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The holistic approach to veterinary physiotherapy with Lily Nye

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7 July 2020

Lily Nye is a BSc (Hons) Veterinary Physiotherapy third year student whose enthusiasm for her subject has seen her work hard to experience a great deal during her placement year. Working at Carnfield Canine Hydrotherapy and Physiotherapy Centre in Derbyshire, she shares what a typical day looks like and why she is looking forward to coming back to Harper to complete her final year studies.

Speaking about working for her placement employer, Lily said: “A typical day for me involves helping to set up the centre ready for a day’s work, meeting and greeting clients, assisting in hydrotherapy and physiotherapy sessions, joining in with consultations, and gaining hands on experience in terms of palpatory and massage skills. We receive a variety of cases, including post surgical cases, hip or elbow dysplasia, ligament or tendon ruptures, neurological conditions, osteoarthritis and fitness and performance enhancement.

“This year has demonstrated the advantages gained from undertaking an equine and canine placement; my knowledge and confidence have grown hugely in terms of understanding the role of the vet physio, working in a clinical setting and working with paraprofessionals and clients.”

Covid-19 put an abrupt stop to Lily’s work at the centre for 10 weeks but, with necessary protection in place, she could head back to work and help more animals. She commented: “Thankfully, the business is now back up and running, although there have been some alterations to how we operate in order to stay safe. This mainly involves having a one in, one out customer policy, maintaining social distancing, wearing facemasks if it is required for us to work closely together, and further heightened biosecurity so lots of disinfecting!

“I’m so happy for the dogs and the clients to be able to return as it is clear to see the major positive impact the treatment here has. I’ve loved my time working for Carnfield and for all the opportunities they have given to me.”

Looking back on her studies so far, Lily reflected on the highlights. She shared: “The best thing about studying vet physio is the holistic thinking involved; we take into account anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, knowledge of injury and disease and many environmental factors in order to carefully formulate a plan to treat the animal. I have found vet physio to be a great challenge for my observational, organisational, problem solving and communication skills.

“Overall, the best thing about vet physio for me is the ability to help improve an animal’s wellbeing and quality of life - whether this is through reducing pain, helping to restore function or improving health, mobility and performance. Not only does this benefit the animal but it also involves the owner and I am passionate about helping both animals and people.”

So why veterinary physiotherapy at Harper? Lily explained: “After looking round the other few universities and colleges that offer the BSc veterinary physiotherapy courses, I decided Harper was definitely the place for me. I felt at home as soon as I set foot on campus, and also felt the inclusion of a placement year and gaining experience in industry was invaluable to begin carving my pathway as a qualified veterinary physiotherapist.

“I have wanted to work with animals as long I can remember – I first became aware of veterinary physiotherapy when I observed physio treatment for a horse I had at the time with lameness; I experienced first hand the huge positive difference physio can make and so I knew I wanted to be a part of this field.”

Speaking about the wider university experience, Lily said: “The best thing about Harper for me is the fact it is so different from other universities. I love the countryside and the outdoors and being at Harper allows me to be in my element, surrounded by other like minded people.

“In terms of the course, we are taught by experienced and knowledgeable specialist staff whilst utilising the fantastic facilities Harper has to offer. This includes the veterinary services centre onsite that has a professional yet friendly feel about it and is the perfect environment to learn and develop technical skills.”

Upon completing her placement year, Lily will return to Harper to complete her final year of studies. Coming to the end of her academic journey, Lily is starting to think about the future of her career in the industry. She said: “In the future I would like to work with both dogs and horses and potentially any other animal that I may cross paths with along the way!

“Ideally I will have a mixture of both employed and self employed work. I plan on starting up my own small business, which I have already formed a baseline for during my small business management module last year. The exciting thing about vet physio is that it is still a very new and developing field so I am keeping my options open and I always welcome new ideas and opportunities.”

Find out more about our veterinary physiotherapy degrees by joining us for our Virtual Open Day, July 22. Alongside our other degrees that matter, explore our campus, facilities and Students Union, seeing how Harper could be the place for you.

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