Starting out

CSP is always here to offer you support – at the very start of your studies and throughout your career, says Karen Middleton

Starting out CSP CEO Karen Middleton

As my last In Person was speaking to those in the profession who provide student placements, this one speaks to those of you at the start of your training.

Albeit a long time ago, I was once where you are and not once have I regretted my decision to train as a physiotherapist.

Like many of you, I suspect, I knew something about the profession, but it was my training that really opened my eyes to its full potential. As a result, I have travelled the world, worked in the NHS and the private sector, taught, managed a wide range of services and led policy development for all colours of government and three prime ministers.

And I have come full circle from those days of being the student representative in my training hospital to being the CSP CEO. And I can honestly say in all of those roles I have used my physiotherapy training in some way – communication, problem-solving, data analysis, motivation and myriad other transferable skills that you ill develop in the next few years

A physiotherapy degree is not an easy option and there will be times when you listen to other students and wonder why you embarked on such a programme, but the prize at the end will be worth it.

Your chosen profession is fulfilling and game-changing and you will make a difference everyday – not many people can say that about their jobs. And no two days are the same, I can assure you.

Of course, at this early stage you will be thinking about developing your clinical skills, but remember your training is also about developing as a well-rounded professional and these skills and attributes are just as important and will be what will give you maximum flexibility when it comes to your career choices.

Through the whole of your training and your professional life, the CSP will be alongside you supporting you however we can. We are the trade union and professional body for physiotherapy in the UK and we want you to engage with us from the beginning, whether that is through the student reference group, your local regional network or iCSP – do get in touch.

You have a UK network of 59,000 members, which means the support available goes way beyond the staff working at the CSP.

I hope to meet as many of you as I can – even if only virtually at the moment – so do invite me along. I hope to see you at Physiotherapy UK, the biggest national physiotherapy conference, or at the Annual Representative’s Conference, or one of the many regional network meetings I attend.

I found, when I trained, the more you put in, the more you get out and that includes engaging with the CSP. It’s a fantastic profession you are looking to join and it’s a fantastic organisation to be a member of.

I wish you well with your studies!

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