CSP Student Development Rep Weekend
Charlotte Dodd, BSc Physio Student , Coventry University, 1st year CSP rep .
The Student Rep Development Weekend on the 4th & 5th February 2017 followed the theme of ‘Improvement’. This was through talks on self-improvement, improving public perceptions of physiotherapy and the aim to inspire each of our own cohorts to think about making a difference in the world of physiotherapy.
To kick-start the weekend, and after a warm welcome from Catherine Pope (CSP, Chair of Council), we were handed over to Carl Dunstan who gave an inspiring talk on ‘The Importance of Valuing Yourself’. He spoke about knowing not only your ‘What’ and your ‘How’ but most importantly your ‘Why’. We can relate this premise to anything we do in life but in a profession such as physiotherapy it is so important to know! He stressed that knowing why you do something gives your work so much more meaning. The ‘why’ is our purpose, cause or belief, it is important we never lose sight of our ‘why’.
Carl Dunstan’s talk inspired many of us in the conference room and, as we were encouraged to do so throughout the weekend, we took to twitter using the hashtag #SRDW17 to spread Carl’s inspiring message further.
Catherine Pope then talked to us about the CSP’s Corporate Strategy 2017-2020, ‘to transform the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities by empowering our members and exerting our influence’. Catherine particularly spoke about the influence physiotherapists could have in reducing some of the strain on the NHS and the money and time we could save through use of our services in primary care.
We were shown an animation created by the CSP which explains how this is more cost-effective for the NHS and gives patients faster access to the specialist care they need:
We were also visited by Tracey Howe (Glasgow Caledonian University), who introduced us to ‘Adaptive Design’, a company that makes assistive products out of locally sourced materials (corrugated cardboard). The material is so accessible, robust and easy to work with making it simple to meet specific needs of the patient as the assistive products can be so easily adapted. The company envisions a global network of healthcare professionals alongside amateurs to create and adapt these assistive products.
Watch their short video on their plans for the future:
Every year at the Student Rep Development Weekend, the regional competition of the ‘Big Idea’ is run. This year’s theme of ‘improvement’ was interpreted a few ways…
The winning team, North-West, came up with the idea of ‘PT.APP’ as an official NHS app to download on iOS or android. It would reward patients with points when they complete exercises which would be specifically prescribed by a physiotherapist. Points lead them to their next appointment and inevitably to their short and long term goals. Linking to the phone’s calendar, the app aims to decrease the number of missed appointments. Their tag line: ‘PT.APP is promoting and prompting performance; proving physio works’.
The Midlands team presented a public awareness campaign through the use of social media. We urged the use of the hashtag ‘#physiois’ to help improve the public’s perception of what a Physiotherapist does. The aim was to get people who know the wider scope of physiotherapy to show the public that we do more than just run onto a pitch with a bucket and sponge. We explained that if the public became more aware of what we can do and how they can self-refer to a physiotherapist, services would become more cost-effective and efficient.
Later that day, we had a talk from Dr Elliot Cohen on how we can incorporate mindfulness practice into our roles as CSP student reps. He taught us some mindfulness exercises and talked about the link between the body and mind. He taught us how we can use mindfulness for self-improvement, to improve our focus and to de-stress; a hugely important skill to master as a student and in the ever-changing and ever-challenging NHS environment.
To close the weekend, Fiona Moffatt spoke about personal reflection and how we can get more involved with CPD. Having this talk at the end of the weekend got us thinking about how we can get even more out of these amazing experiences through reflection and inspiring others with the lessons we have learnt from all the different guest speakers. She summarised the main points from the weekend: leading by example, changing perception, embracing technology and taking risks pushing for positive change.
Overall the weekend was an invaluable experience which I can only wish more students had the opportunity to go to.
(1st Year CSP Student Rep)