therapist and between these two roles I began to think I wish I’d had those interests back when I was going to university and done physiotherapy (I did business studies). A fellow St John member told me about physio assistant roles and so I embarked on my application to do that and made my way to the Royal, where I really feel I’ve found my calling.
What are my goals for the physiotherapy assistant role?
I love my role as a physio assistant and feel I’ve learned so much already, I want to keep learning and develop the role and my career. I work across two specialisms, stroke and neurosciences, my preference being stroke, so a medium term goal for me is to secure a full time position there (it’s in the pipeline so fingers crossed). Since joining the CSP I am so keen to learn from my colleagues across the NHS and to help drive forward structured career development here in NI for the physio assistant roles. I would love to see the same structure of training and progression of the roles from band 3 to 4 to 5.
I think this would be immensely beneficial for the teams I work in as the level of support I can provide would increase and also for myself it would enhance my own knowledge and expertise.
I’m at the beginning of my physio assistant journey and I’m looking forward to pushing it and learning more, and also meeting and learning from the other assistants I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so far.
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