Physiotherapy BSc Hons Personal Statement
Submitted by Leah
Being able to understand the anatomical and physiological foundations that give rise to every aspect of movement in the body excites me. Using those studied principals to heal and prevent different injuries and illnesses as a career is what I can't wait to do. The discipline has its analytical side but is also extremely hands-on, meaning you have to be focussed and dedicated enough to carefully examine the evidence provided and methodically work towards a treatment plan.
You have to be extremely confident in terms of character, but also in the decisions that you are making as you are ultimately providing care that will change people's lives. I was able to develop these qualities working as a camp counsellor at a girl scout's summer camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We had 8 weeks to provide children with the best summer possible by working together as a tightly knit team. I found the key to success was my ability to empathise and communicate effectively with people, especially when faced with unfamiliar and challenging situations.
On my work shadowing placement at The Christie Hospital in Manchester, my eyes were opened to the wide breadth and scope of treatment and support that physiotherapists provide across every aspect of patient care. As a specialist cancer hospital, I spent a lot of time on a neurology ward where a number of patients were suffering from spinal cancer. The physiotherapists were highly involved in the patient's immediate mobility issues, working closely with other health care professionals in assessing patient progress and setting goals. Having solid communication skills was vital, especially when it came to briefing colleagues and patient hand over. On the critical care ward, patients here had undergone surgery the previous day and the approach was more considered due to the more complex needs of each individual. They had been immobile for a substantial amount of time so lymphedema, breathing difficulties and congestion had to be taken into account alongside being able to get in and out of bed without disrupting any wounds or dressings. Results and progress were then relayed on to the nursing team in order for an ongoing care plan to be constructed. I also enjoyed the radiotherapy physiotherapy support group, for patients who needed to remain in a fixed position for a long period of time during their treatment. Preventative exercises were demonstrated to restrict complications and strengthen muscles. I enjoyed being able to get involved and practice the exercises alongside patients as this exposed me to the physical side of physiotherapy. At The Christie, the treatment plans observed tended to be more proactive and preventative, as oppose to what I would expect in an outpatient facility, where treatment would be focussed on a more reactive basis. I will explore this on my placement at The Royal Stoke University Hospital next year, where I previously worked as an outpatient clerk. Here I loved speaking to new people every day and this role was vital for people in the community receiving the care that they needed. I applied this perspective working at Bupa as a mental health and oncology administration assistant. This helped me decide that I now wanted to provide care and be able to understand patients' problems.
As a mature student, the time between leaving school and starting the access course has given me the opportunity to gain valuable life experience and consider the career path I want to take. After camp, I travelled to America with my new found friends and South East Asia two years later where I discovered lots of different cultures, communities and cuisines. I love that the course is made up of small groups, as you can really get to know each and other progress together, but also have fun. I love that you can understand the modules you are learning from lectures through seminars, and then further with practical sessions. To then able to put these into practice in placements is really exciting.