A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of meeting Margaret Mullarney. Margaret addressed the 3rd year Physiotherapy students in Trinity College Dublin, talking to us about the importance of clinician-patient interaction from her perspective. She took us through her journey from diagnosis to where she is now.
Often healthcare professionals can become desensitised to people with an illness or disability, and the danger is to think of them only as ‘patients’ or ‘the sick’. Margaret highlighted to us that she was a person with Parkinson’s, as opposed to a ‘patient’ and that this not only affected her, but her family, carers and friends also. This is an important message for us students embarking on our careers as health care professionals to remember. Our training is highly skilled in manual techniques and therapies, which are important, however Margaret highlighted that there is more to people with Parkinson’s than the physical presentation. She explained to us that clinicians can have a profound effect on quality of life through understanding the needs of people with PD and educating them. This will no doubt make us better clinicians.
After hearing Margaret’s story it was impossible not to be inspired and empowered to do something as Physiotherapy students. We, the Physiotherapy students of TCD have since held a waffle morning, bake sale, and on Saturday 7th December, 21 of us are partaking in the Jingle Bells 5k fun run in the Phoenix Park. We are doing this to raise awareness and funding in aid of the Move4Parkinson’s foundation. We are delighted to have one of M4P’s members, Andrew Curran partaking in the run with us also.
Once qualified, we will be working with people with Parkinson’s on a regular basis, so we have a responsibility to ensure they achieve optimal quality of life. This emphasises how the Physiotherapy/M4P partnership with be mutually beneficial going forward.
About the Authors:
Ellevyn Irwin & David O’ReganEllevyn is a 3rd year Physiotherapy student in Trinity College Dublin. She has represented Ireland at basketball, Donegal at GAA and is a highly regarded free-style skier. She is passionate about the promotion of exercise and their health benefits and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. Ellevyn came up with the idea of fund raising for Move4Parkinson’s and is delighted to be associated with them.
Ellevyn’s fundraiser page can be found here
David is a mature Physiotherapy student. He believes strongly in the role of Physiotherapy and quality of life. David has completed several marathons, triathlons and competes regularly in 5km and 10km races. He also has a sports massage and personal trainer qualification. David was more than happy to get involved with Move4Parkinson’s and was an integral part to the fundraising and awareness campaign.
David’s fundraiser page can be found here