After leaving Gayndah, you worked as a physio in the Townsville University Hospital. What was it like compared to a rural location like Gayndah?
That was quite an eye opener. I hadn't done any work in a tertiary hospital other than Bundaberg and Brisbane for a few days here and there, so it was a bit of a culture shock. For once, the number of physios, two, the specialty areas, and three, just the pace of the hospital. The first three months I was just running off sheer will and coffee.
It was a steep learning curve, coming from being very self-directed in Gayndah. In Gayndah, you had quite big downtimes in your day. You were either driving or being the passenger.
Did you settle in quickly in Townsville?
In Townsville, you had to go into crazy busy wards of all ages, doing on-call work, working in ICU (intensive care). So, the first three months was a bit of a blur. After that, I settled in.
I loved it in Townsville. I loved rehab and particularly the sub-acute unit. People are in sub-acute when they have been medically stable, and they just need to be in hospital purely from a rehab perspective, to get them back to their usual function.
What did you like most during the five years you were based at Townsville University Hospital?
In the Sub-acute Unit, there is a split between geriatrics and straight rehabs, with two separate medical teams. So, you get a nice mix with a strong allied health focus. I would often say, when I had students there or new grads in Townsville, “This is where allied health shines.” This is where we do great things for people. They come in, unable to walk, and they leave walking on their own, which is pretty awesome.
I loved working in rehab in Townsville, because the team was great, the facility was great. As a hospital, North Queensland should be really proud of it. It is a great hospital to work in.