|Amye Goddard is a Senior Specialist Physiotherapist and has been working in healthcare for 20 years. She helps with the running of Cardiac Rehabilitation sessions at the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine-East Midlands.|
Amye originally got into physiotherapy after suffering an accident when horse riding at 14 years old. This event spurred Amye on to think about how best she could help others, and focused on pursuing a career in physiotherapy as this was a crucial part to her own rehabilitation. This role also allowed Amye to create meaningful connections with patients inside and outside of a hospital setting.
After qualifying, Amye progressed to a senior level role in respiratory intensive care before moving into cardiac rehabilitation, an area which she had enjoyed delivering sessions in alongside her junior and senior healthcare rotations.
Amye first joined the NCSEM in a role developing heart failure rehabilitation for patients; an exciting opportunity as very few sessions run across the country. This role has now been integrated within cardiac rehabilitation and breathlessness. It’s this ever-evolving nature that Amye says keeps her role so varied, and she looks forward to the implementation of further future studies from NCSEM pulmonary rehabilitation and research partners looking at advancing heart-related healthcare.
Amye believes that the beauty of working in cardiac rehabilitation is the patient contact. “Through this role you see patients through a certain length of journey that nobody else does. We support patients from their discharge from hospital to returning back to work, or returning to their hobbies and normal everyday lifestyles.”
Amye now co-manages the team across Leicestershire with Tracy Elton, where she is involved in the development of policy pathways. Through this, Amye is able to affect career both on a direct level, from patient to clinician, and on an indirect level making changes at a service or national level. The programmes running at the NCSEM work to inform other centres across the county about new guidelines and interventions, and is a well renowned centre for cardiac intervention and rehabilitation.
Why Amye loves the NCSEM
“We’re lucky to use the NCSEM, it definitely has better facilities than within the NHS hospital environment. This building has proper air conditioning, a great open plan gym area and lots of equipment. These things help facilitate running our sessions a lot more easily and allows us to increase the number of patients coming into every class. It’s this utilisation of the space and staff time that means we’re able to keep waiting lists down for patients.”
“It’s great to be working outside of a hospital space as some people can be quite traumatised after their event and and it can raise their anxiety level coming back to a place where they had their event or had their treatment. So the fact that they could then go somewhere different allows patients to come to a session without all the other anxieties related to it. Patients have said it’s great for them, they have a lot of positive feedback from going to the NCSEM.”
What Amye thinks about the sessions
“Our sessions consist of a group exercise followed by an education session. There’s a different topic each week, led by the health professional in the class, but it opens up discussion so that patients can give their own opinion and give their viewpoints and top tips to other people. There’s a real bond created as a group as they’re going through, going through this with other similar people helps to spur each other on.”
“A lot of people don’t know anyone else who’s been through a similar event and might be quite anxious about coming, but they quickly realise they’re not alone. We’re there to support them and show them what to do, help warm them up, cool them down, monitor them in their exercise session. We’ll provide you with reassurance in every step of the journey.”
Amye’s memorable success stories
“When it comes to success, everyone’s individual. Some people come to the programme and alongside it they might be looking to lose weight as well as increasing their fitness. I know that there was one patient who is actively tracking that and during the course of the rehab, they’d lost about a stone in weight. The difference it made to them alongside the fitness was impressive, it really just clicked for them and they had this concerted effort to take this opportunity to make changes.”
“For a lot of people they’ll often say ‘this is the wake up call I needed’ or it’s the point in time where I need to make that change and I’m going to do it. For some people, that might be stopping smoking, becoming more active again, or it might be that they’ve been so consumed with work or family life that they lose that sense of time for themselves and they realise through coming to rehabilitation sessions that it’s just as important to make some time for yourself. We help them to find time for this and that very often makes them really prioritize themselves going forward.”
Outside of work, Amye has lots of active hobbies including 5k running, swimming, horse riding and cycling as well as enjoying reading, baking cakes and travelling.
Amye’s colleagues describe her as proactive high-flyer who always strives for more. Some have said that she ‘deserves a medal’ for her friendly and supportive nature.