A physiotherapist is a health care professional who focuses on the movement and function of a person's body. Because this position deals principally with movement, a physiotherapist may work with people of all ages who have a variety of health conditions. Physiotherapists also deal with consultation, injury prevention, and education for patients.
A physiotherapist may work in a wide range of settings, such as a hospital (in-patient and out-patient), emergency departments, intensive care units, child development centers, private clinics, home care, rehabilitation facilities, and nursing homes. As such, a physiotherapist may be required to travel to different facilities or could be employed by a single hospital, nursing home, or other health care facility. Physiotherapists may also work in hospitals that offer hydrotherapy and high-tech equipment that allows specialized therapy can take place.
A physiotherapist may be called on to share information and, therefore, work with doctors, nurses, families, and all others involved in the health care field.
Requirements and training for this position are usually stated specifically by the facility in which one seeks employment, but education and clinical experience are typically required. Typical hours for a physiotherapist include hospital shifts and even around-the-clock care in some instances.
A person who studies physiotherapy may opt to go into teaching future physiotherapists instead of being employed as a hands-on practitioner. Teachers should also be patient, compassionate, practical, and have good communication skills.
- Administer manual exercises, massage or traction to help relieve pain, increase patient strength or decrease or prevent deformity.
- Perform an initial exam, evaluate medical records and physician's referral and determine a diagnosis prior to intervention.
- Record prognosis, treatment, response and progress in patient's chart or computer database.
- Discharge patient from physical therapy when projected outcomes have been attained and provide for follow-up care or referrals.