Whether you’re ready to embark on a new career path, are interested in physiotherapy, or just happened to stumble upon this article – you’re in the right place. Get ready to learn everything you need to know about what a Physiotherapist does and how to become one.
To put it plainly, Physiotherapy isn’t for everyone.
It requires a strong ability to pay attention to even the smallest of details – while also being flexible. No two patients will ever be the same – even if they’ve been diagnosed with the same ailment. The experts at Prosport Academy put it perfectly, you can have “two patients with the same symptoms or presentation…but two completely different drivers of their pain or problem.”
What comes to mind when you hear “physiotherapist”?
For most, it’s probably a vague concept of someone who performs therapy for muscle and skeletal injuries and pain. While, yes, that is the gist of it, physiotherapy has gained much more traction in the medical world than it had even just ten years ago.
In simple words, a Physiotherapist is a professional who assists patients who suffer from ailments like:
The Physiotherapists will work with their clients to create a long-term plan that involves exercises, movements, and techniques, to help restore their body’s range of motion to a ‘normal’ state.
Over time they build up not only their patient’s mobility but their flexibility, strength and in turn their emotional well-being.
While there are hundreds of physical therapy methods implemented throughout Physiotherapists daily sessions, a few common techniques include:
As mentioned earlier, physiotherapy isn’t for everyone and the decision to embark on the path of becoming a Physiotherapist shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Physiotherapists deal with individuals who are often in a vulnerable state – not only physically but emotionally.
There are a few important traits every Physiotherapist should aspire to develop throughout their career in order to become the best practitioner they can be:
Coming out of High School, future Physiotherapists will want to enroll in an undergraduate degree at an accredited University. Their major can vary from Biology to Kinesiology to anything in between.
A Master’s degree in Physiotherapy comes next which requires in-class time as well as clinical hours in order to gain experience.
Some Physiotherapists end their education journey with a Master’s degree but many go on to pursue a Doctorate in Physiotherapy as well.
Unfortunately, graduating with a Ph.D. isn’t your ticket into the workforce. Depending on where you plan on practicing you’ll have to look into their licensing requirements.
Generally, these requirements vary from country to country and even sometimes from state to state or province to province.
Obtaining your license is like the final test – literally. You’ll have to pass a licensing exam that’ll cover what you mastered during your years of schooling.
Along with the exam, you’ll most likely have to pass a criminal background check. Only then will you be able to receive your license to practice.
If you want to take it a step further, you can also apply to become a board-certified specialist. This means you specialize in a certain area of physiotherapy instead of just a general practitioner.
However, this is only possible after working in the field for a minimum of 2000 hours in your desired area of expertise and passing yet another exam.
Some area’s Physiotherapists can specialize in include:
There are plenty of options available when it comes time to establish your career. If you’re looking to further your knowledge you can always take up a residency and learn from an experienced practitioner.
Apart from furthering your education, most Physiotherapists can find full-time positions at establishments like:
If you still aren’t sure where to start, there are plenty of databases you can join that’ll get your name noticed in the Physiotherapy world.
Understanding the expectations placed on a Physiotherapist and what a typical career looks like for them is definitely the way to start. Make sure this profession will be something you love and a job you can see yourself doing for many years. Good Luck!