Interview with international postgraduate graduate: Hetvi Kara, MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration)

By Press Office

Hetvi Kara, 26, fromDar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, East Africa, will graduate with an MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration) in 2017 after studying at QMU full time over two years.

Hetvi applied to study at QMU after completing a BSc (Hons) Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. Kinesiology is the study of the mechanics of body movements.

Why did you choose to study physiotherapy?

I was raised in Tanzania, which is an underdeveloped country and lacking medical infrastructure, so I was keen to make a positive contribution to society in my own capacity. From a very young age I had also decided to pursue a career in the health sciences.

During my undergraduate degree, I started working as a physiotherapy assistant in a private clinic and a career in physiotherapy sparked my interest.

The variety of specialisms, the flexibility of working hours in the NHS or private clinics and the option to travel the world also really appeal me about working in physiotherapy.

Why did you choose to study MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration) at QMU?

Having spent six years studying in Canada, it was time to explore another part of the world. I started searching for physiotherapy programmes in the USA and Australia and by chance stumbled upon the programmes available in the UK.

When looking for a course, I wanted something that would give me a strong foundation of knowledge across the core specialties within physiotherapy. I was also looking for hands on placement experience to enable me to become confident with core skills and practice in any part of the world.

Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh and Scotland?

Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited. It is a city enriched with heritage and people are so warm. Having placements far and wide, across Perth to Inverness, my experiences in different cities and hospitals all around this remarkable country have molded me into the therapist I am today.

How did you find the workload on the course?

Teaching was divided into class time and self-directed learning, but with an emphasis on self-directed learning. The degree is fast paced with a heavy workload, so prioritising work was the key to success.

I was lucky to have an extremely supportive Personal Academic Tutor at QMU, as well as getting support from my peers.

In the second year of my degree, I was able to gain some sports physiotherapy experience by working with an amateur rugby team for one season as its pitch-side first aider.

How do you think your QMU degree has equipped you with the skills and knowledge to develop your career?

My experience at QMU has given me the basic foundation for a career in physiotherapy and also given me the exposure to educational resources that will enable me to continue my professional development.

What top tips would you give prospective postgraduate students based on your own personal experience?

  • Prioritise self-directed learning by identifying essential learning material
  • Set personal goals for each placement
  • Discuss expectations with educators during placement

Is there anything that you might have done differently when studying at QMU?

Studying during placement was very challenging because I found that I got very tired after a day’s work. To do things differently, I would start studying for placements two-three weeks in advance rather than trying to study during placement to reduce stress levels and the anxiety of not managing expectations of clinical educators.

How is your career progressing since graduating from QMU?

As an international student, I had limited time on my student visa after completing my degree at QMU. I was keen to start my career in the NHS, so I started applying for jobs in teaching hospitals around the UK straight away through the NHS recruitment website.

As soon as knew I had successfully completed my degree at QMU, I applied for my Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration.

I’m now employed as a full time permanent Band 5 physiotherapist at the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust in England. It is a teaching hospital and I feel very supported by the entire physiotherapy team and staff, including nurses, doctors and consultants. It has made my transition from university into the world of work very smooth.

MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration)

For more information on MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration) at QMU.

More information for international students.

Notes to Editor

For further media information contact Lynne Russell, Marketing Manager, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E:  T: 0131 474 0000, M: 07711 011239 and Jon Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: T: 0131 474 0000.

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