Physiotherapy seeks to alleviate any kind of pains and suffering, to ensure optimal health and proper functioning of the human body. As a science, physiotherapy deals with movement dysfunction, physical disorder, bodily malfunction or multiple types of disability. In recent years, the demand for physiotherapy and other healthcare services has increased because of growth in the older population and other factors.
A growing and aging population, with greater health awareness and interest in preventative measures, is seeking expanded health services, which in turn results in an increased demand for physiotherapists. Job openings will also arise from the need to replace experienced workers who will be retiring, or due to physiotherapists taking maternity leave.
Duties and responsibilities of a physiotherapist
Physiotherapists assess patients and plan and carry out individually designed treatment programs to maintain, improve, or restore physical functioning, alleviate pain and prevent physical dysfunction in patients. Depending on their place of work, they will perform some or all of the following duties:
- Assess patients’ physical abilities through evaluative procedures, such as functional ability tests
- Establish treatment goals with the patient based on physical diagnoses
- Plan and implement programs of physiotherapy, including therapeutic exercise, manipulations, massage, education, hydro-therapy and the use of electro-therapeutic and other mechanical equipment
- Evaluate effectiveness of treatment plans and modify accordingly
- Interact with physicians and other healthcare professionals regarding a patient’s problems, needs and progress
- Maintain accurate clinical and statistical records, working with medical office assistant training
- Develop and implement health promotion programs for patients, staff and the community
- Provide consulting or education services
- Conduct research in physiotherapy
Full-time professionals in a public setting generally work a regular work week. Physiotherapists have to adapt their schedules to suit patients’ needs, so working evening and weekend work is common, particularly for those who work in private practice. It can also be helpful for a physiotherapist operating his or her own private practice to pursue additional training, such as accounting courses or payroll training.
Ample job prospects
Over time, physiotherapy has carved its own niche in the healthcare industry. There are now ample jobs available for physiotherapists in healthcare facilities, hospitals, rehabilitation center, medical establishments, government departments, nursing homes, private clinics, home care, child development centres and extended care facilities. Physiotherapists often work as part of a healthcare team, but perform many independent duties as well. Physiotherapists can also go on to teach in institutes, colleges or universities.
In addition to the right training, a physiotherapist should also have good communication skills and be perceptive and attentive to details. Being patient, optimistic and having compassion for patients will help you go far in this type of career. In the end, a successful therapist is one that can combine the right kind of training with personal qualities to ensure better and more comfortable services for his or her patients.