by Joe Jamieson

Clinical Experience

Kaitlin is a Physiotherapist who, after completing her Masters of Physiotherapy degree in Scotland, took a six-week elective placement in Sri Lanka followed by a tour of Southeast Asia. Having experienced Physiotherapy both at home and overseas, she’s picked up some tips and advice for Physiotherapy students along the way...

When it comes to Studying

Find the place you where you work your best and use it - whether it’s the library, coffee shop or your own desk. Try working in a few different places to find a spot that works for you, as your environment can have a dramatic impact on productivity.

Breaks are just as important as study time. Keep yourself positive by planning these around your studies. Aim to take a short break at least once every hour.

Disable social media sites during your scheduled study time and keep your phone out of sight - no excuses. YouTube is fine, as it’s a good source for looking up movements and treatments. Just make sure you don't get distracted on there!

Mug of tea on a office desk. Super shallow focus.

One coffee is good. Six coffees = the shakes and more bathroom breaks than you'd probably care for. Good nutrition will keep you awake in a sustained way. Caffeine will make you crash.

Never underestimate the value of a weekend off.

No cramming. No memorizing. Learn and Apply.

Practical advice

Write down what you like about qualified healthcare professionals you interact with. Write down what you don’t like. Remember and apply when it comes to your own patients.


Practice what you preach and exercise. There's no better way to understand the effect your work has on patients than to experience it yourself.

Know your Red Flags like the back of your hand. Know what they mean, too.

Never assume you know enough. Keep learning. It’s called Continuing Professional Development for a reason!

It might sound simple, but get used to conveying left and right to someone facing you.


Don’t skip steps because you’re short on time. It’s better to know a lot about a little, than a little about a lot. Follow-ups are there for a reason.

Learn to absorb criticism and use it moving forward.

Be compassionate - patients are people, not an assignment.

Learn and adopt “The Bob” - a.k.a. Moving and Handling - as early as you can.


Learn the art of the literature search. Any lecturer who does research and most librarians who know the ins and outs can teach you in an afternoon.

Keep a stash of black pens.

Don’t bulk-buy textbooks. Wait till you get into the course and figure out what’s actually worth your money. Also, the library has pretty much everything.

Whether you want advice on an overseas placement or tips on making the most of it, we can put you in contact with students who have already travelled with us. Learn about our physical therapy placements by filling out the short form below — one of our elective consultants will get back to you.

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