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Amy's new role at Cotswold Dog Spa

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19 October 2020

A degree that matters can help unlock many avenues, including accessing career paths that excite and inspire. Amy Charnock, who studied BSc (Hons) Veterinary Physiotherapy from 2016 and graduated this year, has found through her degree and placement year a career direction that will help many animals along the way.

“I was inspired to study veterinary physiotherapy as I wanted to work as part of a multidisciplinary team, improving the welfare of animals,” Amy explained. “I chose Harper because of the year in industry. It gave me the opportunity to learn on the job and to gain experience in the industry before graduation.”

The Harper placement year is favoured by many students as a great opportunity to explore different industries and get a feel for the work they might like to pursue after graduation. Amy commented: “I loved the experience that my placement year gave me and it really confirmed to me areas in the industry that I am passionate about.

“I worked at the RVC for my first six months and loved it! I was able to see a variety of orthopaedic and neurological cases and also gained insight into treating both inpatients and outpatients.

“For my second placement, I worked at Radnage House Stables where I gained experience with a variety of different horses and was able to observe the treatment of both rehabilitation cases and also maintenance treatment for competition horses.”

Coupling the theory from the earlier years of her degree and the on site working experience from her placement year, Amy found her final year most rewarding. She said: “Working in clinics in my final year was definitely a highlight! It was really good to apply what I had learnt in my first and second year and also put into practice skills that I had seen during my placement year.”

Studying brings with it some challenges. Amy commented: “The course covers a lot of information and is very in depth and I found trying to learn and understand everything quite challenging at times. To help me overcome this, I often tried to focus on one area at a time rather than try and learn everything at once.

“I really enjoyed the course, it was definitely challenging at times, but I was given as much support as I needed to get through it.”

For others considering this course pathway, Amy shared her advice: “My advice would be to learn your anatomy! Once you have a good understanding of this, it really helps everything else fall into place.”

Having successfully graduated, Amy has set out into her working life. She said: “I am now working at Cotswold Dog Spa and loving it! It has been strange trying to shift my mindset from student to practitioner, but I am learning how the centre works and have just started running my own clinics.

“A typical day involves treating a variety of dogs - and the odd cat! - using both land and water-based treatments. Time between appointments is usually spent writing up my clinical notes for patients that I have seen.

“In the future I would like to move into working in referral hospitals, as through my placement I found that my passion lies in the treatment of inpatients and the rehabilitation of neurological cases. I really want to pursue this.”

Should you be interested in finding out more about veterinary physiotherapy, or our other animal health related courses, join us at our Virtual Open Day on November 14. There you can explore the courses, take a tour around our rural campus, and get a feel for student life. Sign up now to secure your place!

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