Helping patients move forward: May marks Physiotherapy Month

Being a physiotherapist at the Children’s for the past 10 years has taught Jessica Nolet a thing or two about living in the present. “Working with very sick kids, you get your strength from their strength,” she says. “They don’t think too much about what’s going to happen next. If they see something fun that interests them, they’ll do it, even if they’re dealing with a difficult diagnosis. They still manage to play and smile and have fun.”

Jessica lends her expertise to patients in both the Trauma department and the Hematology-Oncology department. Part of what makes her role so fulfilling, she says, is the variety of different cases she sees. “In oncology, I see patients who are undergoing chemotherapy and dealing with some minor yet limiting side effects,” she explains. “In other cases, I can meet a patient who has just undergone a leg amputation because of a tumor, and the goal is to teach them how to walk again and get back to the sports they enjoyed before.” When working with Trauma patients, Jessica explains that the injuries can be different, ranging from orthopedic and abdominal issues to burn injuries that require more time to address. No matter the situation, Jessica says her challenge is to be patient and respect a patient’s limits while empowering them to do the very best they can.

“The most rewarding part of my work is when I see a patient months after we first met and they’re smiling, walking and getting back to the activities they loved before,” she says. “I just feel so proud of them being able to see what they can do.”