It was always going to be a gamble...
When Winchester University asked us to take on a student it was going to be a tough decision to make. Knowing full well how universities struggle to get placements these days we were keen to help but with some reservations. As a small team of 5 employees and all of us already stretched to the limit with work and family demands; we needed somebody who could hit the ground running, somebody who was proactive and able to learn independently from a remote setting.
Providing a patient caseload was going to be difficult seeing as being a start up we had only a handful of patients who had come through our practice at that stage and private patients are often hesitant (justifiably) about having a student assess or treat them. How would we provide an enjoyable and in depth placement experience and meet all the placement criteria when not a typical outpatients placement? How could we give the time and support needed to ensure it wasn’t a complete disaster? In fact it wasn’t just a gamble for us but for Winchester and for the student themselves.
After some detailed planning, supported well by the placement teams and after quickly developing a few policies that were missing from a new family startup; needing the man power we decided to take the plunge. We put a pitch together and sent it out to Winchester’s 3rd year physio students.
Not surprisingly, only one was crazy enough to take on the challenge of a DPT placement! Ex professional footballer Andreas with a previous placement in digital transformation was ready to roll up his sleeves and get stuck in. Well 6 weeks later we are pleased to say that the gamble paid off and after a placement with a difference, with the opportunity to present to orthopaedic surgeons, develop digital pathways, assess and manage patients using remote monitoring and examine and increase the research/evidence base around digital physiotherapy I think Andreas will confirm that there was never a moment of boredom or absence of work to do and that it was worth the risk of trying something outside of the box when it comes to a final placement! In fact we all enjoyed the experience so much we asked him to stick around...
This week we welcomed Andreas onto our team as DPT’s first ever physiotherapy assistant whilst he waits to get his physio stripes. So, we are glad we took the gamble and look forward to working with Winchester again in future.
Specialist Physiotherapy Lead