Podiatry students exchange Huddersfield for Madrid on practice pl

Podiatry students on exchange placement in Madrid The students on a cultural visit to Toledo; L-R: Jonathan Campey, Francesca Sproats, Francis O’Rourke and Leah Brooks

Fri, 27 Jul 2012 11:44:00 BST

Four students from the Division of Podiatry and Clinical Sciences encountered a steep learning curve on a practice exchange to the Universidad Europea de Madrid in March this year.

Lasting twelve weeks under the ERASMUS scheme, the exchange included an extensive clinical placement in the San Carlos Hospital and Polyclinic in Central Madrid during which the students undertook advanced practice courses alongside their Spanish counterparts. They also had the opportunity to lead some clinical sessions at the main Polyclinic and attended a lecture programme, obtaining credits towards their degree.

Although some of the programme was delivered in English, the majority of the learning work was conducted in Spanish which presented an additional challenge for the students. To help them build confidence in conversing with colleagues and patients, the students undertook an intensive eight week Spanish language course with Sr. Jose Arauz Canton prior to the exchange.

During their time in Madrid, the students were given the opportunity to experience methods of treatment not practiced in the UK, comparing the scope of practice of podiatrists in each country. Through their placement experience they were also able to gain an understanding of the different uses of research as an evidence base for clinical practice and an appreciation for different cultural perspectives, reflected in their placement portfolios.

Senior Lecturer Andrew Bridgen visited the students during their exchange placement and whilst there delivered his lecture on ‘evidence based practice’ as part of a faculty exchange programme.

Future students and staff will also be given the opportunity to undertake this fantastic experience as the exchange between the two universities is now firmly established, with faculty colleague Liza Dunkley due to visit Madrid in May 2013. It is hoped that the exchange relationship will lead to a mutual appreciation of the profession within the respective countries and will lead to joint research collaborations between the universities.

The University is grateful to Canonbury Products and Activa UK for their generous donations to support the students’ sponsorship.

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