Jasmine Traynor

Jasmine Traynor

Physiotherapist and Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant, Hamilton
Postgraduate Certificate in Health Science in Rehabilitation
Bachelor of Health Science (Physiotherapy)
Diploma in Sport and Recreation

What she loves most about her career is the variety and getting to work beyond her physiotherapy skillset, says Jasmine Traynor who is now a physiotherapist and vocational rehabilitation consultant based in Hamilton.

“I’m a self-employed contractor for APM workcare. I previously worked there as an employee for three years, then transitioned into contract work in 2022. Being able to complete vocational assessments challenges and excites me – the opportunities are endless and often we see simple adjustments that can take place that completely transform people’s exposures at work. I hope the recommendations I’m suggesting do aid with injury prevention and sustainability in the workplace.

“I love the challenge of completing assessments, researching and identifying solutions or custom-made equipment to be considered. I’m now the key vocational rehabilitation provider for Waikato’s largest electricity provider, and complete frequent standalone assessments, early intervention assessments and return to work plans. Without my postgraduate training, I don’t think I would have been well-equipped enough to do the work I do now. I’m very proud of this!”

Finding her path
Jasmine says she has always been passionate about sport, health and science, but for a long time she couldn’t identify a career that covered all three.

“I initially applied to study sport and recreation, with the intention of becoming a physical education teacher. However, after completing the first year I started learning more about what physiotherapy offers and requested to transfer into the Bachelor of Health Science. Fortunately, my good grades in the diploma served me well and helped me secure a place in the degree. I spent the next four years studying to become a physiotherapist and graduated with a Bachelor of Health Science (Physiotherapy) in 2015. This was both the hardest and greatest academic achievements in my life.”

She still has fond memories of her time as an undergraduate physiotherapy student at AUT.

“The human anatomy and physiology labs working with bones and joints is something you don’t forget! I also remember all of the practical labs in general. Being a kinaesthetic learner, sitting in lectures was always a challenge for me. Being able to touch, see and feel things during the labs was critical in my learning. Whether this was massage, mobilisations, hydrotherapy or gym-based sessions, most of my learning happened during those labs.

“I loved being part of a close-knit cohort of students. Our year group were all incredibly supportive, and we spent most of the four years helping each other get through the daunting examinations and assignments. I really wouldn’t be here today without the support of my peers who helped keep me on track, studied with me and became invaluable to my learning and success.”

New skills in vocational rehabilitation
But this wasn’t quite the end of Jasmine’s AUT journey – in 2022, when she found herself in a job that covered both physiotherapy and vocational work, she decided to return to AUT to enrol in a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Science, focusing on courses in human factors and ergonomics.

“My employer encouraged me to complete postgraduate studies to upskill in this very new and niche field of vocational rehabilitation. I had previously worked in hospital settings, so I needed to ensure I could give my clients adequate advice about how to safely and sustainably return to work after their injury. I also ended up receiving many referrals for standalone assessments and early intervention programmes, which required a more in-depth analysis of risk factors in the workplace. Completing postgraduate study really built up my confidence in my working life.”

She would highly recommend postgraduate study in human factors and ergonomics to others.

“As a physio, occupational therapist, or health and safety officer, these courses are fundamental in bettering your skillset so that you feel competent with the worksite assessments and recommendations you’re implementing. While it might feel daunting to think of completing postgrad study on top of your 9 to 5 job, it’s an investment in yourself and in your future. The short-term sacrifice will broaden your skillset, and could open further doors within the health and safety sector.

“Having the research base to support the assessments and recommendations used is what will improve your understanding and practice. You will feel much more competent to educate employees. I particularly enjoyed the practical labs where we could practise the outcome measures and use equipment to understand the risks within the task. This really put into perspective how simple tasks can have cumulative effects on the body. I continue to refer to my learnings in these labs in my everyday practice.”