My passion for horses was my original drive to become a physiotherapist, realising that without the 3years undergraduate I could not take the 2 year PGDip to become a Veterinary Physio. Once I started treating human patients I got a bit distracted (because I loved it so much) and I’m yet to fully pursue my vet physio qualifications. I really noticed some differences in approach to learning/training between courses and these are a few thoughts on how I think they differed and how we could further improve. Of course everyone learns differently so these may not be useful for all students.
1. Preparation: Throughout my undergraduate degree there was a lack of resources to prepare me for placements/assessment/treatment/evidence and it wasn’t because I wasn’t looking (trust me I was keen). With the internet and new technology this is so easy! You can get access to clinic experts in whatever field you’re interested in. Reading lists/ course hand books/ prezi presentations/ easy access all at your finger tips from a computer/phone/IOS. Google drive is a fantastic resource where you can share information/documents. Most of us have created a presentation for in service training at some point. If every one of our visitors posted something on our site in the next week we could have over 20,000 documents. Don’t leave it for someone else to do, share your knowledge, your expertise, support others learning. Please share to today to develop our profession and aid learning for everyone.
Learn. Share. Develop.
2. Expectation: In my undergraduate degree when I shadowed doctors and senior physiotherapists they appeared to take for granted their own wealth of experience and did not seem to understand that as a student I could not have the in depth knowledge they now took for granted. I never felt that they withheld information but rather did not have time, or take time to share that knowledge. In my vet physio training I was surrounded by those oozing enthusiasm to share their own knowledge and insights into their paths and encouraging exploration of other ways not simply their own.
3. Sharing knowledge: During my vet physio training if you had a question the vet would answer it: there and then. On placements I found the grueling “well work it out/go read about it at home/you tell me the answer” stressful and when already absorbing huge amounts of information I found it slightly unnecessary. Quick answers I found reinforced the information in my mind immediately. Thats not to say working it out is not a good exercise but there are many ways to learn.
4. Relaxed and open: A educator-student relationship is a difficult one to get right and needs to adapt and evolve. The relaxed manner in which I was taught in some placements allowed me to gain confidence and ask questions without feeling like I was asking silly questions. Care was always taken by my educators in their responses to ensure I wasn’t embarrassed or spoken to in a condescending manner.
5. A push on practical skills. All placements included assessments on educators own animals/themselves to ensure techniques were perfected with supervision of those who knew how the treatments should feel/look (ie mobilisations) rather than practicing with another inexperienced student. This provided a safe environment to learn ( on asymptomatic patients).
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