Spotlight on… Fionnuala Donovan
Image: Fionnuala getting ready for a training run in preparation for her fundraising
Fionnuala is part of the team of specialist children’s physiotherapists at Evelina London. The team assess and treat children with a wide range of physical problems and conditions caused by illness, injury or disability.
Fionnuala tells us more about her role and why she has chosen to fundraise for Evelina London by running the Paris Marathon this April.
What is the name of your role?
Specialist Physiotherapist (Rotational)
Which part of Evelina London Children’s Hospital do you work in?
I worked here from May to October in 2015 and still remain on the weekend and for the on-call rota. I mainly work on Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
What does a typical day look like for you?
We get a handover from the PICU nurses and from the wards so that we can make a plan for all the patients to see that day, and prioritise who needs to be seen first. We see a variety of patients and mainly treat any respiratory concerns that they have. This could be from helping the child to get moving to playing with bubbles, or using various techniques that require a little more hands-on work to help the really poorly children to clear their chests.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I really enjoy all of the new skills and knowledge that I am experiencing from working in such a large Trust. Everybody in the teams I have worked in are so keen to teach their knowledge. I feel that I am constantly challenging myself, which is brilliant. Everyone is also really friendly and so it’s a fun environment to work in, which is really important.
Which part of your job is most challenging?
Working with such poorly children can be tough. However, I’m able to see the change that we can make (with the rest of the multidisciplinary team) for the children and that really helps. I also find there is always something new to learn, so trying to remind myself that I am not expected to know everything can be a bit of a challenge.
What is your favourite thing about Evelina London?
The staff are always so friendly and welcoming. Everybody works and communicates well together and works as a team. People are always enthusiastic about teaching you and so you have the opportunity to learn a lot from a variety of sources.
What’s your proudest achievement in your career to date?
It may sound a little cheesy, but it’s getting to work for Guy's and St Thomas' Trust. It is such a world-renowned hospital and I am so thankful to be able to be a part of it.
What do you like to do outside of work in your free time?
I enjoy running and adventure runs, watching sport (mainly football - I hold a season ticket to Manchester City Football Club) and playing the guitar (well…trying to!). I also like going to church, spending time with friends and family, exploring London and travelling further afield.
Name one thing that the patients might not know about you.
I was once bitten by a tiger. OK, it was a baby one. But it still bit me!
If you could only take one thing to a desert island, what would it be?
Most probably my music. I love music and think it can very easily change your mood and motivate you. It has definitely helped me to get through all the miles of training for the Paris Marathon!
And speaking of the Paris Marathon…I have decided to raise money for Evelina London as I can see the big change it can make, not just to a child’s, but also their family’s lives. Please sponsor me on my fundraising page and help me to support the hospital.
You can help support services at Evelina London like the one Fionnuala works for by getting involved with fundraising today.