RGU students master Physiotherapy in Northern Arizona

Physiotherapy students from Robert Gordon University (RGU) spent time in the United States recently as part of an international exchange programme to develop their knowledge and skills.

Students at Grand Canyon

Students at Grand Canyon

A total of six second year Masters Students spent two weeks at Northern Arizona University this spring where they learned about how Physiotherapy is taught and delivered in the US.

Working alongside fellow students, the team from RGU got a taste of the training US Physiotherapy students receive. They also benefitted from clinical placements and community group visits as well as health care classes and seminars.

RGU Students Kirsten Cluley, Andy Lawson, Stuart Ancell, Kylie Smillie, Eamon Campion and John Fagan worked alongside US students Emily, Courtney, Mark, Phil and Jordan who spent time at RGU earlier this year.

During their visit the RGU students also got a chance to visit the Grand Canyon and even met Olympic Champion Mo Farah during an evening training session.

Kirsten said: “I had a fantastic time on the exchange trip. Arizona was amazing and so much more than I had ever expected.

“The experience of shadowing in two different US physiotherapy clinics was extremely useful. I was amazed by their computerised note system and one clinic used iPads to keep their records up to date. It seemed far more efficient and accurate than what we have in the UK. However, we discussed the strains involved in meeting their productivity quotas.

“Arizona has a large Native American population and it was interesting to learn how this impacted on the type of conditions and injuries practitioners encounter there. Due to the off grid nature of the reserves culture and communication appeared to be very challenging.

“The trip has really opened my eyes, in terms of the students' drive and enthusiasm, but also the possibility of working in another country like the US.

“Previous exchange students; Emily, Courtney, Mark, Phil and Jordan made huge efforts to house us, drive us and entertain us, and their support made the exchange even better. I know I have made some friends for life.”

Donna Wynne, Course Leader MSc (Pre-registration) Physiotherapy at RGU, said: “We have a longstanding student and staff exchange with Northern Arizona University and this affords the students an excellent opportunity to participate in classes at NAU with their Physical Therapy students and observe Physiotherapy practice in the US.

“The students have had a wealth of opportunities to see aspects of healthcare, physical therapy education in the US and other exciting cultural experiences and have been great ambassadors for RGU during their trip.”

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