Sports Physiotherapy Specialist, High Performance Sport New Zealand
Director/Senior Physiotherapist, Bureta Physiotherapy, Tauranga
Master of Health Practice with Honours (Second Class) in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy
Postgraduate Certificate in Health Science in Acupuncture
She loves being able to help people achieve their goals, says sports physiotherapy specialist Jacinta Horan who splits her time between running her physiotherapy clinic in Tauranga and looking after elite athletes for High Performance Sport New Zealand.
“I have a varied role. I spend the majority of my ‘patient hours’ working in my role as a sports physiotherapy specialist in combination with ‘normal’ sports physiotherapy and musculoskeletal physiotherapy. I work as a regional provider for High Performance Sport New Zealand and at pinnacle events like the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. I love the ability to support our athletes from tweens to elite athletes on the world stage.”
She is proud of supporting New Zealand athletes at international sporting events. Over the last two decades she has worked as the lead physiotherapist for New Zealand women’s rugby as well as looking after athletes from New Zealand water polo, athletics, surf lifesaving and at the Youth Olympics, World University Games, the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games.
“It’s a privilege to represent our country in our profession and assist our athletes to be the best they can be in addition to helping aspiring sports physiotherapists grow as a clinicians and achieve their goals.”
Honing her skills through postgraduate study
Jacinta – who completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Science in Acupuncture at AUT in 2006 and a Master of Health Practice in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy in 2007 – says postgraduate study was a great way to hone the skills she had already developed in the workforce.
“It was an awesome way to continue to advance theoretical and practical knowledge with a background of clinical experience, and my master’s degree enabled me to begin the process of specialisation further through my career. I appreciated that it was a progressive research-based programme that had a great reputation.”
She wouldn’t hesitate to recommend AUT’s postgraduate physiotherapy programmes to others.
“I regularly recommend postgraduate study in physiotherapy to our staff as a great method of ongoing education, to build confidence in advanced skills and knowledge. It’s a great way to ensure they’re not only up to date with evidence-based physiotherapy but can continue with ongoing self-review of research and build knowledge in areas like nutrition or strength and conditioning, which further widens their skillset.”
Advice for other students
Jacinta has some great advice for other students who are planning to one day become a sports physiotherapy specialist themselves.
“My advice is make the most of every opportunity you get in your career as you never know where it may take you. Learn, learn and learn some more, and enjoy the challenge along the way.”
Achieving specialist status is something she is particularly proud of.
“It was a challenging and rigorous process to achieve specialist status, and I learned a lot from the experience.”