When it comes to physical therapy, ‘more isn’t always better’

Group of young adults, photographed from above, on various painted tarmac surface, at sunrise.


By Louise Kinross

Chun Kim has labored as a physiotherapist in Holland Bloorview’s baby improvement application for 24 a long time. He assesses and treats young children in our neuromotor application and consults with our orthopedic clinic, supporting youngsters and people right before and following medical procedures. “When you see the youngsters, it really is the exact joy I felt the initially day I was below,” he suggests. “They carry these types of a new point of view to existence.” Chun spoke to BLOOM about some of the improvements he’s found above the many years. 

BLOOM: How did you get into this discipline?

Chun Kim: At the stop of high university I fell in enjoy with knowledge the human system. I took a physed course that looked at human physiology and human anatomy and I found that genuinely intriguing. I begun seeking into the industry and really favored the factor of dilemma-solving and being equipped to assist individuals in terms of their journey to get them to their best amount. In my 2nd year of physio school I did a placement at SickKids. I truly enjoyed the conversation with young ones and families and made the decision I preferred to perform in pediatrics.

BLOOM: What is a typical day like now?

Chun Kim: I have two diverse roles. In the purpose where by I assess and deal with little ones in the neuromotor plan, I might see 4 to 5 young children a working day. With that hat on I will assess therapeutic desires from put up-surgery to article Botox or just gross motor advancement to optimize their gross motor qualities.

My other function is as a expert in the orthopedic clinic. I work with orthopedic surgeons. We see 15 to 20 children a day, where by we’re deciding if surgical procedures is some thing they can profit from.

As a physio in the clinic I present a holistic glimpse at the customer: what their useful talents are, how they’re going around, no matter if they have agony, and regardless of whether therapy has enhanced or not improved their purposeful level. I speak to the loved ones and the child’s therapists and other pros and convey that qualifications on the client to the crew.

BLOOM: You’d also have a a great deal greater feeling of the rehab course of action if they do have surgical procedures.

Chun Kim: We are much better positioned to solution issues about what rehab appears to be like like and what to be expecting. The surgeons aren’t intimately following these little ones, so they won’t have that fulsome image. We are a voice for people to be equipped to examine their considerations and inquiries.

After the surgery we yet again appear at the circumstance holistically, not just on a health care level of bone and muscle mass healing. How is the kid recovering from the method? Do their clinicians have spots of worry? We can comment on what households can assume in a few months and 6 months.

BLOOM: What is actually the best problem of your career?

Chun Kim: Our wait around list for expert services is significantly high, especially for orthopedic products and services. To get into the orthopedic clinic could possibly just take 6 months to a yr, and then it could be a year right before a surgery is scheduled. The waits have unfavorable implications on a kid’s capacity to get well and the outcome. 

BLOOM: Is that due to the pandemic?

Chun Kim: The pandemic exacerbated it, but this is a thing we’ve been dealing with for 15 a long time and it is really develop into even worse. We you should not have the ability in the technique. We never have adequate orthopedic medical practitioners and physios and nurses and team to employees the working rooms. 

This is what we’re observing throughout health treatment suitable now. Persons are leaving. The purpose they bought into well being care is to check out to enable, and when they are not given the resources to do that in an correct fashion, it will become quite stress filled. We’re competing like anyone else in the method for assets.

BLOOM: What’s the biggest joy?

Chun Kim: Just paying out time with the young children. When you see the kids it is the identical joy I felt the to start with day I was in this article. They carry this sort of a new standpoint to daily life. The lens they search at the earth is so pure it is a joy being about them. 

The other component is that because I’ve been right here so prolonged, I get to see the young ones expand into younger adults. They will appear again for a transition pay a visit to and arrive and say hi and I’ll catch up with them and get to listen to about their future targets. Some want to get into media or computer system tech or come to be lawyers. These factors are rewarding to hear.

BLOOM: What emotions come with the occupation?

Chun Kim: I would say gratitude, humility, irritation and pleasure.

BLOOM: How do you regulate aggravation?

Chun Kim: I know there is certainly only so a great deal I have manage above. I’m striving to do my best inside the method and the means that I have entry to. As prolonged as I come to feel I’ve performed the ideal I can, then I can go dwelling and enjoy my time with my family members. I have two kids who are 13 and 11.

I really don’t experience that I have a lot of pressure. I accept you will find a great deal in daily life we will not have command about and making an attempt to look for control around all those matters is non-effective and can direct to a lot more frustration. I do the very best with what I have been provided and have command about.

BLOOM: What characteristics do you require to be great at your occupation?

Chun Kim: Empathy, a want to find out, compassion and a holistic perspective. A seriously wide globe see is so important to have an understanding of that people have different globe views and most of lifestyle is not black and white. What is significant for 1 family may well not be vital for yet another. Tapping in to what variables specifically influence on bringing a certain child and household joy and joy and contentment and fulfillment provides me far better path as to how to help them.

BLOOM: You’ve been right here for 24 many years. What are some of the improvements we have found around that time?

Chun Kim: We have higher demand for our expert services. Extra and much more young ones will need treatment and orthopedic solutions.

I have also viewed expansion in our comprehension as a health and fitness-treatment group in how to ideal assistance kids with disabilities and their families. In the earlier, we were a lot extra centered on the precise practical or human body impairments—on the physical array of motion or alignment or even their strength. 

Now we have a much better understanding of quality of lifestyle. A child’s actual physical function is only a small aspect of their whole quality of life, and advancements in their entire body impairment really don’t always translate into improved good quality of life. That forces me to harmony the cost of intervention with the anticipated positive aspects.

We know any intervention we advocate has a price tag to the customer and family—whether it can be actual physical irritation or discomfort, methods in time, or psychological sources in phrases of parents’ power in having to do the intervention or feeling guilty mainly because they have not performed it. The result has to have a immediate impression on excellent of life. A lot more just isn’t constantly greater, and numerous moments a lot less is better.

BLOOM: If you could improve one particular matter about kid’s rehab, what would it be?

Chun Kim: We will need more enable. We will need more persons so the wants of children with disabilities in pediatric rehab are satisfied in an appropriate and well timed fashion.

Yet another situation is the sum of my time which is taken up with admin operate. I applied to be equipped to dictate all my notes and another person would transcribe them and that would slice my documentation. For the reason that of our shift to the Meditech digital wellness system, I have to do my own typing, and that requires a few times the volume of time. We want to discover a lot more successful approaches to get the details into the electronic health data so that clinicians can devote much more of their time viewing clientele.

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