Patient using crutches during physiotherapy

Michaela: A day in the life of a senior physiotherapist

I’m Michaela and I am a senior physiotherapist working across two immigration removal centres Gatwick and Heathrow. I also work as an NHS physiotherapist in my local trust.

I qualified from University of Plymouth in 2018 and completed my junior rotations at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. I have always had an interest in pelvic health and in my NHS role this is my primary focus now, alongside co-ordinating student placements.

Headshot of Michaela

At Gatwick and Heathrow, I am a musculoskeletal (MSK) physiotherapist and have been working with Practice Plus Group since last year when we established the first physiotherapy service in Gatwick, followed by Heathrow this year. I love the support given but also the opportunity to be autonomous and really get involved with managing the service. I thrive on knowing I have a certain amount of independence and can be proactive and creative.

As an MSK physiotherapist, I assess and treat patients for problems which affect their muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons. I see a lot of back, knee and shoulder pain as well as more complex conditions. It’s a fast-paced environment where you are always on your toes. Communication is the most important skill – you can be the best clinician out there but if you can’t build a rapport or explain your findings then patients won’t follow your advice! My focus is always on what’s important to the patient, whether that’s playing with grandchildren or training for a marathon.

In the Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs), it is even more fast-paced and unpredictable. Speaking to patients from all round the world, who each have different cultures and beliefs, and not knowing if I will get a follow up appointment means I have to be hyper-focused throughout. It’s a real test of my physiotherapy and communication skills, but I love this challenge. Working in a secure environment, you’re instantly part of a large team – not just healthcare – who are all very friendly and helpful. This was my first time in a secure environment and whilst it seems daunting at first it becomes second nature after a while!

The thing I love most about physiotherapist is you can take it in whichever direction you want to, and you never stop learning..

Current vacancies

Job title Location Contract type Schedule type Closing date
Physiotherapist – HMP Risley & HMP Thorn Cross Bucks Physio and Podiatry in Health and Justice Hospitals, Surgical Centres, MSK and Diagnostics Permanent 31 Jan 2024
Speech & Language Therapist HMP Thameside Prison Healthcare Permanent 4 Jan 2024
Advanced Physiotherapist Practitioner Practice Plus Group MSK & Spinal Service Lincolnshire Hospitals, Surgical Centres, MSK and Diagnostics Permanent 31 Dec 2023
Speech & Language Therapist HMP Belmarsh Prison Healthcare Permanent 29 Dec 2023
Occupational Therapist (Part Time) – HMP Isle of Wight HMP IOW Prison Healthcare Permanent 21 Dec 2023
Occupational Therapist – HMP Winchester HMP Winchester Prison Healthcare Permanent 21 Dec 2023
Dietician – HMP Isle of Wight HMP IOW Prison Healthcare Permanent 21 Dec 2023
Speech and Language Therapist- South Yorkshire Cluster HMP YOI Moorland Prison Healthcare Permanent 18 Dec 2023
Speech and Language Therapist- West Yorkshire Cluster West Yorkshire HMP Wakefield Prison Healthcare Permanent 18 Dec 2023
Physiotherapist-HMP Stafford West Midlands HMP Stafford Prison Healthcare Permanent 14 Dec 2023
Occupational Therapist – Heathrow IRC Heathrow IRC Prison Healthcare Permanent 12 Dec 2023

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