To celebrate Black History Month we hear from HCPC-registered physiotherapist Jordan Aimey
HCPC Registered Physiotherapist Jordan Aimey, Senior Physiotherapist at Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust, has written about his journey in a piece to celebrate Black History Month.
From a young age I had a keen interest in biology and caring for individuals. This, combined with an interest in sport eventually led me to a very rewarding career in physiotherapy.
I have been working as a physiotherapist for almost 10 years in the NHS, with 4 years in the private sector after founding my private clinic. I am a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and I have been fortunate enough to work in several hospitals across London and the South East. I believe I have had a successful career but it has not been without its challenges.
Early into my undergraduate studies I realised that my new profession was a predominantly white and female-dominated. Having grown up in a very diverse part of London it initially felt like a bit of a culture shock. I became very self-conscious of how I presented myself and generally how others in the team perceived me. I remember feeling very isolated culturally in this early part of my career and made a job of trying to “fit in” as I did not have many shared interests with new colleagues.
Our interests, lifestyles and viewpoints on most things felt very different. I had to explain my ‘unusual lunch choices’ on an almost daily basis. I was always fearful of getting unfairly labelled as aggressive, lazy or by any other stereotypes. Growing up I have always been aware of how quickly these labels can be placed on any ethnic minorities and the negative effects it has on their roles within a team. On a few occasions, unfortunately, this is exactly what happened and I have had to challenge them and seek reassurance from other colleagues - however - you can’t help but feel your background is a significant contributor to these labels being placed on you so quickly and unfairly.
In my early career I felt that these worries meant my personality was supressed at work. However, as I have progressed into more senior positions - alongside seeing increased diversity and cultural representation in the workplace - I feel more at ease to show my full personality without fearing the repercussions.
Physiotherapy continues to be an ever growing and developing profession. It’s becoming more recognised and valued by individuals across society. With this, over the last 10 years, I have seen a greater representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnics in the workplace. We help to build trust and rapport amongst these patient groups, which leads to greater patient satisfaction, improved patient outcomes and greater tailoring of the service to the community it is serving.
Within the workplace I have noticed greater diversity amongst colleagues, which has led to improved staff well-being and greater inclusivity in the workplace.
I would encourage anyone considering a career in physiotherapy or any of the allied health professions (AHP) to conact their local hospital to gain experience or consider working in a support worker role to get real, first-hand experience.
I would also encourage aspiring AHPs and qualified AHPs to network and connect with those from similar backgrounds, either locally or via social media, so they can share experiences and support one another through any challenges faced. During the Covid-19 pandemic I became part of a group that was set up for exactly this.
It was amazing to see how many black physiotherapists are working in hospitals around the country and interesting to hear shared experiences. It was also empowering to speak to those from a similar culture, to support and mentor one another and, where possible provide opportunities for progression.
I am proud to be a black physiotherapist and role model for black and other minorities pursuing a career as an allied health professional. I am committed to making a positive difference in the lives of my patients and the profession of physiotherapy.
Jordan also featured in the Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust 2020 short film 'This is what a therapist looks like’.
More information on EDI
Equality, diversity and inclusion are all important issues to HCPC. We aim to uphold and promote best practice in equality, diversity and inclusion throughout our policies and in our practice as a regulator and employer.
You can read more about the diversity data we hold for physiotherapists and our equality, diversity and inclusion strategy below.
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