Nancy Rutherford, BKin

Nancy Rutherford

The Lokomat System

Graduation Year: May 2019
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
Employed by: Neuromotion Physiotherapy
Stream: Interdisciplinary Stream

Nancy completed an 8-month co-op placement with Neuromotion Physiotherapy, a physio clinic specializing in treatment of neurological conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, and many others.

At Neuromotion, Nancy worked as a Student Kinesiologist/Administrative Assistant, acting as the primary receptionist for the clinic, as well as assisting physios and seeing her own clients.

Nancy’s highlights included seeing 4-5 clients independently each week, planning their treatment and creating exercise programs with the guidance of physiotherapists.

Nancy explains, “I got to help people (who were told that they would never move their legs again) experience walking by using the Lokomat System, a robotic gait orthoses (robotic walking machine) that supports body weight and facilitates leg movement to train and re-train gait patterns”.

Nancy also recounts, “ I worked with a 70 year old man with left side neglect due to a hemorrhagic stroke, and helped him to regain strength, stand up, and become much more cognitively aware, things that he was never expected to do”.

Nancy’s co-op placement gave her the opportunity to work closely with clients who had experienced extremely difficult situations. She reports being inspired by the incredible strength that they demonstrated to maintain positive attitudes and an astounding amount of motivation despite their limitations.

Advice for future co-op students:

  • Apply to everything. Don’t enter into co-op just looking for your dream job. Co-op gives you a rare chance to discover career paths that you never even considered before. Keep your mind open and you may find something you love.
  • Remember that you have skills. Just because you’ve never worked a Kinesiology job, doesn’t mean you are unqualified for one. Think carefully about your past experience and what skills you can transfer. A lot of important skills are built in entry-level jobs.
  • Don’t be scared off by a long list of qualifications. Just because you can’t tick every single item on their list, doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be a great fit for the job. There’s never any harm in applying.