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Ruth Nelson

Working in healthcare as a physiotherapist for almost forty years, Ruth Nelson is a Specialist Physiotherapist Cardiac Rehabilitation as part of the multidisciplinary Cardiac Rehabilitation Team at the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine-East Midlands.

After initially retiring, five years ago Ruth took up a part time position solely in cardiac rehabilitation because she enjoys it so much! She’s been a valued member of the team ever since.

“The whole team at NCSEM are friendly and helpful, not just within our specific speciality. It’s like one big family really. My Cardiac Rehabilitation colleagues are all knowledgeable, caring and supportive.”

From her teenage years, Ruth knew she wanted to work in a job helping others and was always interested in healthcare. After researching different pathways into healthcare, Ruth chose to pursue physiotherapy as it looked like an interesting and varied profession that she would really enjoy.

On qualifying as a physiotherapist, Ruth worked at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) as a rotational physio and then specialised in respiratory care while working in intensive care, surgical and medical areas. Alongside this, she began working in cardiac rehabilitation and was involved in setting up some of the early rehabilitation programmes across UHL.

What does Ruth do in her clinics?

Ruth works to assess patients post cardiac events such as heart attacks, bypass and valve surgery. This includes functional capacity assessments using a shuttle walking test to assess patient fitness and suitability for Exercise classes.

She offers advice and support, both in person and by telephone, and delivers appropriate exercise interventions to help patients in their recovery. This includes cardiac rehabilitation exercise classes using circuit-based approaches to improve patients exercise capacity and confidence.

Ruth’s favourite part of her role is working with patients and seeing the improvements and benefits to their quality of life as they recover from their event.

“It’s been great getting lots of positive feedback about how our patients feel fitter, more confident, and now understand their condition better following our interventions. As the clinics are progressing further, we are now able to run more classes. As a result, I have also been working with heart failure and breathless patients.”

Why Ruth loves the NCSEM

“The NCSEM is the ideal space for myself and the cardiac rehabilitation team to carry out our clinics. The building is a very modern and accessible facility with free parking available directly next to the building, and all the staff are friendly and helpful. The air conditioning is a great bonus for our patients to be able to exercise comfortably.”

“Our patients feedback that they really like attending the NCSEM. It’s great for our patients to be away from the acute hospital environment as part of rehabilitation is about getting back to normal. The spaces and equipment within the NCSEM are fantastic for facilitating this development.”

Outside of work, Ruth enjoys exercise and walking in particular, as she goes away on lots of walking holidays! Beyond healthy hobbies, she also enjoys eating out, socialising and spending time with her family and grandchildren.