Career Opportunities in Physical Therapy

Career Opportunities in Physical Therapy

Career Opportunities in Physical Therapy - How To Become A Physical Therapist & Physical Therapist Job DescriptionPhysical therapy or Physiotherapy aims at improving movement related dysfunctions of the body. It was a job that was concentrated mainly in hospitals until recently. But now it has not only become a great career option, but a lucrative one too, considering the number of openings abroad and also in many multinational IT firms, wellness centres, gymnasiums and other establishments.

Where can a Physiotherapist fit in?

Physical therapy comes to the rescue of people who have had accidents and have lost their capability to move. Stroke victims, children born with deformities, paralysed people, arthritis patients, people with gynaecological disorders, those who have had spinal and knee injuries and surgeries and those with joint related problems, all require the services of a Physical Therapist. Mostly, the methods of physiotherapy are followed along with oral medications in order to maximize the benefit. The job of a Physiotherapist involves restoring or maintaining maximum movement of the skeletal and muscular system and ensuring that a patient receives the maximum benefit and help him restore his body movement as much as possible. In some cases, restoring complete movement of the body is impossible. In these cases, the physiotherapist helps the patient practice methods and ways by which a person can become self sufficient and not depend on others even for basic necessities.

What skills are required to become a Physiotherapist?

The very nature of the job demands physical exertion. Physical therapy is all about training the person and teaching him ways to restore his body movement. This will include helping him to move around and flex his joints and, muscles and many other related exercise routines. So a prerequisite for the job is that a Physical Therapist must be strong and healthy to handle weights and must be willing to do his or her best in making the patient move, even if he has to carry part of the patient’s weight around while he slowly gets back his movement.

Another great prerequisite to become a Physical Therapist is to have great skills in motivating people. Perhaps more than one’s confidence in restoring a person to health, it is a Physiotherapist’s skill in motivating people that does the final miracle in making people do wonders even if it seems impossible. So a Physical Therapist is basically a personal trainer cum psychologist in that the combined effect of these two areas brings about the desired result in a patient. A keen desire to bring people back to their lives and a sympathetic approach to the entire situation at hand, problem solving and good knowledge of human anatomy, scientific base to understand the problem and think up possible solutions etc. are necessary skills to become a good Physiotherapist.

What are the courses available in Physical Therapy?

Bachelors in Physiotherapy will enable you to get into this profession head on. Since this is a healthcare profession, you would get innumerable opportunities in hospitals and health care establishments. The BPT course is of 4 ½ years duration with a mandatory internship which would enable him to start working without many hiccups. After a BPT which is sufficient for practising as a Physical Therapist, you also have the option of pursuing a post graduate degree if you have plans to pursue a teaching career.

A diploma course in Physiotherapy is a 2 year course which will put you on a fast track towards getting a job soon. But to climb up the ladder and to get into good positions abroad, one must either have a bachelors or masters degree in Physiotherapy.

What are the career prospects as a Physiotherapist?

The opportunities of a Physical Therapist do not end in domestic openings. In fact a Physical Therapist has a much lucrative career prospect abroad, especially in the US, UK, Australia and Canada. There are score of opportunities in hospitals and it is a respectable job with a good compensation package and other benefits. Due to this reason, most students who take up Physiotherapy as their career choice do so with distinct dreams of settling abroad and earning well. Physiotherapists are referred to as doctors abroad and hence they earn a lot of respect.

A masters degree in Physiotherapy opens up many avenues of specialisation in the fields of sports, paediatrics, neurology, orthopaedics, cardiothoracic, gynaecology, geriatric etc. Getting a masters degree will enable you to be more streamlined and well equipped in knowledge if you want to continue as a Physiotherapist or teach in colleges. A PhD programme too is available which is of a three year duration which will give you a doctoral degree while you practice as a Physical Therapist. A Physical Therapist will find openings in rehabilitation centres, defence medical establishments, hospitals, sports institutes, age care centres, insurance companies, central and state government hospitals etc. He can also start his own private establishment if he has the necessary capital to fund his dream.

Challenges

A Physiotherapists job is indeed a challenging one. Imparting movement to stiff and damaged limbs is a great achievement. In fact, every patient that a Physiotherapist leads to the path of mobility is a feather added in his cap. Each success is a proud moment for the patient as well as the therapist. The great sense of accomplishment and feeling of satisfaction that he gets from treating each patient is immense and beyond description. Physiotherapy is a great job if you have the skill and the will power to excel in what you do. Here is a job that sticks by the rule of ‘practice makes perfect’. With months of patient and consistent practise and exercise come small improvements which are great milestones for the patient and the Physiotherapist.

A Physiotherapist must also be ready to accept defeats at times. Sometimes months of rigorous training and sessions may not yield any result. He must be able to console the patient and also console himself in making him understand that it is not his method that has failed in getting results, but the severity and hopelessness of the problem at hand that has resisted results. He should be able to take it in his stride and motivate the patient and help him to look for other options that can keep him going.

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