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How Leeds Beckett helped me become a therapy assistant practitioner with the NHS

Alumni spotlight | Megan Parker

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Megan Parker

Hello! I’m Megan and I studied BSc (Hons) Sports & Exercise Therapy at Leeds Beckett University from 2016-2019. I have always had a keen interest in sport and physical activity; therefore, it was a no-brainer when deciding which degree I wanted to study. BSc (Hons) Sports and Exercise Therapy at Leeds Beckett was a perfect fit.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you've been doing since you graduated

Shortly after graduating in July 2019, I flew out to Toronto, Canada as the recipient of the Society of Sports Therapists (SST) travelling scholarship to York University. I spent 5 weeks based at the university working alongside the Athletic Therapy staff and student cohort to consult and treat the universities varsity athletes. I worked as an integral part of the multidisciplinary team for the American Football team, which consisted of over 100 student athletes to form the squad. Upon returning to my home city of Sheffield following the scholarship, I secured work within a Sports Therapy clinic where I was based for just under 2 years. Alongside this role, I also worked with the Sheffield United Training Academy providing pitch side assistance to both the youth and foundation phase training sessions and fixtures. In September 2020, I decided to return to Leeds Beckett to begin studying the MSc Sports and Exercise Medicine degree part-time. Alongside completing my masters degree, I have recently accepted a role as a Therapy Assistant Practitioner as part of a Long Covid Service within the NHS.

What have been the highlights and challenges of your career so far?

The scope of practice of a Sports & Exercise Therapist is very broad, and the BSc degree provided such a range and depth of knowledge, which can be applied to a magnitude of careers. Therefore, an initial challenge of mine following graduation, was deciding which avenue to venture down. However, being spoilt for choice is not necessarily a negative thing. A varied scope allows for an influx of experience throughout your career and provides opportunity for change.

A definite highlight of my career was having the opportunity to form a client base within private practice which allowed me to build on my skill-set gained at university and encouraged continued professional development. Having connections with a professional football club also allowed me to attend courses ran by the FA, providing me with a qualification and further knowledge into pitch-side trauma assistance.

How has your experience studying at Leeds beckett influenced you and your career?

Studying at Leeds Beckett left me feeling confident in my abilities when entering employment. The BSc (Hons) Sports and Exercise Therapy degree provided me with such a breadth of knowledge, which was delivered by a set of lecturers who all came from heavily experienced backgrounds themselves, and who all held a strong passion about Sports and Exercise Therapy. If it wasn’t for their encouragement, I would not have applied for the SST Scholarship and would have missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime in Canada.

What advice would you give someone thinking about studying this course?

If you have a keen interest in working with people, whether that be the general public or elite athletes, then this course is for you. The modules are diverse and provide you with a sound knowledge throughout your three years of study, leaving you with confidence in your skill-set to head into the working world as a graduate Sports and Exercise Therapist. One thing that contributes to the aforementioned, is the opportunity to gain placement hours. The course has fantastic connections with clubs such as Leeds Rhinos, Bradford City and Sheffield United, where you can start to get a gist about potential areas you may want to enter post-graduation. Leeds Beckett is a brilliant university, with great facilities across both the City and Headingley campuses. The BSc (Hons) Sports and Exercise Therapy course was taught across both campuses, meaning that we received the best of which both had to offer. We had the opportunity to learn within the physiology and biomechanics laboratories in addition to the clinical suites and on-campus clinic.

What's next for you?

I am studying the MSc Sports and Exercise Medicine degree part-time, so the next milestone for myself will be completing this in 2022. In addition, I am starting a new role within the NHS as part of the Long Covid Service in Leeds, which will be extremely insightful. We are all aware that COVID-19 has had a significant impact since the initial outbreak in 2020 and we are still learning a great deal about what influence the virus has long-term. Therefore, it will be a fantastic opportunity to be a part of the vast multidisciplinary team that are implementing services to those suffering from the side effects of the virus within the community, where evidence-based, prescribed rehabilitation and education can be made readily available for those who require it. This will be another setting where I can apply my scope as a graduate Sports and Exercise Therapist.

What will your story be?

In Clearing
Students in a lab working with a man on a bike

Megan Parker

Hello! I’m Megan and I studied BSc (Hons) Sports & Exercise Therapy at Leeds Beckett University from 2016-2019. I have always had a keen interest in sport and physical activity; therefore, it was a no-brainer when deciding which degree I wanted to study. BSc (Hons) Sports and Exercise Therapy at Leeds Beckett was a perfect fit.

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