Its that time of year again when I am fortunate and privileged to offer my experience and clinical expertise at the UCD School of Physiotherapy. I am currently teaching as an external lecturer on the Musculoskeletal module with my main role to cover the more practical ‘hands on’ aspects of managing patients with spinal conditions.
There is a bridge to gap between the world of academia and course work as offered in the University setting, and the application of this knowledge in a real world clinical setting. This is where I come in as I try to help students learn the manual therapy, exercise and patient management skills to be able to help the patients they encounter as students and upon graduation.
This brings me to some criticism of the University system, which is that of attendance. Given that these skills are only taught once in this setting, I am concerned when the lecture and practical classes don't have a 100% attendance by the physiotherapy students. These are the basic skills anyone wanting to work in musculoskeletal physiotherapy requires to be effective, they are the bread and butter of our practice. The time to gain the knowledge is now, so why not make attendance a priority? The University are trying to address the issue by making practical attendance contribute to the final module grade, however as yet this has not quite made the full impact. I feel that students have to want to learn and that if the passion and enthusiasm is there, attendance would never be an issue.
Having said that, those students who have been in attendance have been terrific. They have been very attentive, full of questions and keen to get the techniques right. Its a pleasure to be able to help them and appreciate the satisfaction once a student ‘gets it’. Even those physio students who are nursing hangovers are able to focus their attention despite the lure of the treatment plinth upon which a nap looks so inviting.
From a personal point of view, its always nice to have a break from our busy clinic and step into the more relaxed University environment for a while. Teaching keeps me up to date and and on my toes, given some of the tough questions students like to ask. I feel this benefits my own patients as well, so at the end of the day we all benefit from the experience.
Next month I am giving Dry Needling and Medical Acupuncture demonstrations to the students. As a technique taught at postgraduate level, knowledge of this approach is very useful as I am sure many students will go on and learn how to needle safely and effectively once they have graduated.
For more information on my background in Acupuncture you can read more on my blog - www.acupuncturemedical.net
For information on how acupuncture actually works read this article - How Acupuncture Works
Good week to all. Simon