Be compassionate, students urged

11 March 2011 | Story by Newsroom

physiotherapy studentsProfessionals: lecturers Shamila Manie, Assoc Prof Shajila Singh, and Prof Seyi Amosun (back) celebrate with students (middle, left) Siyabonga Zulu and Niki Machida; and (front, left) Nadia Umuneza, Diana Kgokong and Kathryn Waterman at the oath ceremony of the second-year physiotherapy students.

Second-year physiotherapy students undertook to sacrifice certain habits, including flashy hairstyles and jewellery, to abide by the professional code of conduct when engaging with patients.

Prior to the commencement of their clinical rotations, the students took an oath to fulfil their duties to themselves, to patients, society, the profession, colleagues and other professionals. At the oath ceremony recently, Associate Professor Shajila Singh, head of the Division of Communication Sciences & Disorders, delivered a lecture on professional ethics, and called on the students to respect the patients' rights and render an equal service all the times.

"Whether you are treating the son of a prominent politician or a person from an informal settlement, the level of your service should be the same," Singh said.

She emphasised, though, that it was not about the rules but about the heart and the mind wanting to provide services in an ethical and professional way. "Show empathy, warmth, compassion and tolerance. That will make you excellent physiotherapists".

Singh reminded students that they represent themselves, the university and the profession, and should conduct themselves to honour that.

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