Spring Graduates 2023: Emily Linney

We’re so proud of our Spring 2023 Graduates. They’ve overcome enormous challenges, helped others, grasped opportunities, and developed their skills, showing their Essex Spirit in so many ways. Here, we’re taking the opportunity to share some of their stories.

  • Date

    Fri 24 Mar 23

Emily Linney

While studying to become a physiotherapist at Essex, Emily Linney rose to the challenges posed COVID-19 and led a project for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy on how those in the profession can help patients with Long COVID.

Emily chose to pursue a career in physiotherapy as she wanted the opportunity to enhance people’s lives by providing them not only with care but with scientifically proven interventions, which “the physiotherapy profession strives to do.”

“I also wanted a profession in which I never stop learning and have lots of opportunities,” she said.

She chose Essex after talking to many physiotherapists already working in the NHS who had studied here and who recommended the MSc Physiotherapy in the School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences for its highly practical element.

“They especially loved how practical the course was which prepared you for placements and for starting your first qualified role. I can confirm they were correct,” she said.

It was a placement with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy which Emily is particularly grateful for. What was initially a daunting task – leading a project on how to treat clients with Long COVID – ended up boosting her confidence and gave her recognition among university staff and students as well as fellow physiotherapists.

During this placement Emily led a project in which she, and a fellow student, were asked to create a resource to support students and newly qualified physiotherapists in caring for individuals with Long COVID – an area in which there was limited knowledge due to the condition being so new.

“We were tasked with addressing the lack of confidence within the physiotherapy profession treating those with Long COVID, fuelled by how fast research was being conducted and published. We did this by condensing current research into a simple website,” she explained.

In the project, she took the lead in what she felt was one of the most important aspects of treating individuals with Long COVID – safety.

“I created presentations covering the precautions and contraindications of physiotherapy interventions to ensure we do no harm. I was commended for ensuring that the voices of those living with Long COVID were heard. Every sub-section of the website is headed by a quote from an individual we interviewed. I believe only when we understand their perspective can we really achieve patient-centred care.

“During my time working on this project my confidence went from strength to strength. I have since presented my project and my work as part of a webinar on the condition.”

Emily said that all of those graduating in this spring ceremony would be likely to agree that COVID-19 impacted their studies in a variety of ways. She found the move to learning online a particular challenge.

“This move meant the social support from our peers was dramatically reduced and discussing ideas and thoughts with others is very important to maintaining motivation and increasing knowledge in an area,” she said.

“This challenge, however, was made easier to overcome through the support and hard work of our lecturers who allowed us to continue our course when placements had to be cancelled. This gave us some consistency when the rest of the world felt very strange.”

Emily is now working as a physiotherapist for an NHS Trust.

Read more of our Spring Graduates 2023 stories.