Meet Jack Rubotham, a Physiotherapist who is currently completing his Band 5 rotations at NUH. You might recognise him from working with Keilan, a 12-year old boy with scoliosis, on the first episode of BBC Two’s Hospital.
Originally from Burton-upon-Trent, Jack now lives in Nottingham after studying at the University of Nottingham and graduating in 2016. Jack has worked in the Children’s Physiotherapy Team for the last six months and will be rotating on to the Respiratory Team at City Hospital soon. We sat down to find out a little bit more about him.
Have you always wanted to be a physiotherapist?
I didn’t really know what I wanted to be when I was at school, I always really liked biology and sport. My uncle played academy football and introduced me to the idea of being a physiotherapist. I thought I would just be running out on to football pitches with a sponge, I soon found that there’s much more to physio than that!
What is your favourite thing about working in the Children’s Hospital?
The Therapy Team here is great. It’s really nice working so closely with the occupational therapists which doesn’t always happen in other departments, we all share an office.
I like the added complexities of working with children; there are always lots of new challenges. For instance you have to explain things so both the child and their parent can understand what you are trying to achieve. Pitching things at the right level can be quite hard but it’s a good skill to have learnt so early on in my career. It’s interesting as children can have very different diagnosis and presentation to adults and it's fun being able to incorporate play in their therapy activities.
So in the BBC Two's Hospital programme we saw you working with Keilan who has scoliosis, do you work a lot with patients like this?
Yes, I work as part of the Paediatric Trauma and Orthopaedic Physio Team and I have a split role between inpatients and outpatients. The majority of the inpatients that I see suffer with fractures or have had elective orthopaedic surgeries and scoliosis corrections.
What kind of therapy do you do with the scoliosis patients?
We see the children day one post-operation. In that first session we will assess their respiratory function to check that they are able to take deep breaths and that they have an effective cough, lowering the risk of chest infections. Then, depending on the individual’s presentation, we try to assist them into sitting or moving as their pain allows. We will then focus on function, assisting with standing and walking with the end goal of regaining their independence.
Who has been your most memorable patient?
There was a teenage girl on the High Dependency Unit who on the first day post-operation sat straight up, walked around the room and got back into bed. That was the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that, it was brilliant.
I also saw this six year old lad who really struggled initially. Some of the younger patients tend not to make much progress in the first couple of days and then come on leaps and bounds in one day. He spent the first four to five days struggling with pain anxiety but I managed to convince him to visit the play room. Then he started playing and moving, his mum said he was finally himself again. He named his mum’s car after me, I feel like I’ve made a friend for life there.
What do you think is the best thing about being a physiotherapist?
I love that I get to talk to people all day every day. I definitely couldn’t do a desk job. I really like being so active and showing people how to do exercises. I think in comparison to medical staff we get a lot more time to develop relationships with patients, it’s really nice to be able to bring out all things in people that they didn’t know they could do.