There are many ways in which people can enter the workforce. Accepting a graduate position is just one option, and can be the start of a fulfilling career. Physiotherapist Sam Brown is a perfect example of this. He’s been with HealthStrong for four years, progressing from graduate to team leader.
HealthStrong – which is part of Medibank – delivers healthcare services, including physiotherapy, podiatry, and occupational therapy, within retirement and aged care homes.
“I had four very different placements during university but didn’t feel any of them steered me in the right direction. However, after graduating and during my initial job search, HealthStrong really stood out,” Sam says.
“The business seemed like a place I’d wanted to work in. The role covered neuro, muscular and skeletal aspects of my study and training. I felt I’d be offered a broad array of opportunities to improve my skills, as well as a long-term career.”
Sam (back row, second from left) with the HealthStrong induction team for new graduates.
Sam is currently the team leader on the Central Coast, New South Wales – his hometown.
“As a team leader, I manage a group of physiotherapists and occupational therapists across several facilities. As a physiotherapist, my goal is to help residents stay as active as they can through exercises and massages. I want to help them stay as happy and comfortable as they can be.”
Just like most jobs, it has its challenges.
“Sometimes it can be hard to get the motivation from residents,” he says.
“You so badly want the best for them, but they’re at the last phase of their lives – they’re happy where they’re at. However, we know their lives can be so much better and more comfortable, so our instinct is to keep helping.”
With a resident at one of the aged care facilities he works at.
Despite this, Sam says one of the most rewarding aspects of his role is when he knows he has been able to help a resident.
“I once worked with a patient who was very settled in her life. She spent most days in her room just watching television, rarely socialising, and was suffering from a bit of depression,” he explains.
“Over time, we built a trusting relationship and she allowed me to do massages on her and participated in stretches. As our relationship strengthened, we took on more complex and advanced exercises. She’d been in bed for a long time and had come to a point where walking was near impossible, but we eventually reached a turning point. Next thing I knew, she’s walking to activities and participating in lifestyle programs! It was such a great thing to see.”
At work with another one of his patients.
For Sam, being a part of HealthStrong and working in the aged care industry is something that truly fulfils him.
“You have the opportunity to become a part of someone’s life as opposed to treating them as just a number. I have the chance to spend time with them during the day, help them manage their pain and assist them in a stress-free environment. You’re a part of their lives and they’re a part of yours.”