Produced by Guest blogger
This is a guest blog by Molly Griffiths, a final year BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy student who has shared her journey about the course and her placements.
My physiotherapy student experience began during Covid-19 in 2020. Whilst there were lots of apprehensions, Bournemouth did not fail to provide an amazing first year of university. We began with lots of interactive online learning and Zoom meetings and then soon began our face-to-face practical sessions.
The small cohort created amazing learning opportunities as we worked together in small groups with frequent feedback from the lecturers. Over the three years, everyone has formed great friendships with both the cohort and the lecturing staff. I love our practical sessions as we get to explore the human body and practise our manual techniques. I particularly enjoyed our outpatient unit as we learnt about ligament testing and neurological screening to clear serious pathologies.
I have particularly enjoyed the respiratory units learning about common respiratory conditions including COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma and bronchiectasis. In small groups, we practised our chest assessment including auscultation and palpation and practised our manual techniques including percussions and vibrations on each other. It highlighted the wide variety of areas physiotherapists can work within and the vast opportunities that will be on offer.
Placements can often be challenging due to the new environment, the fear of lack of knowledge or just trying to balance placement alongside other commitments. Having said this, I think they are the best part of the course as you gain hands-on experience and invaluable knowledge. I have had some amazing placement opportunities including a cardiorespiratory ward, a musculoskeletal (MSK) private practice, community placements and an acute stroke ward. Being able to work within different teams also allows you to develop numerous personal skills. I loved the variety of placements I had, again highlighting how exciting a career in physiotherapy can be. I often had to live away for a couple of my placements which was a huge personal learning opportunity, allowing me to become very independent and confident living alone. Bournemouth University also offers some specialist placements including paediatrics, spinal injuries, and palliative care. These are a great opportunity to improve your breadth of knowledge.
Over the three years, I have improved my time management skills so that I can have a good work-life balance. Through regular reflections guided by the university, you quickly become aware of your strengths and areas of improvement. The physiotherapy society also hosts various webinars and guest speakers to help improve our knowledge. Most recently we had a musculoskeletal paediatric physiotherapist discuss common conditions in paediatrics and a typical assessment and treatment. I really enjoy these talks as they allow you to explore specialist areas of physiotherapy. It is also a great opportunity to ask questions and share your opinion.
Next year I will be leaving Bournemouth University and starting my Band 5 physiotherapy rotations at University Hospital Dorset. Whilst this seems very daunting, I know that I will be well supported and I’m excited for my future career within physiotherapy!