Getting patients moving, so they keep their strength while they’re recovering, is a big part of rehabilitation


“I’ve been an HEU member for 20 years in July. I work as a Rehabilitation Assistant on a surgical floor. My position is to support the physiotherapist and the occupational therapist, so a lot of it is organizing equipment, wheelchair maintenance, making sure rooms are set up for patients, and then physically assisting patients to get up after surgery.
In surgery, we’re a little bit isolated from COVID. They keep the floor pretty COVID-free.
At the beginning last spring, I would say everyone felt an increased pressure and stress at work because of the unknown of what was happening. I think that’s a little bit better now. There’s more knowledge about the virus.
The most challenging thing was when my kids were home in the spring. I’m fortunate in that I work close to home, so I came home at lunchtime to check on them, and try and manage the kids from a distance.
I switched from my full-time line to a part-time weekend line over the summer in anticipation of what the fall was going to look like, so that I had more flexibility in my schedule to accommodate the kids potentially being home.
Thankfully, the kids are back in school. I went back to my full-time line in January. It seems like schools are pretty stable, so I feel the stress part of that has died down. But that’s how I managed with the unknown, wondering if they were going to close schools or how we would manage because in the spring, it was really hard and it was quite stressful.
My job impacts how often patients get up and move. The nurses are really busy and sometimes don’t have time to take people for walks. Mobility definitely improves patients’ mindset as well as keeps them stronger, and it gets them home quicker.
So, that’s really important and a big part of rehabilitation – getting patients moving so they keep their strength while they’re recovering.”
- Irene, Rehabilitation Assistant, part of the health care team