Advice for success as a physiotherapy student

Rebecca John is one of our MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration) graduates, who recently reflected on her time at university for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and thought about what advice she would give to herself considering a future as a Physiotherapist.  Based on Rebecca’s experience, we’ve put together some top tips on becoming an Allied Health Professional.

1) Don't let things hold you back

Rebecca is dyslexic, and found the academic side of learning more challenging than some of her peers. She felt her strengths lay in the practical elements of the course, such as clinical sessions and placements, and was concerned she wouldn’t do well enough in written assignments or exams.

However, at BCU, we have a range of student support options available to you, including support for those with dyslexia. Our Academic Development Department offers academic support in a variety of areas such as academic writing, critical analysis, literature searching skills, referencing and numeracy. It offers support through workshops and tutorials, either in small groups or on a one-to-one basis. 

2) Changing direction is ok

It’s ok if you didn’t fall straight into your ideal job. Sometimes it can take years to truly discover your passions and strengths, and find a career that you can both enjoy and excel in. The key is to remember it’s not too late! At BCU, we have a diverse student population, and often find that those choosing to undertake a qualification later in life have a wealth of life experiences that can enhance their learning. Therefore, don’t let your age stop you training to do something that will make you happy.

Rebecca was a personal trainer before she decided to train as Physiotherapist, and always thought that her career would be in sport. She is now a Senior Physiotherapist at Russells Hall Hospital.

3) Learning doesn’t stop after your course

It can feel like you are expected to know so much, even before you start your course. But it wasn’t until Rebecca graduated and started working as a Physiotherapist that she realised that learning is always part of her day. Whether it’s learning the details of how her employer or organisation works (as even within the NHS there can be subtle differences), absorbing different ways of interacting and treating patients from more experienced staff, or becoming a mentor herself and passing on her knowledge and experience to new students in training, learning is always important and never stops. By embracing this, you’ll keep yourself up to date on new developments in your field, and become a more competent professional. 

4) Work hard!

Rebecca’s most challenging topic was cardiorespiratory, and she wishes that she’d tried harder at the time, because it later became her passion. Our staff are not only experienced in their field but passionate about helping their students and passing on their expertise. Make sure you build a good relationship with the staff on your course, your peers, and your mentors on placement, as they can help you on your journey, and enable you focus on what interests you, so you can hone your knowledge and enhance your career prospects.  

Rebecca’s final advice was:

“Have courage, confidence and continue to be passionate about delivering excellent patient care and you will succeed!”

To read more about Rebecca’s advice, and advice from other Physiotherapists, see The Next Generation article in the Frontline publication, on the Chartered Society of Physiotherapist website.

What's your future career?

To find out more about our MSc Physiotherapy (or other MSc courses) come along to one of our postgraduate open events and speak to our staff.

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