Making a Difference

Sandra Squire

Deciding to do the online Master of Rehabilitation Science at nearly 50 years old was the bravest decision I made during my career. It was hard; it took courage, but I have gained so much, as a clinician and a person.

Why did I decide to do my MRSc?
I graduated from UBC, BSc (PT) in 1992. For the last 12 years, I have been the physiotherapist for the Provincial Bleeding Disorder, working closely with a multi-disciplinary team to help prevent and manage joint and muscle bleeds of patients with Hemophilia. I am a UBC Department of PT Clinical Instructor, and supervise MPT student clinical placements.

After 17 years in practice I felt the need to increase knowledge for improved clinical practice. The UBC MRSc program provided the perfect blend of school and work, the opportunity to update my clinical skills whilst practicing full time. All the new knowledge I could implement within my practice; learning how to perform literature reviews, critical thinking, reflection, and about differences in learning styles and program evaluation; topics that all enhance practicing rehab within the modern clinical setting.

What was the best part of doing the MRSc?
Interacting with all of the students online, with the discussions and group projects. The “virtual classroom” provided a great learning and supportive environment. The research project and support from my supervisor, Dr. Pat Camp , my sponsor at St. Paul’s, multidisciplinary team and patients during the research process were extremely valuable.

What was the biggest challenge in doing my master’s?
Balancing full time clinical work, being a wife, mother, sister, and friend with school was difficult along with finding time for myself especially to exercise to maintain my mental, and physical health.

How it has made a difference to me, and my career?
A huge difference! I have improved my clinical confidence in using critical thinking skills that I apply daily within my practice. I have seen the changes reflected in increased respect and acknowledgment within my clinical team. Opportunities to present my research at provincial, national and international meetings (or conferences) have emerged, and I look forward to presenting my research in an MRSc Research Relay webinar. Increased knowledge and confidence have resulted in development of a clinical researcher role for my specialty area; participating in more research in provincial and national settings that will extend the reach of my MRSc research.

What impact has my MRSc workplace research project had on building knowledge to inform changes to my work activities or processes?
The project justified the point of care ultrasound (POC-US) purchase ($30,000) and the development of the POC-US project within the bleeding disorder program at St. Paul’s Hospital. I have been asked to teach and help develop the POC-US program in Alberta at the Edmonton Bleeding Disorder Program. I am involved in a national project to look at POC-US in hemophilia care program and competency development for physiotherapists. POC-US has become a major component of our multidisciplinary team assessment with treatment decisions made based on the findings of the POC-US enhancing patient focused care.