Meet our Complex Rehab Manager for South Australia, Linh Yeomans
What is your role at Aidacare? What does that mean to you?
I am our Complex Rehab Manager for South Australia which means that I manage the local Complex Rehab team here. However, I am also a trained and currently registered physiotherapist and therefore I assess clients for complex equipment with a solid amount of clinical knowledge.
What are some of the challenges you face in your role? How do you confront those challenges?
The reality is that postural evaluations and complex wheelchair assessments take time and that means our clients sometimes have to wait to see me, I find this extremely challenging. It’s important to remember that we are about providing quality care at Aidacare in order to provide our end user with the best possible solution. Our goal is to ensure that our clients are more comfortable and happier over the long term rather than offering band aid seating solutions. I have many loyal clients that I have built rapport with over the years and although they appreciate that I am busy, they know because of my consistency that I will always find the time to provide thorough assessments and go above and beyond to help them out wherever I can. Key relationships are built on trust and respect, which are both such important values in the area we work in.
What has been your greatest success story with respect to our end-users?
I am immensely proud of our team. Collaboratively, I think we have all worked together to achieve some pretty fantastic seating and wheelchair solutions for our clients. I recall that recently one of our technicians and I worked with a lovely, intelligent young man who kept experiencing seizures and was forever having to reposition in his old power chair due to being poorly seated with inadequate seating supports. He was experiencing lower back pain, regular general pain and spasm. When he presented at the clinic his OT was seeking our assistance to try and come up with a new wheelchair and seating system that would work better for him. Once we assessed him I made recommendations (in conjunction with the prescriber) regarding what I felt he would benefit from and what would address his life limiting issues. Fast forward a few months later, he received his new chair and at the first fitting he instantly reported that the new chair was much more comfortable, and he felt safe and secure in it. He was so grateful and his OT was also so grateful and appreciative. together as a team we achieved something that really helped this young man. This is what motivates me to do what we do and having positive outcomes as our end result is so rewarding.
What are some commonly discussed needs for Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists?
I think OTs and Physios overall are hungry for more training in complex seating assessment, mat evaluations and more practical training sessions which is why our regular APT sessions are so valuable. We have seen a dramatic increase in these requests since the start of the NDIS.
What is your answer to why you do what you do?
Simple really - It’s very rewarding to see how much of what we provide and supply to our clients can have such a profound impact on not only their general physical function but also their social, emotional and mental well-being. Empowering them to drive independently, providing them the ability to elevate their chair to reach up and grab things from supermarket shelves, to enable ordering a drink at the bar, and allowing the possibility to sit for extended periods in their chair in order to participate at work while maintaining comfort and minimising pain levels. When we can work together to achieve such positive outcomes for clients and end users it makes it worthwhile and ultimately gives you a sense of achievement like no other job can.
We generally receive so much appreciation for the work we do from our end-users and their families. Personally, I couldn’t do this without my local management team and my own team and I think it takes unique people to specialise in the field we are in! It’s such a team effort to achieve what we do – we need clinicians and reps to assess and script, admin to order the equipment, warehouse to receive the equipment and techs to build the equipment! Not to mention the managers to oversee and ensure we are all on the right track!! I am reminded daily of what a special role we have in improving lives.