“My placements helped shape me into the person I am today”

Spring Convocation Q&A with MScPT graduate Monica Facchin

24 June 2021

What is your previous degree?
Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology

Why did you choose the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine?
I always had a passion for pursuing a career in rehabilitation. The University of Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine is filled with dedicated researchers and scholars. It was evident that the faculty members shared the same passions that I did and that I would have a wonderful learning experience. One of the main things that drew me to the physical therapy program was its unique synchronous program delivery model and the opportunity to gain experience as part of the Camrose cohort. The experience was great and they were able to bridge the geographical gap by engaging us in a way that allowed us to feel connected to our entire graduating class.

What is one of your fondest memories of the program?
I would have to say that going on placements were by far the best memories. The program ensures that you are offered a wide range of experiences, and I found that these experiences helped shape me into the person I am today. Not only did it allow me to grow as a student, it allowed me to meet so many different people, both professional colleagues and patients.

What was your favourite work placement and why?
My favourite placement was in pediatric physiotherapy, specifically with children 0-6 who had a wide range of physical and neurological conditions. I loved the challenge of working with these unique kiddos. Every day was a challenge but also a blast! It gave me an opportunity to see not only the happiness in the children when they learned a new skill, but the joy in their parents’ eyes as well. The only negative thing about it was when my placement was over, I didn’t want to leave.

How did you manage the challenges of navigating student life under COVID-19 restrictions and remote learning?
The physical therapy program provided a mixture of in-person and online learning which I believe helped with the transition to exclusively online learning when the pandemic began. But nothing can prepare you for a sudden change like that. I found that continuing to connect virtually with my friends and peers helped during that time. Maintaining a daily routine and schedule for my learning helped me stay on top academically. This allowed me to have a sense of normalcy in a time that was anything but normal.

What are you doing now? What is next for you?
I am a physiotherapist intern at a private clinic in Edmonton.

What are your long-term goals and aspirations?
I hope to complete additional training in concussion and vestibular physiotherapy, as those are areas I’ve been passionate about.

What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you when you started your degree?
People tend to stress far too much about grades. It’s important to put in the effort academically, but becoming a physiotherapist is about so much more than grades. It’s about the journey and finding your passion. Once you have that passion, the rest will come naturally.