Physiotherapy student achieves outstanding success at innovative placement

John Townsend
John Townsend

John Townsend, who is in his third year of studies at the University, took part in a six-week placement to develop his leadership skills.

His progress was tracked using the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s (CSP) Common Practice Assessment Form and he achieved an outstanding 92% on his final review, with the CSP commending the work he has produced towards the implementation of their new Physiotherapy Health Informatics Strategy (PHIS).

“Prior to starting my placement, I was concerned about how valuable it would be, being non-clinical,” John said. “However, I have in fact found the placement enjoyable and have gained and developed a range skills and wider understanding of the place of physiotherapists in the wider healthcare world. I’ve learned more about the CSP, their role within the profession and how they can benefit physiotherapists.”

John added: “My project was on health informatics so I’ve learned the importance of embracing health informatics and how students can be advocates for this in a developing profession. On a personal level I’ve learnt to speak out more and get involved, being more proactive and more confident raising my ideas with the team. I can now see how valuable non-clinical placements are and how they can indirectly improve your clinical skills.”

John said he had seen first-hand the difference a physiotherapist can make to a patient's quality of life and wanted to have the same impact.

“I'm enjoying the course; it is challenging but I enjoy learning about the different areas of physiotherapy,” he said. “My main areas of interest are Neuro and Paediatrics.”

Rebecca Lees, Practice Education Lead and Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy at the University, said: “Leadership placements are a relatively new concept within healthcare education and there is a big drive to have not just clinical placements, but placements across all areas of professional practice.

“Our university was selected through a draw to have a placement with the CSP. It’s an unusual occurrence and one we may not see again for a while.”