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The University of Southampton
Health SciencesPostgraduate study

Lauren Denning MSc Health Sciences – Amputation & Prosthetic Rehabilitation, 2018

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Hi, I'm Lauren Denning and I studied amputation and prosthetic rehabilitation at the University of Southampton.

I particularly enjoyed the Contemporary Issues in Limb Loss module as I was able to explore different technology used within prosthetic rehabilitation including the use of gaming and myoelectric prostheses.

What made you choose Southampton for your postgraduate study?

I initially chose to come to the University of Southampton for my undergraduate study (BSc Physiotherapy) as it has a very good reputation for physiotherapy and I wanted to gain some independence by moving a fair distance away from home. It seemed logical to continue in Southampton, especially when they offered the exact course I wanted.

What is your particular area of interest/research within amputation and prosthetic rehabilitation?

I am so new to the area I do not have a specific area I am most interested in, just a passion and interest in working with individuals with limb loss. It is a fast-developing area given the rise in vascular disease and military conflict. The advances in this field are likely to continue and I would love to be a part of that. I have a keen interest in research and would love to do more in the future with individuals with limb loss.

Are there any particular modules you found especially useful/interesting?

I particularly enjoyed the Contemporary Issues in Limb Loss module as I was able to explore, amongst other aspects, different technology used within prosthetic rehabilitation including the use of gaming and myoelectric prostheses. I also valued the optional diabetes module that I chose, with the increase in prevalence of this disease, I think this will benefit me greatly throughout my career.

What have you enjoyed most about your masters level studies?

I was able to meet and study alongside highly specialist and experienced practitioners, together with the taught material I was surrounded by a wealth of knowledge that meant my learning experience was enhanced beyond what I could have imagined. It often felt like I was part of a multidisciplinary team. I loved the practical/decision-making scenarios we were given to discuss. I’m very interested in research and this was strengthened during my masters. I was able to critique research to a high level, navigate ethical applications and complete qualitative research that is now being pushed to publication, which is so exciting. I even organised an invaluable placement at University Hospital Southampton, which came about from the links with practitioners on the course.

You achieved a first class honours in your undergraduate studies with us, what are you most proud of looking back now?

I had a very tough time in my personal life throughout my undergraduate studies, yet managed to push through and achieve a first, even receiving a Dean’s list award during this time. I’m proud of the grit and determination I had to do something for myself and achieve a life goal of becoming a qualified physiotherapist, from a top university.

What advice would you give to a student starting their postgraduate study at Southampton?

The main thing I would say is to hit the ground running, doing as much as you can at the beginning helps relieve pressures as you move through the year, it also gives you a broader understanding and grasp on the course. Join a club or society, it’s the best thing I have done whilst at university, it allowed me to make so many new friends quickly and allows me to de-stress from my postgraduate degree.

What advice would you give to current students looking to start a career in your sector?

Working out which area they want to work in is a great place to start, finding something that I’m passionate about has helped me to gain skills and drive I feel will give me the greatest chance of career success. Having interests outside of studying has made me a more rounded person, throwing myself into cheerleading and becoming part of the committee, gave me responsibility and so many other attributes favourable to the practice environment, it also gives you something interesting and unique to talk about in interviews.

What are you plans for the future?

I am currently searching for a hospital-based Band 5 physiotherapy rotational job and I have a few interviews lined up in the very near future. I am choosing these rotations to give myself more experience in hospitals and to broaden my overall physiotherapy knowledge. My ultimate goal is to specialise in individuals with limb loss, but feel it’s important to gain more holistic experience before this.


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