New Physiotherapy team are moving forward

Date 22.10.2020

Taking their profession down new and exciting avenues for students and the people they will go on to care for is the order of the day for one of University of Northampton’s newest health degrees.

UON’s first ever Physiotherapy students will start their degrees in January 2021, but the lecturing team have been busy ensuring everything is ready for them.

Aside from developing teaching and learning materials from scratch, Senior Lecturer Rachel Love has also been overseeing the planning and construction of a new physiotherapy practical teaching space at Waterside campus.

The room will be a dedicated area where students can develop their critical thinking and an evidence-based approach and practical application of the theory, assessment and interventions that underpin physiotherapy.

Rachel has just welcomed two new members of staff to her lecturing team. All three represent the core specialities of the profession and have diverse clinical backgrounds, meaning UON physiotherapy students will receive a unique and robust learning experience:

Marian Hepburn-Barnes, Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy (pictured on the left).

Marian qualified in 2009 and went on to lecture at the University of Hertfordshire and complete her master’s education at University College London in 2016 before working in the community for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation NHS Trust in 2019.

About why she chose to join the University of Northampton, she said: “I like the idea of empowering the next generation of NHS professionals through lecturing. I want to look after grassroots physios; they might look after me one day.

“I’m a cardiorespiratory specialist and bring a lot of acute care enthusiasm. This type of physiotherapy care can yield immediate results as well as provide experience in long term condition management.

“A holistic, interprofessional education approach to teaching is incorporated into the modules here at UON. This exposes students to a spectrum of physiotherapy teaching and clinical experience, equipping them with the skills to transfer and utilise in a variety of multidisciplinary clinical areas.

“Physiotherapists are the corner stone of health promotion within the NHS and as a programme we have a key responsibility in equipping our students to empower their future patients with the skills to manage their own health. Due to the current health climate health promotion has dwindled, it is therefore exciting to know that our Physiotherapy programme at UON has ensured this is a key theme across its modules.”

Dr Paulina Kloskowska, Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy (pictured in the middle).

Paulina also qualified in 2009, completing her degrees in Poland before completing her PhD in 2015 at Queen Mary University in London where she investigated the signatures of biomechanical groin pain in athletes. She then spent two years as a module leader there before moving into research. Throughout this time, she has worked clinically mainly with athletes at every level.

She said: “Physiotherapy as a profession has been experiencing a period of growth for the past 10 years and this is what we as a team will deliver and – naturally – our students will inherit this approach and be able to run with in their careers.

“To continue this growth, physiotherapy needs modern, forward thinking people to bring all aspects of the profession together using evidence to question the professional status quo; we should not hang on to the past, accepted ways of doing thing. We need to take different paths to the ones we have been walking. People who break barriers are what’s needed, and this is what our team will bring. Our course will be quite unique because of this.”

Rachel adds: “As Marian and Paulina outline, the MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration) programme at UON has been designed to be different and contemporary, to prepare our students to be the critical problem-solvers, leaders and evidence-informed workforce of the future. Students will hold the notion of patient-centred care at the heart of everything they do. The Changemaker values of UON and the volunteering opportunities within the programme will contribute to enhancing this quality. We aim to empower our students to in-turn enable them to make strong foot prints into the profession.

“The modules have all been aligned with the Faculty of Health, Education and Society’s Interprofessional Education approach to teaching and learning, meaning an appreciation and experience of working with other professions is part and parcel of the degree. Also, the digital infrastructure and approach to simulation is truly refreshing and will equip our students well for the future and enhance their experience.

“I know I speak for Marian and Paulina when I say that we are all eager to meet our first physiotherapy students very soon.”

Find out more about Physiotherapy at the University of Northampton.