My DCHS Blog

Life as a Physiotherapist at DCHS - Ruth's story

Ruth Dawes has been a physiotherapist for 28 years and knew from her school days it was the career path she wanted to follow, thanks to a talk from a visiting physiotherapist which inspired her. Since qualifying, her career has been adaptable to her growing family and she has been able to take on new challenges along the way, most recently becoming a team leader to 40 people. 

 

How long have you worked at DCHS? 

I joined DCHS in 1998 when my first child was a baby and I was looking for locally-based part-time work which fitted in with my new role as a mum. As my family grew from one to three children I was able to develop my career in tandem with family life. 

What is your current job title? 

In January 2016 I was appointed as the integrated community team lead for Derbyshire Dales which means I am responsible for a team of about 40 people, including therapists and nurses working in the community and therapists working on the wards at Newholme Hospital, Bakewell and Whitworth Hospital, Darley Dale. This is a managerial role, so I don’t do clinical work unless we are short-staffed. I was looking for an opportunity like this and it’s the next step on the career progression ladder for me. 

Where are you based/which area do you cover? 

I’m based at Newholme Hospital, Bakewell, and our integrated community team covers all of the Derbyshire Dales. 

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

My most recent clinical work has been with falls rehabilitation and neurological patients. Earlier in my career I worked with respiratory patients. DCHS supported me to do my MSc in neurological physiotherapy at Sheffield Hallam University, which I completed three years ago. 

After my MSc I also did some lecturing as an associate lecturer, which is another avenue, along with research, which a career in physiotherapy can open up. 

After my MSc I also did some lecturing as an associate lecturer, which is another avenue, along with research, which a career in physiotherapy can open up. 

When did you qualify and where? 

I qualified in Manchester in 1988, when I was 21, with a BSc in physiotherapy. My first job was in Mansfield and then I started working at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham between 1994 and 1997 - up until I started my family. 

What attracted you to physiotherapy as a career? 

While I was at school (Lady Manners, Bakewell) a physiotherapist came to give us a careers talk. I’d never heard of physiotherapy as a job before but it sounded very interesting. We had a chance then to do work experience shadowing a physiotherapist and that just confirmed for me it was what I wanted to do.