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MSc Physiotherapy grad finds fulfillment in helping patients return to activities they love

Posted by Ryan Donato on June 4, 2024 in Students, Alumni & Friends, School of Physiotherapy, News
Christine Barnes initially intended to do her studies in Ontario, but has never regretted her decision to come to Dalhousie.
Christine Barnes initially intended to do her studies in Ontario, but has never regretted her decision to come to Dalhousie.

For Christine Barnes, graduation marks the culmination of six years of hard work.

Barnes was introduced to physiotherapy through a high school co-op placement where she worked within a stroke and rehabilitation context. That experience ignited a passion for working with others towards their functional recovery, with the focus of allowing her patients to participate in their own lives.

From there Barnes made an effort to take courses that were focused around clinical practice, leading her to pursue physiotherapy.

Originally from Newmarket, Ontario, Barnes attended Western University where she earned a BA in kinesiology with a minor in rehabilitation science. Afterwards, she looked for opportunities to further her education and began applying to various MScPT programs with the intention of staying close to home in Ontario.

She decided to only apply to one out of province school, and that was Dalhousie Univerisity.

“I never imagined I would be accepted and the overwhelming feeling of joy I felt from receiving that acceptance directed me to pursue Dal further. I confirmed my place to start in the Dalhousie physiotherapy program for the 2021 intake and have never regretted that decision once.”

Helping patients return to their passions

After beginning her studies, Barnes’ passion for rehabilitation only grew stronger. She became highly interested in neurorehabilitation.

“I find the most fulfillment in working with patients to help them return to participating in their lives in the way they want to. That means being able to return to doing activities that bring my patients the most joy in their own lives."

"This is what inspires me within physio and what I hope to be able to continue working towards throughout my career."

Barnes’ time at Dal was highlighted by the many friends she made. Coming from Ontario with no family nearby, Barnes is grateful for the community she joined and the friendships she’s made. As her time at Dal comes to an end, Barnes will miss the close proximity she shared with her classmates, their study sessions, and learning with them.

Another Dal highlight was Barnes’ ability to travel while completing her degree. She had the opportunity to experience all four of the Atlantic provinces through her clinical placements, and finished her degree on placement in Glasgow, Scotland.

Barnes has already started practicing as a physiotherapist at the Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville.

“This year has been one of big changes, as I have finished my degree, moved to the valley full time, and have started working as a full-time clinician. Next for me is to continue to learn from the other clinicians and health care workers around me and continue to develop my own clinical practice."