If you’re looking to develop your career as a physio then you’ve come to the right place. There are quite a few courses for you to choose from to take you in your desired direction.
We have the basic information for you below to help you along your way. After all, it’s a new year, why not seek new opportunities?
What is physiotherapy
Physiotherapy is a science based profession which deals with techniques and therapies in treatment and rehabilitation of patients with illnesses, disability or injuries. It is a practice that relies heavily on the patient and their involvement in their treatment through awareness, guidance and lifestyle.
There are different areas of physiotherapy that focus on different parts of the body. These include:
- Neurological – stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s
- Cardiovascular – chronic heart disease, rehabilitation after heart attack
- Neuromusculoskeletal – back pain, whiplash, sports injuries
- Respiratory – asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
What does a physiotherapist do?
The day to day duties of a physio may differ from patient to patient and case to case. As a physio, you will typically work between 37-40 hours a week. Weekend and evening work is common for junior physios at the beginning of their career. As a physio, you will work with a variety of people of all ages and with a variety of physical issues and can work for the NHS as a physio in hospitals or in private clinics or with sports teams. Duties include:
- Assisting patients in their recovery from illnesses/injury
- Organize rehabilitation and therapy session for patients
- Use specific techniques such as electrotherapy
- Massage patients
- Liaise with professionals such as doctors, nurses
- Collect statistics on different elements of physiotherapy and patients
- Write patient reports
- Educate patients in how to undergo their rehab, exercises they can do, movements that will be helpful in recovery
- Keep up to date with advancements in physiotherapy
There are many courses to choose from across the UK. Some courses allow the opportunity to study either part time or full time. Courses may change in their content from University to University. Full course material and overviews can be found on specific University websites. Examples of courses available to add to your degree include:
Sports and Exercise Medicine
Those who take a course in sports and exercise medicine will undertake a research project in a specific area of sports medicine and gain experience of teaching and learning in higher education. Students will have the opportunity to focus on topics including sports therapy, sports rehabilitation, chronic health conditions or musculoskeletal disorders.
Postgraduate courses in physiotherapy will allow students to develop their skills in contemporary physiotherapy practice. Skills developed include safety, reflective, autonomous and professional practitioner who manages clients throughout their lifespan. Other areas of focus include manual therapy, therapeutic exercise and functional movement analysis.
Postgraduate courses in sports rehabilitation give students the opportunity to develop their career down the path of sports therapy, sports rehabilitation and health and exercise science. An advanced understanding will be gained in therapeutic interventions, evidence based practice and rehabilitations which are combined with physiological, biomechanical and psychosocial factors. You will also look at the impact of those topics and how they are impacted and affected by health and exercise, sports injury, treatment and rehabilitation.
There are more courses available in this area such as Sports Physiotherapy Studies, Advanced Physiotherapy, Vocational Rehabilitation and Specialist Physiotherapy Practice, to name a few.
Entry requirements may change from course to course and University to University so it is important to research your specific course to be sure you meet the criteria. In most cases, a bachelor’s degree is required. Some courses will look for a 2.1 degree while a 2.2 may suffice in others. More detailed course outlines can be found on University websites and course overviews.
Employers of physiotherapists generally include:
- Sports clinics
- Private clinics
- Nursing homes
- Local sports clubs and centres
- Special schools
The salary of a physio can depend on your employment and mainly experience. Starting salaries may be close to £25,000 and with experience over a number of years will allow your salary to increase. From there, you may earn between £32,000 – £37,000. In higher roles such as managerial roles, you can earn close to £44,000. The average salary for a physio in the UK is around £34,700. All figures are based on estimated figures.
Skills and requirements
Skills and requirements needed in this area include:
- Strong communication skills
- Great people skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Time management skills
- Be able to work well with others
- Good physical health and fitness
- An interest in learning and continuing to develop
- Industry awareness
- A helpful manner