One of the things I still do here at the clinic is to accept students on observational placements – whether that’s school work experience, or undergraduate or postgraduate placements. Back in the Victory days, 16 year old Tashi joined us in clinic where our lovely patients were kind enough to allow her to watch treatment sessions and take part in rehab. This was Tashi’s experience:
I had little or no experience of going to a workplace and I did feel rather nervous coming into the practice. However, on arriving I immediately felt comfortable; I was introduced to the team who were present and later met almost everyone. From the outset, everyone made an effort with me, even though they were often pressed for time with their busy schedules. Rachel, the practice manager, gave me a tour so I quickly knew my way around the clinic.
I was also asked by Nell, the clinical director, what I wanted to achieve from my time spent and I could sense that they genuinely wanted to ensure that I enjoyed my time and that it was actually useful.
On the first day, I was able to sit in with multiple physio sessions with Nell and this continued for the entirety of my time at the Clinic. During the sessions, Nell clearly explained everything she was doing and would demonstrate with Mr Bones, the resident skeleton, and would get me to find muscles or joints on the information posters, which helped me to pick up and absorb some of the vast amount of knowledge shared within the sessions. I was also taught how to check body alignment, for example of the ribcage, find vectors and could feel muscles and observe various issues that the patient had. I was also able to participate in several of Lauren Taylor’s rehabilitation sessions; not only was I able to observe various exercises that Lauren set and could see the benefits of the rehab, but Lauren even took time in the sessions to give me exercises that would aid me for dancing (my main sport). Therefore, I learnt various exercises for spinal, head, foot injuries and that would help me personally. I also sat in with Elizabeth Banks, movement and balance specialist, which was really interesting as I had never seen or heard of movement and balance training before. The techniques were fascinating and I could see just how beneficial Elizabeth’s teaching was in the progress of a patient.
On Thursdays, there is a meeting with all the team which I was included in. During the first session we looked at rib alignment, the thorax area and I learnt lots of information. We also did practical exercises and questioned each other to ensure we understood what we were being taught. The next Thursday, the meeting was focused on the clientele and the back end of running a small business, which I found just as fascinating. It’s not all about treatment techniques!
Throughout my work experience, Nell checked up on me regularly, and we had several one to ones where she would ensure I was getting what I wanted from my work experience. She gave me lessons on biomechanics and we also created a series of videos on foot exercises that would help mobilise and stabilise clients’ feet to ensure they were progressing and recovering. This was a fun small job I did there and it helped me too, as I realised I could apply some of the foot exercises to dancing which was personally beneficial.
To conclude, I have learnt so much and before coming to the clinic I was unsure about a future in physiotherapy, but my time here has made me more certain that physiotherapy is a career for me. Thank you to the whole team (and clients) for being absolutely lovely and generous, I am very grateful – and to anyone else out there, I know if you are interested in physiotherapy a work placement here will be highly useful and enjoyable.
Thanks Tashi! We thoroughly enjoyed having Tashi in clinic; and the online foot and ankle programme she collaborated on is available here.
If you’re a student considering or training for a career in physiotherapy, and would be interested in an observational placement, please contact email@example.com with your CV and a covering letter. Please note that this may not be possible while social distancing measures are in place.