MVP winner Tim Cooper, Senior Physiotherapist shares his background and love for aged care physio. Regarded highly by his colleagues as “the loveliest physiotherapist” his kind, gentle and encouraging personality is admired by many of our clients. With an affection for basketball, kayaking and the Foo Fighters, what’s not to love about Tim!
Why did you choose Empower?
I was moving on from 10 years in private practice and looking for employment that was flexible with my schedule of looking after kids, while decreasing some of the stress that a private clinic can bring.
I got an instantly warm vibe from both Matthew (COO) and Adam (CEO), who made the Empower team seem like a big family. I haven’t felt so relaxed in an interview, which I knew was a sign that this was a place I wanted to be.
To top it off, being a tragic Michael Jordan fan growing up, I saw a framed Jordan poster in Matt’s office during my interview and knew I was making the right decision!
What do you love most about your job?
In aged care, you often see clients for longer periods than in a private practice setting. I believe this allows you to form strong bonds with the people you are treating. It’s a fulfilling sensation providing a service to someone who you get to know so well. I have one client who says I remind her of her son and loads me up with chocolate (not any old chocolate either – Ferrero Rocher!) before I leave each session. It doesn’t get much better than that.
What has been your most memorable moment?
Helping someone restore function that has been lost for so long is as satisfying to me as it is to the client. It may not seem like much, however I have a client who hadn’t been able to touch her head (making self care impossible) due to her shoulder pain over a number of years. After a progressive strengthening program she is now able to do all of her self-care independently, whilst also reaching to the top shelf of the fridge!
In what ways has Empower supported your growth personally & professionally?
Empower have been so accommodating in supporting my work-life balance, which can be difficult to find in some workplaces. This has been highlighted recently by allowing me to juggle of seeing clients while managing recent home-schooling duties that accompanied the COVID-19 outbreak.
Empower host regular PD events, help foster team cohesion, in addition to having a supportive management team. All these factors are vital in providing the scaffolding for professional growth. When I started at Empower I had several staff members share hints and tips to make my transition into the workplace easier. Coming from a busy private clinic, this support was most welcome.
In your new role, what will you be looking to achieve in 2020?
In any job, it is important to set personal goals and always work towards something to keep things interesting. I have several goals that I am working towards this year. After working in private practice for so long, my clientele with neurological disorders were rare. As there is a variety of conditions across all aspects of physiotherapy in aged care, my aim is to brush up on a range of specific neuro-physiotherapy treatment techniques.
The joy of physiotherapy comes with helping a client achieve their goals. My main focus for the year is to make as many of their goals a reality. Due to Empower having a multi-disciplinary team at your fingertips, in addition to working closely with case managers, I am looking forward to utilising these services to really make as much of a positive impact for my clients.
What piece of advice would you give your new graduate self?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of more experienced physios. Clinical experience is where most of your learning will come from, which as a new graduate is obviously in short supply. Building rapport with your team leader to discuss clients and conditions is the most effective way to put all the pieces together.
Out of the workplace, what are your interests and hobbies?
Other than spending quality time with my wife and 2 kids, my other passions involve a lot of sports. I still play basketball, enjoy the football (mad Eagles supporter) and enjoy taking my kayak out in the bay over the summer. I have a fiddle around with my guitar, which normally involves a feeble attempt to play along with the Foo Fighters. I also love podcasts and go through countless episodes from my favourite hosts when travelling between appointments.
Written by Tim Cooper
Tim joined the Empower family in Oct, 2019.