Emirati physiotherapist finds satisfaction in helping others

Abu Dhabi native aims to specialise in sports-injuries management to meet growing demand for rehabilitation care.

Emirati physiotherapist Marwa Al Hosani with a patient at Healthpoint orthopaedic centre in Abu Dhabi. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
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ABU DHABI // Marwa Al Hosani gets great satisfaction from helping people get back into their daily routines.

"The best thing about my job is relieving a patient's pain," said the Emirati physiotherapist, who works at Healthpoint hospital in Abu Dhabi.

“It’s so fulfilling when you’re told, ‘Thank you, I feel a lot better now’. When you help people, they appreciate what you’re doing. My job is not only about relieving pain, it’s also about rehabilitating people so they can return to their jobs, sports or engage in their daily activities.”

The 25-year-old, who graduated in 2013 with a bachelor of science degree in physiotherapy from Sharjah University, originally wanted to study medicine.

She then realised that physiotherapy was a new and emerging field in the UAE with great potential.

“There were seven students in our batch, five of whom were Emiratis. I was the only student from Abu Dhabi, the others were all from Sharjah,” she said.

“I also want to shine in my career and be the first Emirati physiotherapist who specialises in sports injury here in Abu Dhabi.”

Physiotherapy, a highly sought-after medical profession, is often seen as glamorous in the sporting world. Others, however, think that it is the same as massage.

“When I tell them I’m a physiotherapist, they’re surprised to learn that I’m an Emirati,” Ms Al Hosani said.

“I think many still do not know what our job is.

“Physiotherapy is not just massage. I do manual therapy as well as work with a wide range of equipment and machines.”

The profession includes helping patients who have suffered an illness or injury, rehabilitating very ill patients, and writing case notes and reports.

“They usually have problems in their joints, knees, ankles,” she said. “I also assist patients’ physiotherapy routines after their surgery.”

Ms Al Hosani said she loved interacting with her patients, who are between 14 tand 80 years old. She has also assisted a few female athletes. About 65 to 75 per cent of her patients are elderly.

Her daily routine typically involves arriving at the clinic about 15 minutes before the start of her 8am shift.

“I see my female patients from 8.30am to 3.30pm,” she said. “But I also work with patients in the male area if they need my help.”

Ms Al Hosani said she hoped to do further studies and training in sports-injuries management.

“My parents have been fully supportive of my career choice,” she said.

With six brothers, she comes from a family of high achievers. Two of her brothers are working in the aviation industry, one being a pilot. Another is a lawyer who joined the army. The other three are students.

For three years Ms Al Hosani trained under Dr Nader Darwich, founder of the Abu Dhabi Knee and Sports Medicine Centre with Mubadala Healthcare, and Azzam Kamal, who manages a team of physiotherapists.

“I am so proud to watch Marwa’s career unfold and to be one of her mentors, first at Abu Dhabi Knee and Sports Medicine Centre and now at Healthpoint,” said Dr Darwich, who expressed his admiration for the young physiotherapist’s passion for her profession.

“Marwa is a great professional and is eager to keep learning and growing,” said the Healthpoint medical director who leads the centre’s sports medicine team.

“She is also an integral part of our team, helping her colleagues to understand the needs of our local patients and playing a vital role in Healthpoint’s women’s-only physiotherapy centre.

“I know that she will continue to excel in her field and to set an example for other local physiotherapists.”