Studies & Degrees in Physiotherapy
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Physiotherapy Study Programs
Job positions for Physiotherapy:
Physiotherapy Clinical Practitioner
The most popular job to land as a physical therapist would be in a hospital, outpatient clinic or in homecare, most commonly known as clinical practice. To be able to qualify for clinical practice a therapist must have earned a diploma in physical therapy from an accredited college or university and must have passed the designated board exams. Certified physical therapy programs offer both master’s degrees and doctorates in physical therapy. Applicants need bachelor's degrees that include prerequisite courses, which are set by each graduate program and vary from one educational institution to another. Some states or regions require certifications or degrees in continuing education to be able to maintain a physical therapy license.
Physical therapists usually work in sanitary and comfortable environments because most patients are in hospitals although some therapists do have to make home visits to their patients. Physical therapists should be encouraging and supportive since some patients are permanently disabled. It is the job of the physical therapist to make sure that the patient’s functional capacities are maximized. Physical therapists also make sure that treatment plans are carried out properly by assistants or aides or make the necessary revisions in the treatment plan and goal- setting of a patient. Therapists also keep records and write reports on the progress of each patient. A day in the clinic practice for a physical therapist is actually like a routine. Patients come in and primary and follow- up assessments are done, documented and treatment plans are revised or started. The clinic has everything the therapist needs from modalities to ambulation devices and so every therapist must be well-oriented with the new technology in health care. Operation of these new machines has different parameters so therapists must also be able to memorize the materials they are working with. When it comes to patient interaction, therapists must be patient as most of the people they treat belong to the senior-aged bracket and those who need long term care. Most patients with debilitating conditions are also hard to encourage and please so the psycho-social adaptations of a therapist must be fast. For therapists with administrative work in the clinics and hospitals, it is expected that they have great ability to manage and organize the whole working team. They monitor all patients, documentations, the people who work under them, complaints and more. Most physical therapists work forty hours per week. Those who prefer flexible hours can usually find private, part-time or consulting work. For these reasons, all physical therapists are expected to be in good health and shape.
Physical therapists are well-compensated. This profession has a very good employment outlook with a salary averaging $60,180 per year (in the US). Plus, therapists can choose to accommodate patients requiring private home care which adds even greater to the salary they receive. The demand is also expected to increase since the increasing senior population requires rehabilitative care. Also, increasing number of congenital defects and conditions, motor-vehicle accidents, disabling diseases and degenerative conditions all require some form of therapy to maximize their functions, and this would add more to the need for professional physical therapists.
Physiotherapy University Professor
Several careers are available in physical therapy and one of these would be a teacher or educator in the Academe. By obtaining a Masteral degree (MSPT/MPT) or Doctor of Physical therapy (DPT), physical therapists are accredited to instruct students as professors and educators. For some countries, a license to teach is needed and also the proper license for the specific area or region as instructed. The curriculum in physical therapy is very extensive and a profoundly educated teacher is required to elaborate in detail the required subjects such as anatomy, neuroanatomy, therapeutic exercises and skills training to be able to produce highly qualified and competent future therapists. As an educator, one must be persevering in giving instructions and training the novice students. It is imperative that the educator can communicate well and be able to clearly relate all knowledge necessary for the student. In this career, knowledge base is far more considered than the practical skills of a physical therapist. It is suggested for those who would want a career involvement in curricular activities rather than being in the hospital settings.
An advantage of this career path is the time for part- time actual patient handling in private homecare or out- patient clinics, since during long breaks, educators are also enjoying some time off the classroom setting and may be able to expose themselves in actual treatments and to further hone their skills in theory or in practice. Another advantage is the average salary an educator receives apart from the actual practice in clinics. It is an advantage since almost every year, tuition fees increase and the advancement in the curriculum itself will give the educator an edge in the mean increase of annual income.
Becoming an instructor would also give the therapist an opportunity to research on the topics and new areas of study that must be introduced to the students. Part of the job would be to completely be in detail with new breakthroughs in the profession and to be able to convince students through lectures that indeed such breakthroughs are effective. Clinical evidence and sharing of personal clinical experiences are also a plus since the students would be more interested in attaining the degree when they get to hear the best stories from their superiors. It also backs up the theories and claims of most treatment and assessment procedures since patient handling experience is documented as clinical evidence and pupils would be more enthusiastic if the most basic principles taught to them are tried and tested by their own teachers.
Being a physical therapist in the academe is indeed a collaboration of hard work, experience, patience and knowledge to be able to successfully hone great future therapists for the increasing demands in allied health care.