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Wednesday 13 March 2019 9:52pm

School of Physiotherapy Dean Professor Leigh Hale (right) presents a second-year student with his clinical name badge during a special ceremony at the Gowland Lecture Theatre last week. Photos: Sharron Bennett.

Second-year School of Physiotherapy students received their clinical name badge in a special ceremony at the Gowland Lecture Theatre last Friday – a new tradition created to highlight the additional professional responsibilities they will face as they enter the clinical education phase of their studies.

From the beginning of their second year, Otago Physiotherapy students begin to work, under supervision, in the clinical environment seeing patients.

This year's second-year intake comprises 135 students – including 15 Māori, 11 international, and four Pacific.

The Dean of the School Professor Leigh Hale spoke at Friday's ceremony, telling the students they are preparing to enter a valued profession.

She reminded them that they are privileged to be working with patients, and with that comes added responsibilities.

She said that as future healthcare professionals there is the expectation of professional behaviours in all aspects of their lives.

School of Physiotherapy alumnus and All Black's physiotherapist Peter Gallagher speaks at the ceremony.

School of Physiotherapy alumnus, All Black's physiotherapist Peter Gallagher also spoke at the ceremony, telling the students that while he has built his career working with elite rugby teams he began by working with young people with Muscular Dystrophy and this experience helped shaped him as both a physiotherapist and a person.

He also emphasised the importance of not just working hard to become physiotherapists but also giving back to their communities. Despite his commitments and travel Mr Gallagher still volunteers his time to teach laboratories and classes in the School of Physiotherapy.

As well as receiving their badges, Friday's ceremony also saw the students recite their pledge to respect the Code of Practice for Fitness to Practise:

“I declare that as a student enrolled on the Bachelor of Physiotherapy programme I agree to study within the framework of the Code of Practice for Fitness to Practise.”

Established in 1913, the School of Physiotherapy is the oldest physiotherapy programme in New Zealand and one of the oldest in the world.

Second-year students Anna Henderson (left) and Liv Hutton proudly display their new badges.

Event organiser Professor John Sullivan told the Otago Bulletin Board that launching this new tradition in the University's 150th year was wonderful.

“This is a great time to celebrate by doing something which also celebrates the School's longevity and leadership in physiotherapy education, both nationally and internationally.”

He says the students seemed to appreciate the significance of the ceremony.

“It marks an important milestone in their education. The Clinical Badge indicates their status and professional responsibilities in interacting with patients in the clinical environment.”

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