For those interested in a career in the medical profession or are into sports, then you might want to consider the career of a physiotherapist. You will need people skills and technical knowledge of how the physical side of the human body functions.
There are various pathways to physiotherapy, so what better time to explore them than now?
A degree course in physiotherapy is not to be taken lightly because it will require at least four days a week of your time. Each session will require you to prepare for it and there will be deadlines to meet. This will be alongside placement. However, if you want to achieve something good, then the effort will all be worth it. The same effort will have been put in by the very sportspeople that you may be treating if you decide to pursue that route instead of one based in a medical environment.
The best grounding that you can get into the theory and practice of physiotherapy is to take a degree course. The undergraduate pathways include taking a Bachelor of Science degree (BSc), taking an apprenticeship linked to the same, or considering an integrated Master’s degree.
For those already with a related and approved degree, then there are a couple of pre-registration routes, including Master of Science Degree (MSc pre-registration) or Pre-registration Physiotherapy Doctorate.
Before taking a degree, if you know early on in education what you would like to do, then you will want to be involved in sports and physical education as much as possible, as well as studying maths and science A-levels such as human biology.
A university degree is certainly the most popular way of becoming a physiotherapist. In terms of time, a full-time degree will take three years, whereas a part-time course will take you six years to complete. With a relevant degree already, then the accelerated Master’s course will be beneficial for you.
To enter a Bachelor of Physiotherapy degree course, you should have Maths, Physical Sciences, and Life Sciences. This should be with them all at Level 4, so with a minimum of 30 points. Then, it is likely that only the students applying for Physiotherapy as their first choice will be considered. It is a competitive course to enter.
It is a desirable career for anyone interested in sports. Another situation where it is used, apart from aiding recovery from injury for sports professionals, is in hospitals. There is great demand for the role once qualified to practice.
Without a Degree
It is possible to become a physical therapy assistant without higher education. This will take less time to achieve and will mean that you can still be involved with your area of interest.
Starting at this level can be a good idea to make sure that you like this kind of work. Also, you are gaining experience in this area before taking it to academic levels. However, if you already know what you want to do and do not want to waste time in achieving the final goal, then enter the academic route straight away and become a fully qualified physiotherapist sooner rather than later.
Skills Required to be a Physiotherapist
To have good time management is important for a physiotherapist because you will be required to attend to patients promptly and at certain times. A good deal of tolerance and patience will be required when there is no quick fix to someone’s recovery other than repetition and perseverance. You will, yourself, need to have good physical fitness and health and need the strength to take the weight of patients, to a degree, when helping them with their exercises. As well as this, good communication and interpersonal skills will be required to explain instructions to patients regarding the exercises they will need to perform regularly to aid their recovery. You may be doing this alone or as part of a physiotherapy rehabilitation team, when a combination of good teamwork will achieve the desired results.
To conclude, the direct route to becoming a physiotherapist is to attend university, although it is possible to become a physical therapy assistant first. Apprenticeships will allow you to combine education with learning practical skills. University placements will also give you the hands-on experience you need.