Complex Rehab - Simple Solutions - Steve Barrett
Introducing a valued and extraordinary team member of the Aidacare family. With over 28 years of experience in the industry, Steve Barrett exudes a wealth of knowledge combined with an integrity unmatched. This makes Steve a remarkable force at Aidacare. He takes pride in both the quality of his service while at the same time demonstrates the capacity of our range of Complex Rehab equipment. Here’s a little snapshot of our discussion with Steve Barrett.
What does Complex Rehab mean to you?
In a nutshell, it’s finding solutions for people with special needs, maybe the needs of a paediatric client with cerebral palsy to an adult with a spinal injury or a teen with a traumatic brain injury. Whatever the case may be, we can be across their needs and provide the equipment that will create solutions to those identified challenges.
What do you like best about working with Aidacare?
As Aidacare is a family owned business, I find the leaders at the top really accessible. It’s a short path to speak to the directors, I can pick up the phone and they’re easy to talk to. Everyone is treated like family, and all of us at Aidacare are made to feel that the job we do is important. I’m motivated by why we do what we do, which is helping people and changing lives.
How long have you been in this industry?
I started as a service technician nearly 29 years ago, with a small company in Western Australia. You can learn so much about a client when you’re servicing their chair, about their disability, their needs, their equipment, it’s a really good path for understanding the whole picture.
What’s the biggest challenge of your job?
Managing people is a significant part of my job, I spend a great deal of time every day with our team, I know every facet of their life, I become their father, their counsellor. In my role, you really become an important guide and teacher to so many people.
What is the best part of your job?
When you get to finally, after all the measuring and fitting, give someone their wheelchair and see the real independence and joy that their new chair provides and how it changes their life. That is priceless.
Do you have any stories you’d like to share that have added meaning to your work?
I have so many remarkable stories and an array of experiences, where do I begin? I remember this one fellow, I met him when he was about 14 years old and he needed a new wheelchair. I’ve now become a part of his life, I’ve been to his 21st, his 30th. I’ve helped him with about five or six wheelchairs and as a result he and his mom have become like family. I have many long-standing professional relationships with past customers, and that’s really significant.
What do you see as the most critical element of your job?
Listening. Listening to the therapist and listening to our clients. As a crucial part of that, it’s also essential to ask questions in order to do a thorough assessment in order to provide all of the equipment that is needed.
How do you build trust with therapists?
I’ve known some therapists for so long, that the trust has naturally built over the years and now there’s always an element of trust in each and every aspect of our work together. They ask me for advice all the time.
Why are therapists important?
It’s critical to my job to understand what the therapist knows from their assessment and couple that with what I know about Complex Rehab equipment. Finally piecing together all of this information in order to achieve the best results for our clients.
What are some of your favourite things to do when you’re not working?
Having a beer with my mates and fishing down the coast. I’m also a handyman, so I’m always working on something at home in my shed.
Tell us something that people may not know about you?
When I was in my twenties, I used to write poetry. That might surprise some people.
Favourite sports team?
The Cronulla Sharks, Rugby League.
Where have you always wanted to travel to?
The top end of Australia to go fishing for Barra (Barramundi).
Do you have any advice for new reps?
If you don’t know, don’t guess, ask questions to get the answers that our clients need and deserve.
What are your three priorities in assessment before providing equipment to a client?
Their environment, their seating needs and the limitations that the client wishes to overcome.
What motivates you?
If you make a mistake, fix it. Get it right and always strive for perfection, if you don’t get there at least you’ll be close.
Steve sets an industry standard that complex rehab specialists alike should aim to achieve. Therapists throughout NSW trust and look to Steve for advice and reassurance in the complex needs of their clients and he fulfils this time and time again.