Stepping up for students

A big thank you for educators or teams who have taken students on placement during the pandemic

Nina Paterson is a professional adviser at the CSP
Nina Paterson Professional adviser at the CSP

It’s a year ago since I penned the article saying thank you for all that you were about to do as the pandemic kicked off. I urged you to take care of yourselves knowing that this was for the long haul. I talked about Captain Tom Moore, a then relatively unheard of 99-year-old, walking his garden to raise money for the NHS. 

It feels like a lifetime ago personally and professionally. Our mood darker – with claps replaced by resignation and in some cases staff being abused. It’s hard to watch the news some days.

But a year on, I’m still in awe of the physiotherapy workforce… students still learning, lecturers finding creative and equally appropriate ways to teach, support workers and physiotherapists changing your roles and services to meet changing patient needs, or keeping the mainstay of services functioning even as we grapple with a virus that is clearly here to stay. 

So one year on I’m back to say thank you again in my role as CSP education adviser. This last year placements – both capacity and quality have been the dual focuses for the CSP education team. Working alongside higher education institutions (HEIs) to ensure that the workforce pipeline remains intact and that student experiences, however different from what’s been the norm until now, set them up to still thrive from day one as new grads.

What’s also been clear since the initial shock of that first wave is how quickly, and how well we’ve all adapted.

Particularly placements. I hear story after story from HEIs about trusts, and non-NHS employers stepping up to take students – either doing what they’ve always done, or shifting settings and models but never once compromising on quality. I am in awe. In the middle of a pandemic – you’ve put the needs of the patients first and also the students. HEIs throughout the UK asked me to acknowledge this. I didn’t need persuading. Thank you! 

  • Nina Paterson is a professional adviser at the CSP

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