As an inquisitive and impressionable six year old, I would lay on my mother’s bed repeatedly reading her outdated first aid manual cover to cover. I did not know yet, but my fascination with the human body and its mechanisms was soon to appear, attempting to diagnose my friends on their various aches and pains, or researching endless diseases and conditions. In Year 8, when tasked to research careers for a presentation, I chose physiotherapy – and it grabbed my interest immediately.
Physiotherapy is an ever-advancing discipline, which combines multiple aspects that I find enjoyable. I have the skills to strive within the field as I undertook three Duke of Edinburgh awards, demonstrating my resilience and dedication, my ability to work well within a team, and give instructions clearly. For example, on my Gold expedition, our final day consisted of walking twenty kilometres with only two short breaks, with morale kept high, despite having covered 80 kilmetres already. This involved a hearty discussion about food, and some rather out of tune singing. As a map reader, I demonstrated my ability to continue with the task at hand, despite the exhausting circumstances. I managed my role with accuracy and communicated well with fellow map-readers. Physiotherapists work in a multi-disciplinary team of NHS professionals, and I will suit this role as I enjoy working in a team, using our individual and interlinking knowledge to address the task set.
Physiotherapy is a multi-faceted career, and my particular interest lies in the musculoskeletal aspect. The way that muscles work with tendons and ligaments to create movement has fascinated me, and how this movement can be a cause – and reliever, of pain. This relates to my Biology A-Level, as we learn about communication within the body, between the receptor and the effector, through neurons. Geography Pre-U has allowed me to participate in manual fieldwork, but also to critically analyse data which is required when treating patients as I must read about their medical background, working with other specialists like neurologists. On a similar note, Psychology A-Level has taught me about the ethics of research, and what makes ethical treatment – an important factor for high quality patient care.
I was elected into a leadership role on the Head Girls’ Team, as the Sports Captain. My role involves promoting sport throughout the school, assisting the PE department in training teams, and being a point of contact between the staff and students. I also organise a group of Sports Prefects, throughout the school. Through this, I have refined my communication skills. Being in a leadership role has also greatly improved my confidence in a range of situations. I have learnt the importance of listening to others, with respect and sensitivity to what is being communicated in conversation. These skills are necessary for a practicing physiotherapist in conversation with patients, gathering information about their lifestyles with discretion, and making them feel at ease.
I have work experience in private practices covering conditions from chronic lower back pain, and tendonitis, to rotator cuff post-operation recovery. I shadowed several highly qualified physiotherapists, and through observation, I began to understand the need for physiotherapists to adapt to each patient – and adapt their treatment accordingly. I was interested by the range of knowledge the physiotherapist had about anatomy, the extensive techniques she practiced, and the close bond she had with her patients. This gave me an appreciation of the difference between physiotherapy and other healthcare fields. The amount of time spent with a patient may vary, but it is a process that progresses over time.
Outside academia, I am a keen hockey player and play for both junior and senior teams, as well as being a Volunteer Police Cadet. I play guitar and I am at a grade five level for bass guitar. As a member on the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy website, I have an insight into the latest news, common conditions and research in the field. Spending my time investigating these conditions has firmly cemented my belief that I am thoroughly interested in physiotherapy, that I love learning about it, and that I want to study it at university.
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