Physiotherapy Personal Statement
Submitted by Ellie
From a young age, I’ve been an enthusiastic and committed dancer; this has resulted in my fair share of injuries. Over the years, I have been treated by various MSK physiotherapists (“physio/s”) who helped me get back to doing what I love. Whilst being treated, I took a keen interest in what they were doing, asking many questions about the role of physiotherapy in the healthcare system.
After an inspiring week of work experience at a hospital, and seeing the vast scope of fields within the vocation, my desire to become a physio was reinforced. I enjoyed visiting the respiratory ward where I observed the treatment and management of acute and chronic respiratory dysfunctions. Here, I watched the physio use manual vibration techniques, suction and spirometry to maintain high oxygen saturation in an elderly patient, with Down Syndrome, suffering from pneumonia. I noticed that the physio was patient, compassionate and effective in her communication. Whilst volunteering to teach dance to children with learning difficulties, I believe I’m developing these qualities, as not only do I have to be understanding but I must adapt my communication for the students. These classes have also taught me to stay calm and professional, to deliver the lesson effectively. I was also able to shadow a neuro physio, on the acute stroke ward, as she treated a patient who had lost hand movements, due to a stroke. The importance of teamwork and leadership was highlighted to me here, as all the multidisciplinary team members were required to work together to restore the patient’s function and speech. Being Head Girl and part of the Student Council team has helped me develop effective leadership skills whilst understanding how to work well as part of a team. Additionally, I spent a week at Pulse Sports Therapy where I observed physios rehabilitating athletes following ACL reconstructions, knee replacements and chronic tendinopathies. I saw how a combination of techniques such as ultrasound, TENS and exercise prescription could enhance and speed up their recovery. I learnt from both experiences that as a physio you need to treat your patients holistically and with an open mind. For example, although pain may initially present as a MSK problem, it’s important to explore the patient’s background as there may be an underlying issue that could be causing the ‘pain’.
Furthermore, I believe that I have proven my organisational skills by partaking in National Citizen Service. Elected as team director, I had to organise and motivate my team to raise funds and successfully campaign for the charity, Cianna’s Smile. It’s vital to have good organisational skills as a physiotherapy student to balance university work with placements, sport and other social activities.
At school, studying Biology and PE at A level has developed my interest in the human body, and provided me with basic anatomical and physiological knowledge. Maths and Chemistry have enabled me to better my problem-solving and logical thinking skills, essential for physiotherapy. Alongside this, I’ve written an EPQ on Hypermobility in Dancers, which has helped to improve my knowledge of the body and its functions, and advance my research and essay writing skills. Balancing four A levels with an EPQ and extracurricular activities, like the medical society, means I can work well under pressure and time constraints.
Outside of school, I compete in dance competitions at national level, and have won titles including South East Freestyle Dancer of the Year. I also represented Berkshire County in their youth dance company. Moreover, I tutor GCSE students in Maths, referee soccer and enjoy trapezing. These activities help to improve my interpersonal skills, confidence and ability to adapt to new situations.
In conclusion, my experiences have increased my curiosity and passion for this career, and I hope I can be part of this incredible profession so I too can improve people’s health, wellbeing and quality of life.