An Inspiring Co-op Experience

An Inspiring Co-op Experience

By: Ashly Hill | Personal Trainer & Medical Office Assistant, Mountainview Health & Wellness
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When I started my final co-op term working at Mountainview Health & Wellness, I had reached a point in my degree where I was unsure of whether or not I wanted to continue down the path I had decided upon so many years ago. I remember when I first decided to pursue a career in physiotherapy, I felt that every class and every new challenge pushed me closer and closer to reaching my dream job. This was a trend up until a few years ago when, as many students experience I’m sure, I started to question my decision. Is this the career I truly want to spend the rest of my life in? Are these the people I want to surround myself with day-in and day-out? The overwhelming thoughts of insecurity and confusion clouded my judgement for quite some time and continued to do so until I began my co-op term at Mountainview Health and Wellness.

I remember my first day as if it was yesterday. I walked into open arms and warming smiles from all practitioners, colleagues and even the owner Manouch Amel. It was at that exact moment I realized that this is the industry for me. Since then, I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work side-by-side with brilliant, like-minded individuals. It truly is an experience in itself to be able to converse with others who have the same educational background. Every practitioner has been welcome to the idea of questions, curiosities and anything I spring on them. The knowledge I have gained ranging from registered massage therapy, traditional Chinese medicine to physiotherapy has not only re-ignited my inspiration, but has enabled me to learn things I would never learn in school.

Medical Office Assistant

I originally began my co-op position as a Medical Office Assistant (MOA), which has allowed me to develop an extensive knowledge base surrounding the use of Clinic Master, a comprehensive software program used as the main resource for all workings pertaining to clients and client management. As an MOA, I provide administrative support to the owner, office manager and all practitioners within the clinic. I work within a cohesive team of MOAs that develop and implement tracking systems of clients, lawyers and insurance adjustors. A goal of mine has always been to open up my own clinic one day and the skills I have learned and will continue to learn within this company push me closer and closer to my dream.

Personal Trainer     

My position as an MOA has not been the only opportunity I have been given. Although this position is what I was hired for, the owner, Manouch Amel, has been more than welcoming to the idea that I eventually want to shift into the clinical side of the business. Manouch was aware of my personal training background and has allowed me to use these skills by offering me a position as a personal trainer. Currently, I am the only personal trainer at all three of the company’s clinics.

I have worked as a personal trainer before in various settings, but what really sets this position apart from others is the constant guidance and knowledge I can rely on from the physiotherapists and kinesiologists in the clinic. I had a client approach me with patellar femoral syndrome, an injury that produces immensurable anterior knee pain. One can only imagine how debilitating knee pain can be in your daily activities; just walking to the bathroom or getting up and down from a chair can be challenging. Having never worked with such an injury, I was able to turn to the kinesiologists and physiotherapist for guidance. I am happy to say the client is in the second month of my program and has zero to minimal pain on a daily basis. This is what drives me to be within this industry, the satisfaction and rewarding sensations that are derived from helping others.

Physiotherapy Assistant

The opportunities don’t stop here! I also have been volunteering as a Physiotherapist Assistant in order to gain volunteer hours for graduate school applications. I have learned assessment techniques the S.O.A.P. method (this method is used for all assessment/note taking when first meeting a client.), the biomechanics behind manual therapy and the importance of individualized rehabilitation programs. This position has allowed me to gain valuable hands-on experience that has prepared me for what to expect in my career.

To conclude my story, I will end with one of my favourite quotes, “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.” When I began my position at Mountainview Health & Wellness, I did not think it was possible for me to gain so much knowledge and so many skillsets within one position. For all prospective co-op students, I highly recommend giving it a shot; you never know what will happen!

 


Beyond the Article: 

  • Amy's co-op also confirmed her career choice, but it also broadened her understanding of the field of medicine. Read Amy's story
  • If you're interested in pursuing a career in physiotherapy, check out Brandon Watson's blog post about his co-op working in physical rehabilitation. 
Posted on October 28, 2016