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.