Physiotherapy Personal Statement
Submitted by George
Curiosity in understanding both science and how best to work with people in healthcare excites me - I'm especially enthusiastic for the opportunity to do this in a career in Physiotherapy. Physiotherapy has been a big part of my life since before I started school. Weekly appointments following a diagnosis of arthritis and later understanding more about the biology behind it, alongside my physiotherapist's enthusiasm inspired me to pursue a career in physiotherapy myself.
Attending a shadowing day at Lathom Physiotherapy Centre I observed the appointments of a variety of patients; after years of attending my own physiotherapy appointments as the patient it was fascinating to see it from an alternative perspective. Problems ranged from sprained ankles, whiplash injuries, torn Achilles and shooting pains with no obvious cause. With each appointment came an individual treatment technique and exercise plan for the patient. I was intrigued by the concepts of an ultrasound scan for an ankle, asking questions about a new car as a contribution to a patient's problem, and the effectiveness of massaging a particularly affected area to improve joint movements. I noticed how the patients each left the room so much more positive than they came in. One appointment really made a difference to each of them even in such a short amount of time, and this showed me just how much of a difference physiotherapists can make to a person's day to day life.
I have volunteered at a series of meetings lead by physiotherapists and psychologists, for chronic pain sufferers. Talking and listening to those with pain really humbled me and gave me insight into the necessity of motivation and emotional support involved in physiotherapy. It also demonstrated how, in some ways, the mental aspect of rehabilitation is even more important than the physical aspect in terms of helping the patient return to their normal daily life in a way that they feel comfortable, safe and supported. This gave me a completely different perspective on the skills of a physiotherapist, even more so observing how each patient is approached differently according to both their physical and emotional needs. This really hit home to me in terms of vulnerable adults, particularly my elderly aunt suffering with dementia, whom I visited every week after school. Helping her with shopping and tidying the flat, but also when she wasn't looking, checking things like the phone was still connected and the gas was switched off was important in helping her maintain her independence. It also gave my family the peace of mind that she was safe and had everything she needed. The time I spent with her really intensified my desire to care and support those who need it the most. It also developed some of the crucial skills required in a career such as physiotherapy to maintain a persons dignity whilst they are in a uncomfortable or confusing situation, and sustain the highest degree of respect for them.
In my spare time I work at my local supermarket, where my communication and customer service skills are tested almost constantly, alongside time management and team working skills. I choreograph dances with my class and assist younger dancers with their own routines. Dancing keeps my body fit and my mind clear, and provides the best treatment for pain that my physiotherapist and I could have hoped for. This has inspired my Extended Project Qualification question - 'How effective is recommending exercise as a treatment for Osteoarthritis?' I was fascinated by how my movement increased and pain decreased as a result of my active lifestyle, but was also aware that not every arthritis sufferer has had the same successful results I have. This lead to my interest in researching the correlation between exercise and Arthritis. Whilst writing my EPQ I have acquired skills that will be very useful in university, such as researching conditions using a variety of sources, looking at evidence and time management.