CSP student representatives development weekend 2017: how to future-proof your profession

Promotion, activism and engagement were the key messages of a paper from Fiona Moffatt who told student reps they were agents of change on a ‘mission possible’.


Fiona Moffatt told students to 'be part of a social movement'. Photo: Lorne Campbell/Guzelain

Dr Moffatt delivers the personal and professional development module in years one and two of the physiotherapy and sport rehabilitation BSc programme at the University of Nottingham.

Her lecture Personal reflection: how to inspire other students to get more involved with CPD/their engagement with the CSP/inter-professional learning and the profession, focused on change management to help reps realise their ambition.

‘You must be passionate about getting others involved,’ she told delegates.

‘This is about future proofing your profession, a profession that is proactive not reactive, and the student voice is critical in that endeavour. Your mission is to meet the needs of individual patients and the population as a whole.’

She asked student reps to look to the future and brainstorm what skills the physiotherapy graduates they would meet in 2020 would need from them. As student reps they must be clear about this as they lead by example and champion the benefits of CPD.

‘This is about you being activists and getting people on board with a vision of what the future of physiotherapy should be. You need strategies as it is not always easy to get people involved.’

Dr Moffatt said it is crucial to embrace technology and social media. Twitter is very underused by physiotherapy students. She urged the reps to not only follow other physios, but to engage in conversations and convert the lurkers who don’t engage, as engaging leads to professional opportunities. She suggested participating in the #physiotalk hour on Twitter.

So, their missions should include engaging on social media, using philosophy and sociology to understand the world better and be a critical thinker always asking why, be a calculated risk taker and a positive force for good and recognise that networking and mentoring (choosing a mentor from a different profession) reap tremendous opportunities.

They must create a community of practice, flex their leadership muscles and have fingers in many pies, she said.

‘Our unique selling point is that we are movement specialists but I want you to be part of a social movement,’ she added.

‘Use the hashtag #physio2020 and tweet your ideas as agents of change.’

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