Vicki Devery

After having graduated with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy from Otago University in 2006, Vicki started her career as a new graduate in Gore.  Her work in Gore saw her gain experience at both a private practice and at the local hospital.  In 2008 Vicki joined the team at Southland Hospital and it was here her passion for Occupational Health Physiotherapy started.  She completed her Post Graduate Certificate in Physiotherapy endorsed in Occupational Health in 2009.  The desire to further develop skills and experience in the field of Occupational Health saw Vicki work in Timaru and later in Invercargill for private practices doing vocational rehabilitation and workplace assessments.  Vicki returned to Southern DHB as a manual handling coordinator in 2012 and return as a physiotherapist in 2013.  In 2016 Vicki completed a Master of Health Sciences endorsed in Rehabilitation through Otago University.  The focus of her dissertation investigated using skills and knowledge gained through manual handling training and the obstacles and facilitators in applying this to clinical practice.  Vicki is currently employed on a casual basis with Southern DHB.  As part of her masters study Vicki completed a review regarding the health effect of working irregular hours.


Shift work is a requirement in our 24 hour, seven day per week society allowing for work schedules that extend outside the normal daylight hours.  Because our bodies are programmed to work during the day and sleep at night, it is not natural for us to work during night time hours.  The resulting circadian disruption may lead to negative health consequences and reduced alertness, as well as disruption to the family and social lives of workers.  Implementation of a fast forward rotating shift schedule minimises circadian disruption, allows for adequate rest and also allows for workers to maintain family and social contacts.  Due to the potential negative health consequences that may arise from working shifts, health surveillance and promotion programmes should be available to ensure that all practicable measures are taken to keep workers safe and well.


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