Maria Abela
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Maria Abela

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What is your name and what is your official
designation within the Ministry for Health?
My name is Maria Abela and I am an Allied Health Practitioner – Physiotherapist.

Where do you work and what do your duties entail?
I work at Mater Dei Hospital and I form part of the Physiotherapy team working on the surgical wards. My duties include the assessment, treatment and management of post-operative patients in particular vascular and amputee patients. I am also responsible for ensuring that patients regain their level of mobility and independence after surgical intervention. Being part of a team, I also liaise with other members of the multidisciplinary team to provide a holistic and integrated care, support junior colleagues and supervise physiotherapy students.
How long have you been working with the Public Service?
I have been working with the Public Service for the past ten years, initially on a rotation basis after which I chose the surgical area at MDH as my permanent placement.

Are there any specific qualifications required for your post?
A bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy is the qualification required to work as a Physiotherapist. Registration with the Council for Professions Complementary to Medicine is also required.

What attracted you to take up your profession and to the health service?
As Physiotherapists we enable patients to achieve optimal function and empower people to lead a healthier life through movement and education. This together with the contribution to quality care and service attracted me to take up the profession.

What motivates you most?
Several factors motivate me in my profession, especially my contribution to the functional improvement and general well being that is achieved by the patients, during their in-patient stay in preparation to their return to the community.

What about the teamwork between different professions/roles involved in relation to patient care?
I work in a multidisciplinary team in which the contribution of all team members through their respective areas of expertise helps the patients in getting the best service.

Can you give us one challenge and one success story?
One challenge is keeping patients motivated in engaging actively in their physiotherapy treatment. One success story was the functional improvement achieved by an obese patient who had undergone a major lower limb amputation. Despite the physical challenges and difficulties in mobility post-operatively, our input helped the patient to start mobilizing again, achieving a functional level of movement which enabled her to continue further rehabilitation.

What advice would you give to young students considering taking up this profession?
As a profession, Physiotherapy offers different scenarios where one can develop and work in. It requires the skills and patience of working with different individuals in varying situations across the lifespan ranging from the acute setting, rehabilitation, long-term and community care to work settings, school settings and sports.

What are the benefits of working with the public service?
The benefits of working within the public service include the opportunity of working in different clinical areas thus gaining vast clinical experience and opportunities to develop professionally and personally through training.