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Becoming a Physiotherapist

Becoming a Physiotherapist
Physiotherapy, also sometimes called physical therapy, is the practice of using non-invasive means to treat physical injuries and dysfunctions. A physiotherapist is a highly trained professional with a thorough knowledge of the physical sciences and the therapeutic techniques used for treatment. Becoming a physiotherapist requires tertiary studies leading to a Bachelor of Physiotherapy degree.

Becoming a Physiotherapist

Because physiotherapy is a science-based discipline, universities that offer physiotherapy degree programs usually favour applicants who have a sound background in maths and science. If these are lacking, students can take related supplementary courses prior to commencing the degree program.

Both theoretical and practical studies will be undertaken. Some of the courses required for a Bachelor of Physiotherapy degree include:
  • Anatomy: This may be divided into several components, including general anatomy, functional anatomy for physiotherapists and others.
  • Biology.
  • Neurology.
  • Psychology.
  • Exercise science.
  • Movement science.
  • Physiology.
In addition, a number of elective courses will be required. These generally include subjects such as disabilities, aged care, drug and alcohol treatment and other specialities. All of these and other courses are tailored towards the ultimate goal of giving students the practical skills they need to give patients the best possible care.

All accredited physiotherapy course providers operate under the guidelines set by the Australian Physiotherapy Council (APC). This ensures a consistently high standard of education and training.

Career Opportunities for Physiotherapists

After successful completion of a four year course of studies, a number of entry level positions become available to graduates. Just some of the career opportunities for physiotherapists include:
  • Hospitals: acute and rehabilitation care.
  • Aged care facilities.
  • Sports therapy.
  • Private practice.
  • Community centres.
As a physiotherapist gains experience, even more career opportunities become available.

Techniques Used by Physiotherapists

The hallmarks of all physiotherapy techniques are that they are safe, gentle, non-invasive and effective. Some specific techniques include:
  • Therapeutic soft tissue massage.
  • Tailored stretching and/or exercise programs.
  • Breathing exercises.
  • The application of heat, cold or ultrasound to relieve inflammation.
  • Hydrotherapy.
In addition, some physiotherapists undertake certificate and diploma studies in specific therapeutic techniques to supplement their education and treatment programs. A few of these may include:
If physiotherapy sounds like a career path you would like to pursue, be prepared for 4 years of fulltime study followed by a rewarding career in a growing field that is always in demand. Wherever you wish to work in the health care professions, your tertiary qualifications as a physiotherapist will always be looked on favourably by potential employers and private clients.
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Topic: Physiotherapy

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