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Heroes of the RUH – Michelle Wright

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Meet Michelle Wright, Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Technical Instructor at the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

I’ve taken part in the Bath half marathon twice now, raising money for the Dyson Cancer Centre as its a cause very close to my heart.  Last year I was diagnosed with Chondrosarcoma, a very rare type of bone cancer, which was at the base of my skull. I spent last Christmas undergoing eight weeks of proton beam therapy.  

Any contribution to the hospital, no matter what area it goes into is always appreciated, especially if it’s for the patients. I’d like to say a big thank you to all The Forever Friends Appeal’s supporters. 

I’m really proud that my job allows me to really make a difference for patients. Getting patients up and walking after major surgery is a good goal in life.  For example, a couple of weeks’ ago we had a retired consultant in for surgery. He sent a thank you card to me and Jane, one of the Occupational Therapy Technicians, calling us the ‘Patient Whisperers’ and thanking us for helping him get back onto his feet after hip surgery. It was so lovely to receive it and to know that we’ve helped somebody.  

Also, a couple of years ago we had a multi-trauma patient, a woman who had broken both her arms and legs. Three months’ later she came back to the ward to say hello and it was wonderful to see that she was able to walk with just a single crutch to help her. That really gave me job satisfaction, knowing that I had been able to make a real difference to someone’s life. It’s especially rewarding to see their progress when you know they’ve been struggling for so long. 

Many of the patients we see are older and may have fought in the War, so giving something back for what they sacrificed makes me proud to work for the NHS. 

I sort of fell into my job working for the NHS. My husband is in the Forces and we were living in Blandford Forum. I was looking to do something different with my life and I saw a job advertised at the local community hospital for a Physiotherapy Assistant working with stroke patientsI applied and was lucky enough to get the job. The hours fitted perfectly around looking after my young daughter. I had been working there for just over a year when my husband was relocated to Corsham and that’s when I got my job at the RUH.  I’ve been here 13 years. 

Since working here I have really fallen in love with the role which is why I’ve been working to progress my career.  I’ve been really lucky as I left school with no qualifications, but working as a Physiotherapy Assistant provided me with on-the-job training so I could become a Technical Instructor. I’m currently in the process of doing an apprenticeship, funded by the RUH, doing my Level 5 Assistant Practitioner course at university. Next I hope to be able to get a Level 6 degree as a Physiotherapist. That’s my end goal, however long it takes. I’m going to work as hard as I can to become a qualified Physiotherapist. 

Usually I spend Christmas with family – there’s usually 16 of us and I was really looking forward to it as last year I was having treatment but sadly it’s unlikely to happen this year either.” 

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