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A day in the life of an ICU Physio

7 September 2023

There’s never a dull day for an ICU physiotherapist according to Alison Blunt, Senior Physiotherapist at PAH who has spent more than 20 years in ICU care. 

“I’ve worked in ICU for over two decades. I love it because it’s always interesting and it’s always different,” she said.

“There’s no ‘typical’ patient here because they all come to us for different reasons. They may have had major accidents or surgery, infections, anything that may be life-threatening or has life-threatening implications. The only thing they have in common is that they’re critically ill. 

“Some people have rare and unusual conditions, and people can stay with us for a short time or sometimes for months, so you get to know them really well.” 

With a cohort of over 100 physiotherapists working across the PAH campus, Alison says the strength of the team largely rests in its supportive and training-centred culture.

“We’re quite a big department. Although people work in smaller teams, a lot of us rotate to different areas throughout the year, so there’s a lot of movement. 

“We also do a lot of training, including annual and ongoing on-the-job training. That includes new graduates, because you can’t leave university and walk straight into this job somewhere like the PAH. So, we’ve got a strong training culture and a strong social culture.” 

A key highlight of Alison’s job is mentoring past students like Josie and Kat (pictured) as they embark on their ICU careers. 

“One of my roles is to train the junior staff and get them comfortable using their skills in a place like ICU, which can be very daunting for a new staff member. How we operate in this environment can feel very alien, so it’s about helping people feel comfortable and safe in the environment. 

“I love seeing these guys when they’ve graduated and are working and smarter than me. It’s a nice feeling.” 

World Physical Therapy Day is held on 8 September 2023, and we recognise all our physios on this day.

Last updated 7 September 2023
Last reviewed 7 September 2023

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