Hi there, my name is Daniel O’Connor, and I’m currently a third-year Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) student at CQUniversity Bundaberg.
I graduated year 12 in 2005 in a small regional town in Victoria called Maffra. Unsure of what I wanted to do following high school, I worked at a fast-food outlet for some years.
I then chose to study Remedial Massage Therapy a few years later and got a job in a local Chiropractic clinic. I enjoyed helping people manage their pain and achieve their goals of returning to the previous function following an injury. As a massage therapist, I felt there was room to expand my skills and knowledge.
At that time, a friend was completing a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) at CQUniversity and suggested I look into the course. After researching numerous universities that offered a degree in Physiotherapy – I chose CQUniversity Australia.
‘I really liked the philosophy of small class sizes, taught by physiotherapists that had years of clinical experience, coupled with the fact that the University was located in regional areas – CQUniversity was at the top of my list.’
I applied to study Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS) and completed the units required to attain direct entry into the Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours). Completing the course online by distance education, CQUniversity provided an incredible support network for students that were unable to attend on-campus classes.
Completing STEPS online was challenging. I was working full-time as a massage therapist and studying the equivalent of a full-time study load. Balancing work and study was difficult; I would wake up a 5 am, study for a few hours and then go to work. At night, I would do a few more hours of study before bed. The end goal is what kept me going – the higher the grade I achieved for STEPS, the more likely I was to be accepted into Physiotherapy.
‘Having a support network is incredibly important – my partner and my parents are the people I attribute to being able to complete both STEPS and my degree to the level I have achieved so far.’
Choosing to study a degree in Physiotherapy is a serious commitment. A lot of dedication and hard work needs to be undertaken to achieve academic success over the 4-years of the degree. I found that forming a study timetable created an obligation to myself and allowed me to develop a study routine. Having access to educators for face-to-face conversations and classmates with whom you can form study groups and learn from each other help.
The Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) consists of five lots of five-week placements over your third and fourth years. I’m currently completing my first placement at The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane. So far, I’ve found that treating real patients with real issues is a very challenging and rewarding task. It forces you to think on your feet and really tests your knowledge. There is a remarkable satisfaction in helping someone achieve their individual goals and helping them to return to the activities that they enjoy.
During my studies with CQUniversity, I’ve had access to some amazingly passionate people in numerous fields of study who are more than happy to share their knowledge. Upon graduation, I’m looking forward to the satisfaction that I have completed an incredibly competitive and demanding degree, and of course, earning some money.
To anyone contemplating university study, my advice is that you only get out what you put in. Get involved with your university and any extracurricular activities they have to offer. Become a student mentor and help new students navigate their way or join the Campus Life Committee who make every effort to ensure your experience on campus is a positive one.
‘If you’re after a university that prides itself on high quality staff, facilities and courses while maintaining a very inclusive vision, CQUniversity is a sure choice. I have really enjoyed my last 3-years here, and I’m certain you will too.’