Tarina has been a part of the Physiopedia Team for nearly 5 years now. She is a dedicated volunteer who is active in the domain of Physioplus – creating, revising and launching courses that benefit countless physiotherapists from around the world. Her drive, determination and attention to detail is second to none. She is a valued member of the Physiopedia and Physioplus Team and she is extremely deserving of the honour of being Top Contributor for the month of June 2020.

Physiopedia top contributor Join me in congratulating Tarina for all her contributions, achievements and perseverance, despite a challenging pandemic for her and us all! Well done Tarina, you are an exceptional person. Keep reading to learn more about Tarina and her role with the Physiopedia Team.

Your name: Tarina van der Stockt.

Time active with Physiopedia:  Since November 2015. I did my first MOOC  with Physiopedia in June 2015, when I did the Lower Limb Amputee Rehabilitation Course. I was hooked from the start and couldn’t wait to get involved with this amazing organisation. I volunteered to assist with the course assignment marking and I thoroughly enjoyed reading case studies from all around the world.

I then became involved with the Elsevier book reviews and accrediting the courses in South Africa. In January 2016, I completed the volunteer orientation course and participated in editing and creating Physiopedia pages. In 2017, I became part of the course development team for Physioplus. My first role included accrediting courses in different countries and states in the USA. Later on, I also started creating and uploading courses, and it finally evolved to Education Director for Physioplus.

Current role with Physiopedia: Education Director for Physioplus.

Where did you go to university/college? I did my Physiotherapy degree at the University of Pretoria in South Africa and I am currently busy with a transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy through the University of St. Augustine in the USA.

 Where do you work? I work part-time remotely for Physioplus. We temporarily relocated back to South Africa, where I will focus on Physioplus and my studies while enjoying time with my family. While I was in Austin Texas, I work as a Physical Therapist at Carter Physiotherapy, which is a cash-based manual therapy clinic.

 Describe your role: As Education Director for Physioplus, I am responsible for all the aspects related to the creation, uploading and accreditation of courses. I am part of an amazing Physioplus Course Team! I help train and manage the team so that we can deliver a high standard for all our courses. The team comprises of video editors, transcribers and learning architects who are involved in the different aspects of the creation of course content, Physiopedia pages, quizzes as well as uploading the courses on the Physioplus platform.

Physioplus courses always include Physiopedia pages, which were created or updated specifically for course readings, and includes the most up-to-date research and information for each specific topic. These Physiopedia pages are then freely available to anyone! The Physiopedia charity relies heavily on the donations from Physioplus to keep it free and openly available for all to use at any time.

What is the most rewarding part of being a physio? I love my role with Physioplus as I am directly involved in the continued professional education of physiotherapists around the world. The most rewarding part of working clinically, is to make a difference in people’s lives through education, treatment or exercises. How wonderful  it is, when you can be part of the “Eureka” moment with a patient and it changes their pain perception or empowers them to be physically active.

 What are some of the more challenging aspects about being a physio? I wish every patient could get the care and therapy they need and are not restricted by insurance, or their ability to afford the number of sessions they need.

 What are some of your professional passions? I can think of so many, but three things stand out. I have a great passion for amputee rehabilitation because when I am with a patient the therapy comes naturally to me. You have to make use of different techniques and play around with cues, in collaboration with the patient, to find what works and motivates them. Another passion is manual therapy, especially in the management of patients with back and neck pain. The third passion to highlight is education from online courses, in-person training, one-on-one mentorship for patient education.

What are a few of your personal passions? I love to help people grow and flourish in their passions both professionally and personally. I also love to travel en explore different parts of the world, especially if I can do it with my husband. In 2019 I started capturing my physiotherapy and daily life, using lego figurines and posting it on Instagram. This has helped me to look at the world through a different lens of creativity.

What would be your advice to a newly graduating physio? Get involved outside of your frame of reference. Provoke change and explore different fields, other than the field that sparks your interest. Sometimes you find new passions by exploring, or you learn how to incorporate treatment techniques or ideas from other fields in your current patient population. Ask questions from mentors, observe other physiotherapists, and even get treatment from your colleagues to learn from them. Volunteer for Physiopedia!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? This is a tough question to answer as my life always changes! I like variety, so I try to keep myself busy with different things which spark my interest.

What are the best things about being a Physiopedia volunteer? Being part of a community of physiotherapists who share their knowledge, experience, and time freely with other physiotherapists around the globe.

How has being a Physiopedia volunteer helped your professional development/career progression? Volunteering for Physiopedia catapulted me towards a completely new direction of physiotherapy. Through creating Physiopedia pages, I became more comfortable writing and especially paraphrasing research into my own work, which in turn, helps me with my studies. I have learned the basics of html coding, which has helped me in other aspects of life where I have needed it. Prior to Physiopedia, I was extremely frustrated working on a computer, now that I am working on something useful and meaningful, it has completely changed my perspective and now I embrace technology. Volunteering also led to a part-time employment with Physioplus, which I am extremely grateful for.

What are your hopes and aspirations for Physiopedia? To be an everyday resource for all physiotherapists around the world.

 What is your favourite Physioplus course? Oh! I don’t know if I could give only one, or even a few. I have the advantage of reviewing every course before they are published and I learn so much from each one. The Lower Limb Amputee Course remains close to my heart as that was my first course with Physioplus in 2015. I was tasked with revising the old course, and the newly updated course was published early in 2020. I am also super excited about the new Telehealth courses as this was the first time I was involved and responsible for the whole process from start to finish.

 Anything else you would like to share? I can’t imagine a world without Physiopedia, and I want to thank each and every person for shaping it into what it has become. Thank you, Rachael and Tony, for never settling and for your vision for Physiopedia – capable of uniting PTs from all over the world!