Why I chose Flinders to help me become a Physiotherapist

Strong practical learning components, small class cohorts and the onsite Health2Go clinic were the main factors that convinced Oscar Wight to choose Flinders to chase his physiotherapy ambitions.

Oscar is undertaking the Master of Physiotherapy program and says it’s providing him the opportunity to expand his practical knowledge so he’s career-ready upon graduation.

Oscar came to Flinders as a postgraduate student after spending four years at Pacific University Oregon undertaking a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and playing collegiate tennis on a scholarship.

“Having completed my undergraduate degree in the USA, I wanted to return home to Adelaide. The Flinders course was a great choice because there is a large practical component over the two years,” he says.

“Our cohort is only 40 students, so we’re able to get valuable one-on-one time with the educators, unlike a lot of other universities.

“I’ve found that the onsite Health2Go clinic has been a highlight and something that is unique to Flinders.”

Oscar has undertaken two placements blocks at modern multidisciplinary clinic Health2Go at Flinders’ Sturt campus, the first one in musculoskeletal.

This was then following by a five-week online placement, involving the developing and implementation of a trial paediatric motor skill screening service that could be adopted at Health2Go long term.

The service is telehealth-based due to COVID-19 restrictions involves parents or carers are guided to film their children (aged 3-8) undertaking specific movement tasks.

This is then viewed by Health2Go physio staff and students like Oscar to assess against average development and to guide decisions around further assessment.

But Health2Go is not Oscar’s only taste of the clinical world, as he has already immersed himself in many clinical placements across Adelaide.

These include stints at the Lyell McEwin, Royal Adelaide and Modbury hospitals, aged care group ACH, South Australian Sports Medicine Association (SASMA) and Return to Work SA via online telehealth services.

“The Master’s program is giving me the opportunity to experience practical learning among the broad areas that physiotherapy covers,” Oscar says.

“I feel that I will be ready for the workplace as a new graduate physiotherapist next year.”

Oscar recently won a scholarship opportunity with SASMA to attend professional development sessions to further hone his knowledge and skills.

“By completing professional development, you increase your knowledge and hopefully make yourself a better physiotherapist in the private practice realm, which is what I hope to do next year,” he says.

“By completing ongoing professional development, clinicians are exposed to the latest evidenced-based practice, which lead to better patient outcomes. As a new graduate, it is important that we continue our learning after our university studies, and ultimately grow as physiotherapists.”

“A lot of practices also look to see if you have completed courses such as these in addition to your university degree. Employers look for new graduates who are keen to continue their learning post-university.”

After graduation, this Masters student has many goals on his career wish list.

Opening a private physiotherapy practice, working with the AFL in sports medicine, and as a physiotherapist on the ATP World Tennis Tour, or joining Nike or Asics in the development of products for injury prevention are just a few.

And with the motto that Oscar lives by – “take opportunities when they present themselves” – he just might get there.

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