Spotlight on our Therapy Team
Thanks to the support of our incredible community, the people we care for are able to benefit from our dedicated Therapy Team.
Working across our wards and in people’s homes, Senior Specialist Therapist, Jo Coltart, explains how the therapy team helps people stay motivated, reduce fear and increase confidence.
“I really wanted to work at St Catherine’s because I live in Crawley, and I love being part of my community. I feel proud and excited to be making a difference at a time where everything can feel so complicated.
“The Therapy Team is made up of physiotherapists and occupational therapists and our aim is to help people to be empowered in a time in their lives when they often feel they are losing control.
“We help people to set goals which can help retain a sense of motivation. For patients, it can sometimes feel like there is a focus on their symptoms and problems, but for the Therapy Team, we look at what they can do and what they want to achieve.
“My role is very varied. In the community, I visit people at home and also run clinics at the hospice for outpatients. We help people come to terms with the deteriorating nature of their conditions and reduce risks at home. A lot of people want to remain independent and don’t want to be looked after. We help create a home exercise plan that is safe within their diagnosis that they know they can do.
“We also educate people to take control of their condition. Breathlessness is a good example. It can be frightening to feel breathless, and it can make people feel anxious. We talk with them about how they’re feeling and how to manage it, alongside their carers and their families. As a result, they feel happier and more confident, which is a really lovely gift we can give to people.
“In the hospice, people have different needs. Sometimes it’s actually just saying to a person, “What do you want to do today?” I had one patient recently, and although she wanted to sit out of bed in a chair, she always said no. It was difficult to try and motivate her.
“Then one day, by asking her, “What would you like to do today?” she answered she would like to leave the room. So, we were able to hoist her out of bed and walked her around the hospice in a specialist wheelchair. Her daughters were just so happy to see her up. She really enjoyed her trip around the hospice site and talking to her daughters, it was a lovely interactive moment. After 20 minutes she headed back to her bed, delighted she had done it. One week later she sadly died, but she and her daughters had that moment.
“You can really help a person and their family to be happy in that moment, and that’s what’s important.
“The most unique thing about working at St Catherine’s is the time it gives you to be holistic and person-centred. It’s a gift to spend time with those people, listen to what they need, action it and then go that extra mile.
“You can help them to feel important and empowered and show them that they matter, because they really do.”
We are always on the look out for compassionate people to join our team. If you’re interested you can read more about what it is like to work at St Catherine’s and check out our current vacancies.