Spotlight on Physiotherapist Rekha Srinivasan
Inspired by her family, Rekha always knew she wanted to be a physiotherapist. Rekha works as a Neurospecialist Physiotherapist on Ingham and Heydon wards and runs out-patient appointments.
Growing up in India, Rekha witnessed her mum give her grandfather exercises to do after he suffered a head injury in a motorcycle accident. Her grandmother was a British trained nurse and instilled the practice in the rest of the family.
“He was bed bound, and when I was young, after school I would take him out for a walk,” she said. “In India at that time there was only family to look after each other, no physiotherapy services. We gave my grandfather exercises to help him, and I saw first-hand the benefits. I knew I wanted to work as a physiotherapist one day.”
In her role Rekha helps a lot of stroke patients as well as people who have suffered brain injuries and trauma, and those who have other neurological conditions such as MS, PD and Guillain-Barré syndrome. She works closely alongside other Allied Health Professionals including Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists as part of a multi disciplinary team.
“I’m very hands on, I assess, treatment plan and regularly review patients using various outcome measures, sometimes diagnose patients,” she added. She also selects appropriate patients to take part in weekly exercises group run by Physiotherapy support workers in the rehab gym on Ingham ward.
Rekha says AHPs play a vital role in patient care. “We don’t just look at patients, we look at the bigger picture. We think about the patient and the patient’s family, and long-term management. We don’t just think at this moment, we think about a few months or years down the line, how we are going to support this patient in the community, the social integration, their work and financial status and refer them to services to get back into the community.”
Taking this holistic approach helps a patient’s overall quality of life and also helps take pressure off the wider health system. Rekha added: “We also think about how we can improve their psychosocial status and also how we can help them to reduce the burden on the social and healthcare system.”