News and Notices

Life as a Physiotherapist at DCHS - Maria's story


Maria Kozlowski, community physiotherapist, came into physiotherapy from doingother healthcare roles after gaining a first degree in combined sports studies and holistic sports therapy. She qualified with her second degree as a physiotherapist in March 2015 –achieving her personal goal of qualifying before she was 30. She made up her mind to get her training qualification after seeing physiotherapy in action first hand, whilst working in a support role for people with learning difficulties. She was a rising star finalist in the 2016 Advancing HealthcareAwards.  

How long have you worked at DCHS? 

I have worked in DCHS for more than nine years in total - three years as a therapy support worker, and two years as a technical instructor, both at Ash Green Learning Disability Services in Chesterfield, then two years seconded to complete my physiotherapy training, and two years as a qualified physiotherapist. 

Where are you based/which area do you cover? 

I am currently working in Ripley integrated community team. 

Do you have a particular specialty within physiotherapy and what sort of patients do you treat? 

I see many patients with different conditions. From virtual ward patients being discharged from hospital, to patients with neurological conditions such as stroke rehabilitation and Parkinson’s, to older adults who suffer from falls and complex patients who require seating, moving and handling assessments. 

Where did you work before DCHS (if you had a previous role elsewhere?) 

I have been at DCHS since finishing my first degree in combined sports studies and holistic sports therapy in October 2007. 

When did you qualify and where? 

I qualified as a physiotherapist in March 2015 from Sheffield Hallam University. I completed the Practice Base Learning Course lead by Edward Bakker, travelling between Grantham and Lincolnshire hospitals for lectures and placements across the East Midlands including: Chesterfield, Nottingham, Derby, Lincoln and Sleaford. 

What attracted you to physiotherapy as a career? 

I grew up in Derbyshire and I have always wanted to work in a health role. After joining the team at Ash Green, as a therapy support worker initially, I developed a keen interest in the 24 hour postural care assessments completed by the physiotherapists at Ash Green. I attended a course to further my knowledge and understanding of postural care and how physiotherapy is a key element within that and it all started from there. 

What attracted you to work in DCHS (or its predecessor organisations)? 

I have always found my colleagues and the senior staff very supportive and encouraging. I have met our chief executive Tracy Allen during a meeting I attended to give a patient story and her feedback was very kind. 

Since being in post, what is good about working in DCHS? 

The support I have received as a newly qualified member of staff has been great. I have been a part of the preceptorship programme which for a newly qualified member of staff I found extremely helpful in finding my confidence in this role. I have also found spending time with our clinical allied health professionals lead Mary Heritage a great experience