CSP student representatives development weekend 2017: physiotherapists have superpowers

The conference began on a high note with delegates being challenged to know their own worth and recognise their superpower qualities.


Photo: Lorne Campbell/Guzelain

Carl Dunstan, physiotherapist and a director of the Atherapy clinics, delivered his session Importance of Valuing Yourself, telling the student reps they were artists, building rapport and selling therapy, but not for personal gain.

‘This was a fantastic session for our CPD and Carl made some useful points about the importance of rapport and communication; about how patients must not be treated like objects,’ said Mobeen Janjua, a final year UCLan student, CSP north west regional co-ordinator and vice chair of the student executive committee.

‘Communication is a two-way thing and if you can build rapport through laughter it helps patients get better. If people enjoy their sessions they will attend their physiotherapy appointments and the waiting list will decrease. It made perfect sense to me and emphasised the importance and value of physiotherapy and physiotherapists.

Mr Janjua also enjoyed an afternoon session focussing on assistive technology and how free cardboard and a glue gun can improve the quality of life of disabled people.

Tracey Howe, professor of rehabilitation sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University, urged reps to sign up to help the Adaptive Design global project, which makes custom furniture out of corrugated cardboard for children with disabilities. She ran a workshop demonstrating how tables, seats and stands can be built from strong cardboard and hot glue and transform lives.

The project originated in New York City and now Professor Howe is enlisting physios, occupational therapists, designers and even families to train how to build furniture and adaptions.

First year student rep Dereck Frost, who studies with Prof Howe in Glasgow and is involved in the project said: ‘It was great to see people signing up at the conference to help build up the network. The project will be working with local authorities and councils to offer the training and ensure it meets quality control.

‘The adapted designs and equipment have really changed people’s lives. There was a young girl who was completely disengaged who was waiting six weeks for a table and the cardboard table custom-built to adapt her posture was a life-changer'.

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