Physiotherapy students across the UK gathered for the CSP student conference, the first in a series of five hybrid CSP conference events taking place this year.
The conference, held online and in-person in London on 24 October, featured more than 20 speakers, with a keynote from chair of CSP Council, Ishmael Beckford, highlighting the significant contributions students have brought to the CSP and wider healthcare community, the challenges many currently face, and the need to further reinforce and develop a space for the student voice.
A series of presentations and panel discussions featuring physiotherapists from a vast array of professional networks followed, introducing students and new graduates to a host of clinical specialisms, opportunities in research careers and an exploration of contemporary issues in physiotherapy practice and education.
Q&A with a delegate
We caught up with Karol Serrani, a second-year student from Winchester University, who attended the CSP student conference online.
Karol is standing as a CSP student rep. As a mature student, he wants to ensure that this group are represented, as they may have different concerns or experiences to their peers. Karol will be able to use his role to feedback issues raised by any of his year group to the CSP and make sure the student voice is heard.
Did the CSP student conference inspire your thinking about your studies or future career?
Yes, in terms of exploring different aspects of physiotherapy because it's such a wide field with lots of career avenues and options.
Did the CSP student conference introduce you to a new specialism or way of working within the profession?
Following the talk from David Standley, who is chair of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapist working with people with a learning disability (ACPPLD), I will be looking into working with patients with learning disabilities. I was aware of different patient groups, but I am now inspired to explore these in more depth.
What was your favourite session?
My favourite session was the rapid five-minute presentation from Natalie Mak on the relationship between muscle strength, balance, and functional ability in recreationally active young adults. My next placement is in MSK so this was great timing to learn more about the specialism and it’s an area of physiotherapy that I’d like to explore further.
What is your key takeaway from the event?
My key takeaway from the event is to explore all the possibilities within the profession, including working with various patient populations.
I am also inspired to attend more CSP events in the future. I find that workload can be a barrier but coming to the CSP student conference has shown me that it’s worth investing the time!
How did you find the online participation?
Everything ran smoothly online; delegates could hear everything well. The main issue is generally sound with online events, but there were no issues. Online questions were given the same weight as in person when it came to the Q&A sections.
Several awards were presented at the conference. The Physiotherapy Research Society awarded two prizes for poster presentations created by students. Ola Syczyck from Keele University won first prize for their service evaluation of a collaborative, community-based music-making stroke therapy programme, while Lizzie Evans’ project looking at the link between netball-specific injury prevention and improvements in balance was chosen as the runner-up.
CSP student contribution awards also returned this year with Daniel Biggs selected as the winner of the individual student contribution award and Wrexham University Physiotherapy Society - Cymdeithas Ffisiotherapi Prifysgol Wrecsam - recognised for their outstanding support and development for physiotherapy students on their campus.
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