Wednesday January 20, 2021

Neil Osborne and Caroline Elphick

This week we celebrate the launch of our 2020-2025 Access and Participation Plan – which sets out our commitment to ensuring that all young people we work with have equal access to higher education.

As part of this, we share stories about some of the recent staff-student collaborations that have taken place at AECC University College to bring more opportunities to more young people.

In this collaboration between staff and students, Neil Osborne, director of the chiropractic clinic at AECC University College, and Caroline Elphick, student at MChiro last year, wanted to support prospective students who had booked what is currently booked as shadow interns in our on-site chiropractic clinic due to is not possible to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Case study on chiropractic patients

Instead, Neil and Caroline created a 45-minute online session designed to give students an insight into life as a chiropractor. Pupils from grades 12 and 13 from different schools took part in the event. Many of the participants at the time were working on their UCAS applications to study chiropractic.

Neil and Caroline presented attendees with a case study of an imaginary patient, complete with MRI and anatomical images.

Neil explains, “We wanted to educate prospective students about the type of patient scenarios we encounter in our chiropractic clinic on campus. We have taken the example of someone who has symptoms of what is often mistakenly called a “herniated disc”.

“We presented the patient’s case study and explained the symptoms he was experiencing. We asked the students what they mean by the term “herniated disc” and then asked them to do online research about the condition.

“During the session we asked them to examine various elements of the patient’s diagnosis and then come back and tell us what they found. We discussed their findings and explained how chiropractors would approach this scenario.

“We slowly built the case study and the students learned more about the diagnosis and what to do about it. They got to know the human anatomy and the pathology of the “herniated disc”; the way in which it disrupts the nerves of the body. For example, why the imaginary patient presented a weakness in a certain part of his leg.

“We explained that contrary to popular belief, discs don’t really ‘slip’ and it was great to see the students absorb all of this new information. It was great to open up this type of challenge exercise to those students who can’t get on campus. “

Great feedback

Reflecting on the session, Caroline added, “We saw a great interaction from the students that was very encouraging. We were really impressed with how hard they worked to research what we asked them to do. They were very interested and committed.

“We got some really good feedback on the meeting. Participants told us that they felt they had learned a lot and enjoyed the session. That was great to hear!

“Personally, I really enjoy spreading the word and talking to people. When I understand something, I love explaining it and teaching it to other people. I am a technical ambassador for students at AECC University College, which means I work on such sessions and help with our summer school.

“Helping in this way definitely strengthens your knowledge by teaching other people. They are based on material that you know but have not studied in a while. It’s a great refresher. It also helped me with my presentation skills. “

New teaching methods

Neil continues, “I’m a teacher and a clinician, and I always enjoy explaining things and helping people discover things. The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged all teachers to find new ways of working: The way universities and schools offer things has changed massively. There is no turning back from that.

“This type of session can be offered to anyone anywhere in the world, which means that there are so many opportunities to offer similar sessions and to open up this type of learning far and wide.”

Due to the success of the session, Neil and Caroline will have another session during Career Week in March. The event is open to 12th and 13th grade students. You can register your interest here.