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How I Got a job as a paediatric physio aide

Blog // How I Got a Job as a Paediatric Physio Aide

As a student, getting experience in any field that you are interested in is like finding gold! It is often hard to come by outside of your clinical placement at university, but that’s not to say it is impossible.

Before starting my Masters of Physiotherapy, I already knew that I had a keen interest in paediatrics and women’s health. During my undergraduate degree, I was lucky enough to be working part time in reception for a paediatric occupational therapy clinic. I sourced some contact details of a local paediatric physiotherapist, and I sent an email enquiring about whether I could do some shadowing hours alongside her. I think my number one tip to getting placement experience outside of university is get communicating!

There are so many wonderful people that are willing to give students a chance to learn and observe, you just have to get talking and find those contacts!

For those of you interested in what a paediatric physio aide does, here is a little bit about my experience. My role is very diverse, which is great, as this means that I get the opportunity to experience lots of different things. I have observed neurological development assessments, AFO/SMO fittings, assisted in scoring gross motor assessments, participated in running and planning therapy, writing of home programs, participated in professional developmental tutorials, and worked on reception. Here are my top tips to getting work experience in your field of interest:

1. Be professional.

When communicating, emailing, or speaking on the phone to your clinical educator or boss, it is really important that they know you are able to communicate efficiently. Educators are always willing to devote more time to students who are an active participator, both in and outside of the clinic!

2. Take the opportunity. 

I am a big believer in making something out of nothing! Even if you don’t feel that the workplace is where you want to end up, there are always lots of opportunities that come from meeting new people in the industry – and you will quickly learn the things you may not like within the area too.

3. Do your research.

This one may seem simple, but it really is overlooked. Find clinics around your local area, look at their website and scroll through their Instagram if they have one! Find things that spark your interest and find out more about the area. Being dedicated is visible, and educators will definitely be more willing to share their time with you if they can see you are a keen learner.

4. Be proactive!

This one is probably the most important tip! Opportunities don’t often land in your lap –  you will have to send many emails, make many calls and continually reach out. I promise that it will all come back to help you in the long run!

 

Wishing you all the best on this exciting time!

Written by Olivia Suman

Doctorate of Physiotherapy, Macquarie University, Australia

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