Sarah Martins: Inspired by her patients’ drive to regain a good quality of life

Sarah Martins began her nearly 20-year career as a physiotherapist in her home country, Brazil, before moving to the Ottawa area in 2011.

“I always knew I wanted to work in healthcare and physiotherapy seemed right to me,” reflected Sarah. “I had experienced physio as a client – it helped me a lot and I found the practice interesting.”

After graduating, Sarah worked in a Brazilian hospital with acute care and cardiac rehab patients and then transitioned to teaching physiotherapy at a university. When she moved to Canada, she began practicing in a private clinic with a focus on orthopedics.

Sarah Martins, Physiotherapist, ARH

A return to her hospital roots

Sarah joined the ARH physiotherapy team in June 2020 and has hit the ground running to deliver care to patients following the temporary shutdown of the outpatient clinic during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I am so fortunate and happy to be here,” said Sarah. “The ARH physiotherapy team is great – everyone has a great deal of experience from different backgrounds.”

The physiotherapy team sees patients who are mostly over 65 years old with various conditions including: pre and post hip, knee and shoulder surgeries, back and neck issues, and fall prevention.

“Sarah has been an excellent addition to the physiotherapy team allowing the flexibility to provide service for both the Inpatient and Outpatient Departments,” said Vicki Hallas, Manager, Diagnostic Services and Ambulatory Care. “She was able to step into these roles with her previous in-depth experience as a clinician at another hospital.”

Adapting to virtual care

When the Ministry of Health gave the okay to restart non-essential clinical services, Sarah and her physiotherapy colleagues were ready.

“Our patients have been happy to come back to the clinic or do virtual care because a lot of them have been dealing with issues throughout the pandemic,” explained Sarah.

Beginning in July, the physiotherapy department launched the virtual care option made possible through ARH’s expedited Patient Portal. After the initial assessment done at the clinic, patients have the choice now between doing physiotherapy in person with safety precautions or via the virtual platform.

“It’s great to be able to offer a virtual care option especially as we move into the uncertainty of how COVID-19 will play out this fall,” said Sarah.

Inspired by her patients’ drive towards recovery

What remains constant for Sarah is her patients are her inspiration.

“They inspire me with their rehab goals,” said Sarah. “My role is to help set realistic expectations while supporting them as they reach their goals. I’m motivated to help patients move past the pain or limitations they have so they can get back to enjoying their activities, families and friends.”

When not practicing physiotherapy, Sarah, who recently moved to Arnprior, loves to spend time with her friends and family, including her two dachshunds. She follows many sports and enjoys travelling and hiking.