Welcome to my blog, I’m Eleanor. This page is to able to track and share my journey into becoming a veterinary physiotherapist. Here I will post reflections about how my learning is going and anything else that is related to my course. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me using the page link above. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
I updated my LinkedIn profile and here is the link below.
I completed a learning style test (VARK) and here are results:
From looking at my VARK scores I am quite surprised how close they are, as I expected to have more of a spike towards visual and kinesthetic. Being dyslexic I knew I would have a lower aural score because I have always struggled to remember spoken words as my brain loses concentration easily. Hence the reason why my reading and writing score is lower, but from past experience, I have found that drawing pictures alongside small amounts of writing is one of the most effective revision techniques.
Personally, I prefer to have a hard copy of my notes, as I find it easier to refer back if I am struggling with a topic. However, in lectures, my notes aren’t always recorded as accurately because I can spend too much time in some cases working out how to spell certain words. I have found recording my lectures a huge asset to me, as I am able to write up my notes up neatly afterwards knowing that they are accurate.
Looking forward, I am going to focus my learning using textbooks with lots of diagrams and pictures alongside videos to back up what I have read (due to my high visual score). When I am in practical sessions I will make sure that I take an active role within the practical in order to use it as a revision tool. Overall I think it’s been a useful method for me to reevaluate my revision technique, to ensure that I am using the most effective method for me.
As its the start of a new academic year, I decided to complete a skills audit to see where I evaluated my skills to be able to compare my results at the end of the year. Here are the results below.
As part of the group presentation, I was set the task of creating a video and packaging for an equine or canine feed. Each group was given a feed at random, where we completed analytical tests to work out the type of feed it was and the group it was targeting. From our results, we were able to work as a group to find out we had a canine weight control feed. This was because the feed was high in fibre and protein leading the dog to feel fuller for longer according to German et al. (2010).
After this stage, we prepared the information we needed to include in the video. To do this we divided up each of the food groups to each member and then shared the information next time we met. We kept it together by using Google Drive, as this helped with organising the information as proven by Dabbagh and Kitsantas (2012).
Completing the task as a group ensured that not only did we learn more about canine obesity-related feeds, but social skills as well. It is known to “sharpen” communication skills, making it easier when we presented the video and answering the questions given to us. This was found out by Petress (2004).
If I had to repeat this or complete a task similar in the future, I don’t think there would be much that I could adapt. Overall, as a group, we worked very efficiently and managed to get it finished well within the time given. Therefore next time, I would ensure that I was able to repeat the management of the task as closely as I could to this one. Not only that, I would ensure I continued to work with people that had the same group work morals as suggested by Johnson and Johnson (1989).
If you are interested in watching my group’s video, please click on the video section on the taskbar. This will take you to a list of videos and the sample video should be near the bottom of the page.
Dabbagh, N. and Kitsantas, A. (2012) ‘Personal Learning Environments, social media, and self-regulated learning: A natural formula for connecting formal and informal learning’. The Internet and Higher Education, 15(1) pp.3-8.
German, A., Holden, S., Bissot, T., Morris, P. and Biourge, V. (2010) ‘A high protein high fibre diet improves weight loss in obese dogs’. The Veterinary Journal, 183(3) pp.294-297.
Johnson, D. and Johnson, R. (1989) ‘Social skills for successful group work’. Educational leadership, pp.29-33.
Petress, K. (2004) ‘The benefits of group study’. [online] Education, 124(4). [Accessed on 3 May 2017] http://go.galegroup.com/ps/anonymous?p=AONE&sw=w&issn=00131172&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CA121765611&sid=googleScholar&linkaccess=fulltext&authCount=1&isAnonymousEntry=true.
Thought out this second semester I have been required to complete a workbook for function anatomy about, palpations, the skeleton, joints, tendons and ligaments, nerves and muscles. At first, I was a little unsure about how to go about them. Partly because I didn’t know how much detail was expected of me due to the questions being fairly open. This became easier as I progress through the different sections because I was able to use it to practise my answering technique as stated by Marcus et al. (2013).
However, I did receive formative feedback, but due to the quick turnaround to submit the next section I wasn’t able to utilise it properly. To combat this, a few friends and I gave our submissions to each other to proofread, this also helped to improve the quality of written work. Allen (2015) also states that peer feedback increases work quality.
Despite this, I was anxious about how well I had completed the different sections. The addition of the moodle quizzes helped with this, as these gave virtually instant feedback. As the longer you wait for feedback, the less optimistic you become according to Shepperd et al. (1996).
In order to complete certain aspects, photos were required, which were difficult to obtain. When completing that section of the workbook, I struggled to be able to find the exact photos I wanted. This was due to several reasons. Therefore, next time I would complete all the written parts so that during the practicals, I would make sure that I took the desired photos. I would also ensure that there was a designated photographer so that all the photos were together. As the use of organisation makes it easier to complete a given task more efficiently according to Barker et al. (1990).
Allen, D. (2015) ‘Personal and procedural factors in peer feedback: A survey study’. Komaba Journal of English Education, 5 p.47.
Barker, J., Rottman, R. and Ng, M. (1990) ‘Organizing out-of-print and replacement acquisitions for effectiveness, efficiency, and the future’. [online] Library Acquisitions: Practice & Theory, 14(2) pp.137-163. [Accessed on 17 April 2017] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0364640890900572.
Marcus, H., Vakharia, V., Kirkman, M., Murphy, M. and Nandi, D. (2013) ‘Practice Makes Perfect? The Role of Simulation-Based Deliberate Practice and Script-Based Mental Rehearsal in the Acquisition and Maintenance of Operative Neurosurgical Skills’. [online] Neurosurgery, 72 pp.A124-A130. [Accessed on 27 April 2017] http://journals.lww.com/neurosurgery/Abstract/2013/01001/Practice_Makes_Perfect__The_Role_of.17.aspx.
Shepperd, J., Ouellette, J. and Fernandez, J. (1996) ‘Abandoning unrealistic optimism: Performance estimates and the temporal proximity of self-relevant feedback.’. [online] Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70(4) pp.844-855. [Accessed on 17 April 2017] http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/psp/70/4/844/.
For the last moodle task, I was required to create a statement about 5 words that describe how I have developed over the last academic year. Here is what I wrote.
Since starting at WUC, I have become more passionate, tenacious, reflective, self-reliant and insightful.
I was given the task to produce an image of a word cloud about the skills required for a graduate. Here is what I created.
Reflections are a method that many people use to improve their ability to complete a certain task. Therapists constantly use reflective methods for this purpose, which enables more Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely (SMART) targets. To create a clear goal-directedness for both patient/owner and me the practitioner (Kreucher et al., 2006).
Writing a reflection after an event, by using the Gibbs Reflective Cycle (Gibbs and Coffey, 2000) enables me to make more of an educated decision on the outcome of an event/events (Baird et al., 1991). Reflecting has also been shown to increase academic ability (Travers et al., 2014). Meaning that I will be able to realise where I have made mistakes. Therefore, I will be able to reflect upon this so I can improve the method I will use next time.
This will be especially useful for me while I am studying at university. By using reflection methods, I am able to find the most effective revision techniques, to ensure that I am able to reach my full potential, especially, as the course progresses. By getting into the habit of reflecting on my experiences now, will make it a lot easier in the future, as it will become an ingrained habit (Wallenbert and Jonsson, 2005).
Baird, J., Fensham, P., Gunstone, R. and White, R. (1991) ‘The importance of reflection in improving science teaching and learning’. [online] Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 28(2) pp.163-182. [Accessed on 15 March 2017] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/tea.3660280207/full.
Gibbs, G. and Coffey, M. (2000) ‘Training to teach in higher education: a research agenda’. Teacher Development, 4(1) pp.31-44.
Kreucher, C., Blatt, D., Hero, A. and Kastella, K. (2006) ‘Adaptive multi-modality sensor scheduling for detection and tracking of smart targets’. [online] Digital Signal Processing, 16(5) pp.546-567. [Accessed on 12 March 2017] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1051200404001204.
Travers, C., Morisano, D. and Locke, E. (2014) ‘Self-reflection, growth goals, and academic outcomes: A qualitative study’. [online] British Journal of Educational Psychology, 85(2) pp.224-241. [Accessed on 17 March 2017] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjep.12059/full.
Wallenbert, I. and Jonsson, H. (2005) ‘Waiting To Get Better: A Dilemma Regarding Habits in Daily Occupations After Stroke’. [online] American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 59(2) pp.218-224. [Accessed on 16 March 2017] http://ajot.aota.org/Article.aspx?articleid=1872083.
Lee’s Animal Rehabilitation is a limited company whose main aim is to provide canine hydrotherapy and physiotherapy sessions along with grooming. However, the company isn’t limited to just this, as Lee Rudge also performs therapy sessions with horses and has been known to give hydrotherapy to cats. The centre is based in Smethwick Birmingham, where he has been practising for 16 years. However, most of his practising years were completed at his previous business, Woof ‘n’ Water which opened in 2000. The reason behind it was to rebrand the business and to allow it to come across as more universal to all animal owners. Some clients may have assumed that the business only deals with canine patients due to using ‘woof’ in the title. Currently, he employs two other people, who also help carry out canine hydrotherapy and grooming.
Having employees was one of the deciding factors in making the company legally limited. Another factor was that there is more personal financial security for this business structure. This means that any debts accrued would not be personally attached to Mr Rudge.
His qualifications include a Post Graduate Certificate in Animal Physiotherapy, which was completed in 2005. However, before this, he gained valuable experience by competing in numerous dog shows. Due to his job role, he is required to get veterinary permission before he treats a client’s animal. All clients are required to ensure that the correct procedures have been carried out beforehand. This involves obtaining signed permission from the veterinary surgeon. To ensure that it is safe to perform hydrotherapy or physiotherapy.
The Veterinary Surgery (Exemptions) Order 2015 is a legislation that is followed by the centre. This is to ensure that no one under the age of 18 is treating an animal and that a qualified person prior to that has examined the animal. This act has been updated from the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 to include treatments such as physiotherapy.
He also has to consider patient confidentiality to conform with the Data Protection Act 1998. As a result of this, He has to ensure he keeps information, for example, patient details for a certain number of years. This also helps to safeguard the business and help if an old client was to return. As the patient’s history is would still be on record making it quicker to find it out because it would only need the missing time updated.
Advertising methods such as leaflets, websites, signage and posters have been the main methods in which have been used to promote the business. Articles have also been published in magazines written by clients about the positive outcome that the centre has had on their animal. However, the website contains the bulk of the information about the centre. For example, case studies, treatments frequently asked questions and referral forms. Along with this, they have created business cards where they are able to record their appointments. Clients are then able to keep all their animal’s therapy appointments in one place. Throughout these adverting techniques, a constant house style of black, white and blues was used. Blue has been shown to have a healing and calming effect in the use of colour therapy, which has been stated by O’Connor (2011). This shows their clients that as a practice they are able to hopefully effectively manage their animal’s condition in a calming manner as shown by Lotz (2016).
Word of mouth is another advertising method used. Also, clients that may have previously lost their animal have been known to book appointments with their new pet. This is due to the fact; the customers were happy with the service they have previously received.
A large bulk of their clientele comes from the surrounding areas of Birmingham and also the outskirts of the city. The commuting distance isn’t too far for clients to travel, especially when many of clients who attend the evening sessions come after they have finished work. Due to the nature of the area, traffic can get extremely busy, (especially in rush hour) as the current premises are situated by the A401 and A457. Clients would need to take this into consideration if they were to commute from further afield. On the other hand, a train station and a bus stop are roughly about a 10-minute walk away. However, this probably wouldn’t be suitable for all patients, as many receive hydrotherapy and physiotherapy treatments for a condition. Resulting in some patients not be able to manage this commuting method.
During the weekdays in the day, a significant percentage of clients are retired, but there are still non-retired clients. Many of these book appointments on their days off to ensure they have plenty of time for the appointment.
Payments will depend on a client’s situation and this will vary greatly, as to whether they choose to go through insurance or pay the centre directly. As it is hugely dependent on the insurance company and what their policy offers. For example, some offer several sessions free per year, whereas others won’t payout for any sessions at all.
At the centre, they sell pet related products from other companies, such as dog food and tags. Purina, one of the foods they sell has a display stand for clients to get more information on pet nutrition while they wait. Customers are able to order these products and are then notified when they become available for collection.
Due to the facilities available, many of the clients’ animals are dogs. This is mainly because the centre receives more canine referrals. He does receive equine clients; however, he has to commute to these as they wouldn’t able to come to the centre. As a result of this, he can’t perform hydrotherapy on these patients but instead focuses on physiotherapy. Occasionally, he has treated cats, but as expected these cases aren’t very common. One of the main reasons is because many people associate cats with not liking water. However, this isn’t always the case. In his experience, cat hydrotherapy in a swimming pool can either be beneficial or not. The cat, could either be fairly relaxed or get too stressed out, causing the stress to outweigh the benefits. Some breeds of cats, on the other hand, have been shown to regularly enjoy swimming, such as the Turkish Van cat, as informed by Turkish Van Cats (n.d.).
This business has been enabled me to gain valuable insight into the running a hydrotherapy centre, what it may involve and what considerations that need to be made.
Lotz, R. (2016) Color Associations as Advertising Strategies: An Analysis of Consumer Attitudes Toward the Healthfulness of Energy Bar Packaging. Honours. Portland State University.
O’Connor, Z. (2011) ‘Colour psychology and colour therapy: Caveat emptor’. [online] Color Research & Application, 36(3) pp.229-234. [Accessed on 14 March 2017] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/col.20597/full.
The Data Protection Act, 1998 Available at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/contents (Accessed on: 14 April 2017)
The Veterinary Surgeons Act, 1966 C.36. Available at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1966/36 (Accessed on: 14 March 2017)
The Veterinary Surgery (Exemptions) Order, 2015. Available at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/772/contents (Accessed: 14 March 2017) (Accessed on: 14 March 2017)
Turkish Van Cats. (n.d.) Petmd. [Online] [Accessed on 15 March 2017] http://www.petmd.com/cat/breeds/c_ct_turkish_van.