Physiotherapists are mobility and pain management experts who work in a variety of settings and treat people of all ages and backgrounds.
Their methods most often consist of a combination of prescribed exercise, hands-on therapeutic methods and patient education.
As medical professionals, they help their patients manage chronic health issues, recover from injury, avoid undergoing more intense forms of treatment such as surgery and improve their general quality of life.
Since its inception, physiotherapy has risen to become an important and frequently sought-after area in healthcare.
Employer demand for trained physiotherapists has grown with the discipline’s popularity over time, and experts say it will only continue to rise as the years pass.
If you’re curious about whether work in a physiotherapy or podiatry clinic is right for you, we encourage you to read on.
This article outlines just a few compelling reasons why it could be your dream career.
Significant Impact on Patients’ Lives
Individuals who want to render acts of service and make a positive difference in people’s lives will feel right at home in the physiotherapy field.
Physiotherapists treat and rehabilitate people from all walks of life, including athletes, office workers and the elderly.
The issues these patients encounter can range from mundane, everyday injuries like strains and sprains to grave accidents that risk jeopardising their lives and careers.
Physiotherapists work closely with these patients in order to facilitate their healing and restore their functionality, and the process can be deeply gratifying for all involved.
Many physiotherapy programmes also involve teaching patients essential skills to enhance their quality of life.
These skills may, for instance, be focused on avoiding reinjury, building strength, flexibility and mobility, or adjusting one’s daily routines to account for a temporary or permanent physical disability.
Because a physiotherapist’s lessons are meant to be applied long-term, patients are likely to feel their positive impact long after formal treatment has concluded.
Personalised Relationships with Patients
Compared to some other medical professionals, such as emergency room doctors or paramedics, physiotherapists tend to work with patients for extended periods of time.
Regularly scheduled therapy sessions create many opportunities for therapist and patient to establish trust and develop a warm and caring rapport.
A good relationship can, in turn, enhance the patient’s receptivity to treatment, make sessions more enjoyable and even improve the quality of care the physiotherapist is able to provide.
The personally involved nature of physiotherapy thus makes it a good career choice for extroverted personalities, particularly those who enjoy getting to know people over multiple encounters.
A personal investment in caring for each patient according to their individual needs can and often does motivate therapists to work harder towards the best possible outcomes.
Can Practise in a Variety of Environments
Job opportunities for physiotherapists are so abundant because physiotherapists can work, and indeed are needed, in many different settings.
Licensed physiotherapists practise in big cities, small towns and even in rural areas.
They may be attached to a hospital or a company, or it’s also possible that they may operate a freestanding clinic of their own.
Many organisations even offer their physiotherapists opportunities to travel or to grow their practice by earning additional certifications abroad.
In light of these conditions, there’s a lot of room within the broader field for individual physiotherapists to explore and eventually find their niche.
Some may even enjoy moving from place to place and experiencing as many different contexts, patient populations and treatment setups as possible.
Many Possible Specialisations
Physiotherapists looking to focus their work within a specific subdiscipline have a large number of possible specialisations to choose from.
Physiotherapists with specialities in orthopaedics, for instance, specifically train to treat musculoskeletal and joint injuries.
Meanwhile, oncology physiotherapists work on managing pain and other health problems arising from cancer.
Some potential physiotherapists may also want to serve specific patient groups. Lovers of sport, for example, have the option to concentrate on the treatment and rehabilitation of injured athletes.
Physiotherapy specialisations also exist that cater to pediatric patients, elderly patients and female patients, all of whom may experience unique issues and benefit from physiotherapy in different ways.
Many Opportunities for Career Growth
Physiotherapists need not be afraid of stagnating professionally, as there are many ways to pursue career growth in this field.
The independent-minded may consider opening a private practice rather than seeking employment with an existing institution.
Experienced physiotherapists can seek opportunities to manage and mentor teams of more junior colleagues.
Given how rapidly the field is growing, practitioners of every specialisation and level of experience are considered highly valuable.
A background in physiotherapy also opens doors for people to enter even more involved healthcare professions if desired.
Such knowledge is particularly valuable for those who wish to train in orthopaedic surgery, which focuses on the surgical treatment of injuries to the bones, joints, muscles and ligaments.
Though becoming a licensed surgeon requires more time and schooling, physiotherapists interested in gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the injuries they work with may find it appealing.
In the broader arena of medicine and public health, current research shows that physiotherapy is a flourishing field with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
What’s more, practising physiotherapists consistently enjoy high levels of job satisfaction, steady career growth, and positive and fulfilling work experiences.
If you like the idea of helping patients bounce back from injury and teaching them how best to care for their bodies in the long run, this could very well be you, too.