Is This the Right Degree for You?
Physiotherapy is a field that is increasingly in demand. As more people learn to pay attention to seemingly minor injuries to their bodies, physiotherapists are needed to help prevent serious injury, and to help recover mobility and muscle function when serious injury occurs.
Physiotherapy degrees are made up of a combination of theoretical knowledge, time in the lab and practical experience. If you're interested in pursuing a physiotherapy education, you'll need to have an interest in the workings of the human body, as well as excellent patient care skills and bedside manner. Often, physiotherapy can be challenging and frustrating for those with injuries as they work toward recovery, so it falls on the physiotherapist to follow through with treatment and help the patient see the larger picture.
Course Work in Physiotherapy Degree Programs
There are three main areas of study in physiotherapy programs — musculoskeletal (the study of muscles and the skeletal system), neurological (the study of nerves and the nervous system) and respiratory (the study of the organs and systems related to breathing). Students will learn about clinical sciences, such as pulmonary, metabolic and neuromuscular systems, and more, and will also learn about the variety of medical conditions that lead to a need for physiotherapy.
Other areas of study and physiotherapy courses will include patient care, health and wellness promotion and intervention techniques (such as therapeutic exercise, functional training, assistive devices and equipment, and more).
Internships are also generally part of a physiotherapy course curriculum and are to be completed under supervision in a facility with physiotherapy student supervision insurance.
Many people with physiotherapy degrees choose to specialize in one particular area of the body, such as chest physiotherapy, or in one particular focus, such as sports physiotherapy. A physiotherapist will use techniques like massage, acupuncture, joint release and stretching to help treat patients with physical disabilities.
Salaries for physiotherapists vary, but are generally quite high even when starting out. Hourly wages typically fall between $27 and $37 an hour, while salaried positions typically start in the high $40,000 to low $50,000 range.
Outside of being a practicing physiotherapist, career options include assistive devices sales and marketing, research and testing, and recreation, exercise or leisure programming in communities, health care facilities and the tourism industry.