A new partnership is giving students valuable hands-on experience alongside their physiotherapy studies at Oxford Brookes University.
The University has teamed up with Oxford Quins RFC to give ten final year BSc and MSc Physiotherapy students thirteen weeks of practical experience at the sports club.
Great clinical and match day opportunities for students
The students began in September, working alongside the club’s medical teams on match days to provide pitch-side first aid support. They are also attending weeknight clinics for individual players, working alongside Holly Carrington, an experienced paediatric and sports injury physiotherapist, and Federico Gullo from Tops Health who have given the students additional training to handle rugby-specific sports injuries.
Katy Baines and Jo Pierce, Senior Lecturers in Physiotherapy at Oxford Brookes, helped to establish the partnership. Katy says the participating students benefit on a number of levels: “It’s fantastic that our students are getting practical experience at pitch-side and in the clinic. But they are also developing skills that will carry through to their working lives, operating as part of a medical team, organising themselves and understanding more about the physiotherapy requirements of both individuals and a sports club.”
Nicola Graham, Managing Director of Tops Health, added: “Due to the nature of our Private Practice work in Physiotherapy, we usually only support observational work experience students. It has been great to work with more experienced Physiotherapy students and to be a part of this programme offering clinical experience within Sport.”
Professionalism and energy of students praised
The students involved have attended Tuesday and Thursday clinics for Quins rugby players, as well as shadowing the pitchside first aiders on match days.
Stu Wells, Director of Rugby at Oxford Quins RFC said: “The success of the programme in the first few weeks has been beyond all expectations, the student physios have learned rugby specific upper and lower limb strapping skills and concussion protocols.
“From a club perspective, the enthusiasm, professionalism and energy that the Brookes students have brought has given the medical block a buzz that I’ve never seen before, with over 20 men and women receiving treatment at every session and feeding back that the student physios are excellent.”
Students are part of the Quins community
Amanda Sussman, an MSc pre-registration Physiotherapy student, is involved in the scheme and said: “Being a part of the Brookes-Quins physiotherapy partnership has afforded me great clinical opportunities as a physiotherapy student within a sport that I love. The partnership offers the unique experience of combining pitch-side first aid with clinic-based rehabilitation for the players.
“The rugby club and its members have been so welcoming and encouraging of our learning and development – making us feel part of the Quins community.”
The students on the scheme will now be trained by the RFU in Pre Hospital Immediate Care in Sport, and will then be qualified to work as paid pitchside first aiders, covering Oxford Quins men’s, women’s, and Under 18 Academy matches on weekends, and gaining further experience via Oxford Brookes University Rugby Football Club (OBURFC) men’s and women’s matches midweek.
Find out more about studying Physiotherapy at Oxford Brookes.