With the word ‘Physiology’, the first thought that ran through my mind were ‘Hmm, biology? What makes it different from anatomy then?’ Physiology is the study of the living system’s functions. It is taught in NYP PT in 3 different modules; Human Physiology 1A, Human Physiology 1B and Neurophysiology, each a semester apart. Physiology 1A is usually taught in semester 1 in the first year, and introduces students to different aspects of physiology such as biochemistry, and body systems like the endocrine system and immune system. For those who did not take biology as an A level subject, fret not, as there will be a few lectures dedicated to catching you up on the basics of physiology starting with the cell, components of the cell and fundamentals like that. Human Physiology 1B on the other hand, focuses more on neurology as it serves to prepare the students for neurorehabilitation.
By the end of first year you will know what every single one of these parts are and their corresponding functions. Really.
You would get the chance to practice doing an ECG on your classmates. With their expressed permissions, of course.
Yes, you will be learning this.
It was a struggle to me getting through the lectures without having a question mark at the back of my head as there was so much information to be absorbed. However, there’s always the trusted recommended textbooks that students carry around to refer to. The practical sessions allow the students to have hands-on practice with devices for assessments such as the electrocardiogragram (ECG) and spirometry. Did you know that singing allows a person to enlarge his/her total lung capacity and not swimming?
Physiology is unlike anatomy; every system is interrelated to each other so you can’t leave a particular system aside. The challenge here is that the amount of things you have to learn can be quite overwhelming and as mentioned earlier, everything you learn is built upon what you previously learnt. Hence, consistency is especially important in this module. Constant revision and quizzing each other would help a lot.
The module, albeit a slight torture, makes me appreciate the human body more. You may ask, shouldn’t physiotherapists only focus on muscles and bones? This is an outright misconception that should have been debunked! It is important for a physiotherapist to internalize the information before assessing a patient. This allows for proper evaluation and planning of treatment. So, do learn to love physiology as you will be referring to it pretty often.
Human anatomy is the study of the structure of the human body. As a Year 1 physiotherapy student, anatomy is a really important module which you should pay attention to.
For semester one, you will usually start with the upper limb. Anatomy is quite important as it forms the foundation for other modules such as kinesiology. This module is challenging and sometimes can get a little bit painful and confusing. But with knowledgeable and approachable lecturers, you would certainly find yourself enjoying learning anatomy.
Human anatomy module is divided into theory (in the form of lectures) and practical classes. It is one of the most difficult classes that require endurance. To help you get through human anatomy classes, I am going to share some tips and tricks with you guys.
How I survive Human Anatomy?
1) Learn by watching videos.
Videos are definitely one of the best ways to study anatomy, especially for those visual and audio learners. It can get a little tiring and boring just to memorise and understand things from only the books, hence I would suggest that you watch a short video on the human bones/muscles to help you visualise better before you start looking at the books.
Here’s a video of the upper limb bones:
If you have time, it’s always good to prepare for practicals by watching these videos so that you can maximise your learning during practicals. This is because if you want to learn,memorise and understand everything only during the 3 hours of practical each week, it’s going to be really difficult and challenging.
Our anatomy lecturer always uses videos to help us to visualise things better as well as to “wake us up” if we get a little bit too sleepy. (Disclaimer: your anatomy lecturer might not be the same one as ours.) Sometimes, during lectures, you will see your classmates covering their eyes with their hands or anatomy notes due to the occasional gory nature of the videos and pictures.
Here is one of the videos that we watched during anatomy lectures.
Carpal tunnel Release:
2) Be Consistent.
The amount of content that we have to know for anatomy is going to be overwhelming. Hence, I would like to emphasise on the need to be consistent with your work. If you can, you should definitely cultivate a habit of going through the lectures notes again at the end of the day to refresh your memory on the new knowledge that you have learnt for the day.
Sometimes, your anatomy lecturer may also prepare some quizzes weekly with chocolates as the prizes. This is a good time for you to test your own knowledge. So, be prepared for the quiz! You will be rewarded for your hardwork at the end of the semester!
3) Be a Human Anatomy teacher
The easiest way to learn and to reinforce the knowledge that you have would be to teach either yourself or your peers. In practicals, the tutor will usually first go through all the structures in the human bones and cadavers, and then leave the class to further discuss or process the information using the notes, bones, cadavers, and human models by ourselves.
This is the best time to take turns and be a teacher! You can take the bone or human model and present it to your classmates. Teach them all the things that you all have to know about the particular specimen. Even if you miss out a point, your classmates will always be there to add on to the point. And if there is any confusion, you should always consult the tutor together.
The first time when you see a cadaver might make you lose your appetite for the next meal and sometimes your hair (especially for the girls) might smell of the chemicals used to preserve the cadaver after the 3 hours of practicals. So, remember to bring your perfume or deodorant for practical.
For me, Anatomy is my favourite module that I would miss after year 1. I hope you guys will enjoy anatomy class like I do.
Someone once told me this;
“You have to be good at whatever you are learning because it is directly related to someone’s health.”
Congratulations on completing your A levels! If you are considering physiotherapy as a lifelong career and would like to know more on what life as a physiotherapy student in Singapore entails, you’ve come to the right place. This marks the start of a series of posts on our experiences in NYP physiotherapy with heavy emphasis on the first year, primarily because the 5th SPSC only comprises of Year 1s. It’s written from our individual perspectives as aspiring physiotherapists and represent our own personal views. Please do not reproduce or replicate any part of these posts without express written permission of the 5th SPSC. Hope all you aspiring physiotherapists find the posts helpful and illuminating. Enjoy!
Hello people :),
What are the contents that are included in our curriculum to cultivate the awesome future physiotherapists in NYP?
In NYP, we learn primarily via lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. It’s not too different from JC, but we definitely have less tutorials and much more practicals. Unlike our university counterparts, our timetables are fixed and the modules are fixed for us except for this little thing called general studies module. But you will know more about it when you’re here. (;
In Year 1, the focus is to get ourselves oriented with the fundamentals of physiotherapy so the modules cover the basics such as human anatomy, human physiology, human biomechanics (yes.. Physics), foundations in physiotherapy, psychology and sociology. In Year 2, also informally known as the hectic year, things start to get busier, and our curriculum would encompass learning physiotherapy in depth by learning about the different specialties such as cardiopulmonary physiotherapy, neuroscience physiotherapy, musculoskeletal physiotherapy. In addition, we also take other modules that complement and enhance our learning such as research methods, neurophysiology, communication and medical sociology, developmental and neuropsychology and exercise prescription.
We will be expected to be competent enough in our clinical skills as we start to see patients under close supervision. By Year 3, there will be even more specialised modules such as pediatric physiotherapy, physiotherapy in gerontology, exercise prescription and the continuation of cardiopulmonary, musculoskeletal and neuroscience physiotherapy. Most notably, we would be required to work on our final year project that spans a year long while juggling clinical attachments during the semestral period. I hope I’m not scaring away any potential physiotherapist! This is to give you a clear overview of what life would be like for you once you make your commitment to be a part of the physiotherapy community.
Clinical attachments are held during the semestral period as well as the vacation period. During the course of the 3 years, we would be required to fulfill a minimum of 1000 hours of clinical attachment. (Woah!) Doesn’t that sound overwhelming? If you do the maths, it is actually a minimum of 125 days and approximately 25-26 weeks. In Year 1, we would undergo a week of clinical attachments to have a glimpse of a typical week in the hospital for a physiotherapist. Subsequently, from Year 2 to Year 3, it will increase to approximately 3-5 weeks per clinical attachment whereby you will have first-hand interaction with the patients. Not to worry, during each clinical attachment, you will be under the supervision of a qualified and experienced clinician. Therefore, be sure to make full use of every clinical attachment to tap on the experiences of the clinicians and to hone your practical skills.
By the end of the 3 years in NYP, I believe that each and every individual will be empowered with the knowledge of the various assessment and rehabilitation techniques used for different conditions in the different clinical settings. For example, we learn how to handle patients with various physical impairments through the use of therapeutic exercises and equipment to manage pain and improve their functional abilities. Modules such as psychology and sociology allows us to have a holistic understanding from the perspective of the patients in order to best prescribe the most suitable treatment that is more personalised.
What does a typical day look like?
Sometimes we start off the day as early as 8am in the morning, and if you are lucky enough, there will be a few days whereby school starts in the afternoon around 12pm for you. The buzzing sound of conversations among students comes to an end when the lecturer walks in. From a million bees, we turn into quiet little angels listening attentively to the increasingly high amounts of information shoved at us daily. Many a times, we walk out of these lecture halls wondering, “Hey! What just happened?”. But no worries, practical lessons always come in handy to clear all our doubts and truthfully speaking, that’s my most favorite time of the day the hands-on session. Typically that’s a brief summary of what happens in a day.
Lastly, let me end off with this phrase that spurs me on everyday.
“Although this journey is seemingly stressful and tiresome at times, but the satisfaction of seeing patients recover their functional ability, be free from pain is invaluable and worthy of every single effort out in.”
by Tuesday, 21 January 2014
On 6th November 2013, the School of Health Sciences (SHS) club organized the exciting Creativity, Innovation and Enterprising(CIE) day. Students from all across SHS such as nursing, dentistry, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and social work participated to make CIE day a successful and fun-filled one.
Many people, including those outside of SHS, came down to support the event. Students could choose to patronise the booths or just sit down at the atrium to enjoy the various performances.
There were several opportunities to participate in CIE day itself, ranging from submitting innovative ideas pertaining to silver industries & ageing issues online, performing in Talent Time, participating in Innovation Challenge where participants were given a problem and set time to present it to booths.
What sets this day apart from all the other seemingly similar set up was that participants had to submit proposals and only the most innovative of ideas were accepted. Hence, it was no wonder that the variety the booths offered were markedly different from the kind that we were accustomed to seeing. The students were given financial support by the organisers to set up the booths.
Our very own physiotherapy students did very well, making us proud by clinching first place in the booth category, talentime and online submission of ideas.
PT1301 impressed teachers and students alike with their cleverly designed haunted house coupled with a polaroid photobooth-complete with ghosts to pose with- to remember the experience by. Their haunted house was actually a haunted hospital, and in light of the fact that the participating audience were from SHS, visitors had to answer anatomy and other medical related questions while going through the haunted hospital in a bid to save the patient.
They put in a commendable effort, and started their preparation early the day before, staying back after school to give one of our PT labs a complete makeover. They also welcomed feedback and continuously refined their haunted hospital to make it better and scarier. It was so overwhelmingly popular that they barely had time to eat lunch, and even after the closing ceremony, there were last minute requests to visit the much talked about haunted house. They also supplemented their efforts with heavily made up ‘ghosts’ to publicise their haunted house which undoubtedly contributed to their huge draw. PT1301′s haunted hospital was clearly a crowd favourite and their win was very much deserved.
A group of 5 talented girls from PT1303 emerged winners of the Talent Time component of CIE day. They put up a crowd-pleasing performance called ‘Fusion of Friendship’ which wowed the judges with their eclectic mix of singing, dancing, and wushu. Supporters made up 30% of the scoring criteria and their fans did not disappoint.
Some of the girls’ classmates came prepared with homemade boards and one of them even carried the board and ran across the stage to garner support. This is what Xin Le, class representative of PT1303 and one of the performers had to say about performing Fusion of Friendship, “Super scary! But it was exciting and I felt thankful because even though, we are a small PT group, we got a lot of support from lecturers, classmates and other SHS groups on the ground to cheer and support us.”
Another one of the performers had this to add on, “I felt very nervous to perform onstage with the other 4 because (the performances) before us got alot of technical problems. Like we are playing instruments and singing live, (so we were) scared of alot of echoing in the atrium. But it’s a very different and cool experience, (because) when else can you see guitarist, singer, pianist, dancer, and wushu come together? It’s like celebrating our different talents and like not giving up. We all have things which we are good at and not so good at.” Wise words, indeed.
It was a pleasing sight to see students from the different PT classes coming down to support the participants. It was especially heartwarming to see our normally serious and extremely busy lecturers taking time out of their day to support the booths and performances. All in all, it was a memorable day for everyone to enjoy the day off and essentially bond with their batchmates and school mates. Kudos to the SHS club for spearheading such a large scale event such as CIE day!
For more pictures of CIE day, visit here.