Undergraduate physiotherapy education in South Africa typically includes a series of clinical practice placements within the public health sector, where students are exposed to real-world working environments that provide opportunities for clinical and practical skills development. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, using this public sector network became severely limited, and alternate approaches had to be sought out. The physiotherapy department at UWC approached several private practices to evaluate their potential to provide alternative clinical practice training. One of these practices was Adriaanse & Associates Registered Physiotherapists. Managing Director, Basil Adriaanse a UWC alumni, welcomes the opportunity to allow students the chance to work and gain practical experience within the Private Physiotherapy sector while using this avenue to foster student growth and relevant assessment of these skills. This agreement has allowed students an early insight into the dynamics of the private medical world and set up potentially beneficial relationships from which students can leverage future work avenues.
The team at Adriaanse & Associates Physiotherapy are a dynamic group and our students are exposed to patients with musculoskeletal complaints of both an acute and sub-acute nature and a wide variety of potential conditions that one would encounter in a community setting, such as individuals having suffered from strokes. They have come alongside the students to assist in mentorship and the critical aspects of gaining confidence and understanding with detailed subjective and functional assessment and the appropriate treatment based on these criteria.
Our clinical facilitator supervises the students every week and provides necessary insights into the assessment and treatment processes. Members of the community are afforded the chance to play a role in this process that holds mutual benefits. Relationships like these serve to bolster our offering as a tertiary institution of excellent standing within our communities. Seeing former students rise through the levels of professionalism and then pursuing avenues of community medical assistance through their business acumen brings a sense of pride. Many of our students only receive the opportunity to be exposed to Private Practice on this level following their graduation and completion of their compulsory community service year. Adriaanse & Associates Physiotherapy has not only given back to their community and alma mater but has afforded the students a unique experience within the world of Private Physiotherapy Practice.