A University of Northampton graduate is celebrating getting an unexpected, dream job that she initially thought was out of her reach.
Lydia Stoodley – who studied Sport and Exercise Science – is just over a month into her first postgraduate job as a Therapy Assistant Practitioner at the Oxford Heart Centre.
The position sees Lydia working with patients who have undergone cardiothoracic surgery or suffered cardiac events are better able to take care of themselves ahead of being discharged from hospital.
And it’s a job Lydia feels she was able to secure thanks to her University of Northampton degree. She explains: “I saw the post advertised and was instantly interested in it, but wasn’t sure if I would be successful, if my employers would see the value of having a sport scientist in that role.
“But the knowledge I’ve gained from my degree really stood me in a good position – having a background with cardiac science and physiotherapy was really helpful. So, I applied and am thrilled to bits to have been successful.
“The team have been incredibly supportive, helping me settle into the world of being a commuter and letting me shadow colleagues so I up-skill as I work and take on board the other two, non-sport parts of my job.”
Lydia explains that although approaching such a broad job was daunting, she is relishing the opportunity to help people as she spreads her professional wings: “There’s been a lot to take on-board but I’m so busy do-to-day – prioritising who on the ward needs help with their mobility, making sure those who are nearest to going home have had as much support as possible – and the job is so interesting, I don’t see that as an issue.
“Whether I am observing patients vitals, such as blood pressure, or performing assessments to see if patients can handle day to day tasks like making a cup of tea – giving me a little taste of some of what nurses and occupational therapists do – as well as using exercises to aid recovery, I’m always on the go. I’m split between three floors of the Heart Centre so I certainly get my ‘steps’ in!”
Despite being new, Lydia’s already receiving positive feedback from her patients: “I work as part of a team so I can’t take all of the credit for what I see, but I get a real buzz from seeing how the patients I’ve treated recover. One of my female patients needed a standing hoist to help her get up but it was amazing to see that, after just a short while of working with her, she stood up by herself and was able to mobilise on the ward. It makes my day to see progress like that.”
Find out more about the Sport Science degree at the University of Northampton.