“Ice hockey is a fast sport, which involves working as a team and having the ability to make quick decisions are assets I’ve been able to apply to my role in ELHT’s Fracture Clinic.”

Abbie Culshaw is a Trainee Orthopaedic Plaster Technician at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital’s Fracture Clinic. When’s she not providing patient care and treatment she swaps the clinic for the rink representing Team GB squad at ice hockey!

She said:

My role at ELHT and that as an ice hockey player have some similarities and each helps the other. They both involve working in a team environment, require motivation and determination to succeed and communication is a key factor – there is no “I” in team and we are all in it together. Thankfully, my role at ELHT is less slippery and doesn’t involve skates!  

Abbie CulshawI apply and remove plaster casts, braces and assist the orthopaedic consultants in providing patient care and treatment. I love how every day is different. Each patient brings a different set of problems to solve, and I love providing patient centred care and helping to empower them with knowledge to aid in their recovery.

My determination to succeed and my love of ice hockey helps keep me motivated both on the rink and in clinic and it is a great form of stress relief. I was 14 when I first represented GB at under 18s Junior Women level and after I turned 18, I joined the GB women squad. I currently captain my women’s club team in Whitley Bay where we have just been crowned undefeated league champions and I play for Bradford in the men’s league.

I see a lot of sports related injuries so I have learnt a lot about the bones, muscles and loads more in the body which helps as a competing sportsperson.

My colleagues are amazing and so supportive both on and off the ice! I represented GB in the World Championships in 2018, 2019 and 2022 where we won a gold medal! Whenever the games are on TV my colleagues tune in – some even travelled to Nottingham to watch me at the Olympic qualifiers in 2021.

I feel lucky and honoured to be doing both a job and sport I love.