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The post of Physiotherapist Assistant at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board would be an exciting and rewarding career opportunity and provide me with valuable experience towards my ultimate goal of becoming a fully qualified physiotherapist.
I have recently graduated from Swansea University with a 2:1 Honors Degree in Sports and Exercise Science. My module choices were tailored to those relevant to rehabilitation, health and well-being and physiology. Studying the biomechanics module - ‘injury mechanics’ - highlighted the importance of injury prevention and subsequent wider reading of the subject has further reinforced to me the vital role of a physiotherapist in this area. The module, ‘sport, diet and disease’ explored the signs, symptoms, and effects of diseases such as osteoarthritis and sarcopenia and indicated how both exercise and nutrition can help manage and improve the conditions. Furthermore, I have taken time to research the role that physiotherapists play in diagnosing, managing, and improving musculoskeletal diseases. Upon reading the paper, ‘Physiotherapists and Sarcopenia’ by Latham N, I discovered the importance of strength and conditioning programs in aiding the effects of the disease and how simple exercises-such as repeated sit to stand practices-combined with strength and conditioning can reduce the functional consequences of sarcopenia. Additionally, the module discussed cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease which I researched in more detail by reading the book, ‘Physiotherapy for Respiratory and Cardiac diseases: Adults and Pediatrics’ by Jennifer Pryor and Ammani Prasad. Being asthmatic myself this sparked my interest as I uncovered how depending on the pathology of the disease physiotherapist led rehabilitation can be used for both diagnosis and treatment.
My work experience to date has been varied, diverse and valuable. Before starting my undergraduate studies I worked as a swimming instructor and a receptionist within the leisure industry. This experience allowed me to develop excellent communication and customer service skills; an ability to keep and maintain records confidentially and securely; patience and flexibility; develop an excellent phone manner and an ability to work within a team. As a swimming teacher I am responsible for setting up the pool, selecting and checking equipment and then instructing children on how to use it effectively. One of the main responsibilities of this role is to motivate and encourage children to persist and improve on their swimming ability. Also, all Nuffield Health employees are required to regularly complete online courses on GDPR, information governance, safeguarding of adults and children, health & safety, equality & diversity and confidentiality, meaning that I am well versed in these areas. The time I spent working abroad as part of the ‘Gap Medics’ program in the Dominican Republic proved extremely rewarding. During the 2-week program I assisted doctors and nurses in two different hospitals, helping to care for patients with a range of conditions. Duties included taking patients to theatre rooms for operations whilst calming and reassuring them and assisting doctors and nurses in operations. I also had an insight into the importance of maintaining paperwork and records of treatment, ensuring they were recorded accurately and confidentially. Most recently I have gained customer facing experience by helping in the local Covid 19 Vaccination Centre. This role has required me to develop a rapport with members of the public in order to provide reassurance and guidance throughout the process and to answer any questions or concerns. I believe the vast amount of experience I have in customer facing roles will serve well as a physiotherapist as it has meant that I have developed a friendly, approachable, empathetic and enthusiastic manner that will assist in building a positive physiotherapist-patient relationship.
The level 3 and 4 sports massage courses that I have undertaken have instructed on how to perform techniques such as effleurage, petrissage, deep friction, tapotement, soft tissue releases, myofascial releases, trigger pointing, muscle energy techniques and passive, active-assisted and active stretches. I have put the qualification to use on family members and, when restrictions allowed, various cliental. I have experienced diagnosing conditions by palpation, postural assessment and passive and active movements. As follow up to treatments, I have written successful rehabilitation plans for injuries such as Achilles Tendinopathy and Iliotibial Band Syndrome, including relevant stretches and strengthening exercises. I have completed SOAP forms for each client, detailing personal details including medical history, diagnosis, treatment goals, treatments given and post-treatment rehabilitation plans.
The pandemic has indisputably highlighted the vital work of scientists and medics and has put the physiotherapy profession at the heart of the recovery process for severely affected COVID patients. I would love the opportunity to be part of the fight to rebuild the health of the nation and to develop my own knowledge in this area. To be able to help more people with a wider range of conditions by being a part of the National Health Service Physiotherapist Team is my ultimate career ambition. In short, I believe that making a difference to the quality of life of others is the greatest job satisfaction you can have.