Physiotherapists help patients with physical problems due to disease, injury, disability, or aging to restore and maximize their exercise capacity and reduce the risk of further problems in the future
As a physical therapist, you talk to patients to identify their physical problems/conditions. Once diagnosed, you will design and evaluate appropriate treatment options using a range of techniques, including manual therapy, therapeutic exercises and electrotherapy.
In addition to treating patients, you will promote their health and well-being and provide education and advice on how to prevent injury and self-manage long-term conditions.
Patients can include children, the elderly, people with sports injuries, intensive care units requiring chest physiotherapy, and stroke patients.
Types of Physical Therapists
There are many clinical specialties and subspecialties within physical therapy, which have developed over time. These include:
- Cardiovascular- Includes chronic heart disease and recovery after a heart attack
- Geriatrics- Focus on older people
- Men's and Women's Health- Includes conditions related to the reproductive system, childbirth, antenatal and postpartum care
- Neurology- Includes patients with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and stroke
- neuromusculoskeletal- Includes arthritis, back pain, sports injuries and whiplash
- Pediatrics- Treatment of infants, children and adolescents
- airway- Includes asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis.
Other areas include learning disabilities, mental health, oncology and palliative care.
Generalist roles may also be employed in situations where physical therapists treat patients with multiple co-existing long-term conditions and complex needs.
As a physical therapist, you must:
- Work with patients with a range of conditions, including neurological, neuromusculoskeletal, cardiovascular and respiratory, sometimes over a period of weeks or months
- Conduct clinical assessments and diagnoses to treat their physical problems/conditions
- Design and review clinical treatment plans that encourage exercise and movement using a range of techniques, including specialty rehabilitation, lifestyle medicine, long-term strategies, and clinical techniques
- Involve parents and carers in the treatment, assessment and recovery of patients
- Educate patients and their caregivers to prevent and/or improve condition
- Empower patients through education and counseling so they can take control of their own care
- Write notes and reports on patient cases and collect statistical data
- Liaise with other health professionals such as GPs, counselors, occupational therapists and social workers to share information on the patient's background and progress, and to refer patients in need of other medical care.
- Stay abreast of new technologies available to treat patients
- Mentor of students and junior physical therapists and physical therapy assistants
- legally responsible
- Be caring, compassionate and professional at all times
- Manage clinical risk.
- Jobs in the NHS are made up of nine pay scales, usually byAgenda for Change (AfC) lønsatser.The starting salary for a qualified physiotherapist (Band 5) ranges from £27,055 to £32,934. Advanced physiotherapists earn between £33,706 and £40,588 (Branch 6).
- As a Clinical Specialist/Team Leader you can earn between £41,659 and £47,672 (Track 7).
- Salaries for advanced clinical practice, extended scope or lead clinical physiotherapists range from around £48,526 to £54,619 (level 8a), rising to £56,164 to £65,262 for consultant physiotherapist roles (level 8b).
- Salaries for management positions such as service supervisors can exceed £67,064 (Band 8c). People working in the London area can receive an area allowance of 5% to 20% of the base salary.
Salaries and conditions outside the NHS vary, although the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) recommends that all physiotherapists be paid at least the same salary and benefits as those in the NHS. However, this may not be possible in all circumstances, although you should use the NHS pay scale as a guide when negotiating pay.
Salary in private practice depends on your requirements and how successful you are. Factors that affect how much you can charge include your location, experience and reputation, as well as any specialized skills you may have. You should also consider factors such as the time and expense involved in setting up a clinic.
It is also possible to combine NHS work with private work. Experienced physiotherapists can combine clinical work, university lectures and research.
Revenue figures are for reference only. Check AfC payment rates for the latest NHS payment information.
Physiotherapists typically work 37.5 hours per week, including evenings, nights, and weekends.
As a sports physiotherapist you may work weekends, while in private practice your hours will reflect the needs of your clients.
There are also alternative and part-time work options.
what can you expect
- In busy cases, the job can be physically demanding. While a patient's problems can be complex, physical therapy can be a very rewarding assignment.
- As a physical therapist, you have a contractual obligation to maintain confidentiality for your patients.
- If you are employed by the NHS, you may be employed by a hospital, health centre, clinic or GP. Physiotherapists working in the community may need to visit patients in their homes. If you work in the community, you may need to travel between appointments.
- Self-employment and private practice are common.
- There may be opportunities to work abroad to add to your experience. Do your research and check that the registration is valid in the country where you want to work.
To become a licensed physical therapist, you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). To do this, you must have successfully completed an HCPC-approved undergraduate or graduate accelerated physical therapy program. All courses also lastChartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)certified.
For a full-time three-year Bachelor's degree (four years in Scotland), you will normally need two or three good A-levels (or equivalent), including Biology (Biology or Human Biology) and/or PE . You must also have at least five GCSE grades at Grade 4/C or above, including Maths, English Language and Science.
Some universities offer part-time programs, although some programs are aimed at physiotherapists who are already working in healthcare settings and wish to become physiotherapists. Programs usually last four to six years.
You can also take courses for HCPC certification, which combine work-based learning modules and specialist training. Find available internship opportunities with healthcare providerslooking for an internshipexistNHS jobswebsite.
To enter the two-year accelerated graduate program, you typically need a 2:1 or higher degree in a discipline such as biological sciences, psychology, physiology, exercise science, exercise therapy, or rehabilitation and nursing. Both tracks contain a combination of theory and practice.
View a list of accredited undergraduate, postgraduate and postgraduate programsCSP Physiotherapy Degree.Entry requirements vary by course, so please contact the course provider for details.
You will also need to complete a work environment health check and a criminal record.
All eligible pre-registered undergraduate and postgraduate physiotherapy students studying in England can receive financial aid of at least £5,000 per annum. You don't have to pay it back and can still get student loans and repair loans from student loan companies. For more information, seehealthcare industry.
For more information on financial aid available to students in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, see:
- Student Awards Scotland Office (SAAS)
- Student Award Service (Wales)
- Northern Ireland Direct Public Service
You will have:
- Good written and oral communication skills
- Interpersonal skills to connect with patients and their families
- Ability to easily explain treatments to patients and their families
- Teamwork skills for working with other health professionals such as doctors, nurses, occupational therapists and social workers
- Good manual skills and ability to move equipment
- Ability to solve problems
- Tolerant, patient, sensitive and resourceful
- organizational and administrative skills
- Firm but encouraging and empathetic attitude
- Ability to motivate others to involve them in their own care
- Genuine concern for the well-being and health of patients
- Genuine interest in anatomy and physiology
- Ability to work under pressure and manage time effectively
- IT skills
- A flexible way of working.
If you work in private practice, you will also need business skills.
Employers want to see that you have researched the topic and have a good understanding of the position. Try visiting your local physical therapy department and ask to follow a physical therapist to find out what the job is like and if it might be right for you.
It is also helpful to gain some voluntary or paid experience in a health or nursing setting to demonstrate your interest in the field and your ability to communicate with different people. There may be opportunities in private physiotherapy clinics, sports clinics, football clubs, special schools and departments, and nursing homes.
Volunteering for charities such as the British Red Cross, St John's Ambulance or the MS Society can also be valuable when looking for work.
work togetherPhysical Therapy AssistantProvide valuable insight into the role and show your commitment.
Read more about the different typesWork Experience and Internshipsusable.
You can work in a variety of environments, including:
- Public sector - public services and companies such as the NHS
- view sector
- Third sector - includes charities, voluntary groups and local groups.
The NHS is the largest employer of physiotherapists. Your skills are in demand in most sectors, such as:
- elderly care
- Mental Health
- working environment
- outpatient clinic
- Stroke Services
- women's health.
You can also work in the community, local authority or the private sector:
- Private Hospitals and Clinics
- GPs and Health Centers
- Schools and Childcare Centers
- Nursing and nursing homes and day centers for the elderly
- Charities and voluntary organizations, especially those working for people with disabilities
- Sports clinics, professional sports clubs, fitness centers and recreation centers
- armed forces.
Some physical therapists work in many different settings. For example, you could work part-time in a sports injury clinic and have another part-time job in the NHS or a private hospital.
When your experience is enough, you can also start your own practice.
Search job openings by:
- Healthcare jobs in the UK
- jobsnet- Health and social care jobs in Northern Ireland.
- NHS jobs- Job vacancies in England and Wales.
- I am NHSScotland
- physiotherapy work
Once qualified, you may receive on-the-job clinical supervision and mentoring support. We encourage you to develop your knowledge and skills through briefings, short courses and reflective practical programmes. This helps with your Continuing Professional Development (CPD), which is a requirement for continued registration with HCPC.
In Scotland, newly qualified physiotherapists can enterFlight start GGZ.The program supports your first year of study as a trainee with NHS Scotland.
Membership in CSP provides opportunities for advice and professional development, as well as opportunities to network with colleagues. CSP show detailsContinuing Educationexistevent.The courses range from short day courses to advanced postgraduate certificates, diplomas and MSc qualifications in fields such as physiotherapy, manual therapy and exercise therapy.
You can also follow the CSP if you have at least two years experience and are in a management role or opportunityLeadership Development ProgramHelp develop your leadership skills.
You can become a member if you work in a private practicephysics first, offering a range of events, resources and business advice.
With experience, further training is possible in areas such as injectable therapy and additional or stand-alone prescribing. To prescribe, you must have completed an HCPC-approved prescribing training program and have an endorsement (mark) on your entry on the HCPC Registry. You can then prescribe all registered medications that fall within the scope of your physical therapy prescribing practice. For more information, seeCSP - Substance Use in Physical Therapy Practice.
As you gain experience, through clinical practice and continuing education, you may be able to advance to advanced practice roles. Experienced clinicians can also take aAdvanced Clinical Practitioner Training(UK), which combines work with a master's degree in advanced clinical practice. Once you become an Advanced Physical Therapist, you can join the CSP Advanced Practice Physical Therapy Network (APPN).
If you work in an NHS hospital, there is a clear career structure. You can start in a changing role and work in different departments to gain more experience in different specialties, such as outpatient clinics and orthopedics.
After gaining initial clinical experience, you may choose to specialize in a specific practice area, such as neurology, sports injuries or intensive care, or specialize in a specific type of patient, such as the elderly, children or cancer patients.
As you gain experience, you will have the opportunity to progress to positions such as Senior Physiotherapist and Clinical Specialist/Team Leader.
With further clinical experience and training, you can move into advanced clinical practice and consultancy roles with a high degree of autonomy. You will often work in a specialist consultancy clinic where you will assess, manage and list patients for surgical/medical procedures on behalf of an Orthopedic Consultant, Spine Consultant, Rheumatology Consultant or Medical Consultant (if Department). For a consultant role, you will need extensive clinical and management experience.
There are also opportunities to grow into management positions in physical therapy, responsible for strategy, budget and personnel, or general care management. Other career development opportunities include education, training or research.
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Physiotherapists work with a variety of patients including physically disabled children, women before and after giving birth, athletes, patients who are in hospital or attending clinics and people within the community. Tasks can include: helping patients recover from accident, illness or injury.What are the key features of physiotherapy? ›
Physiotherapy uses physical techniques to improve movement, reduce pain and stiffness, speed up the healing process and increase quality of life.What type of physiotherapist gets paid the most? ›
- Sports medicine. Physical therapists who specialize in sports medicine treat professional and amateur athletes. ...
- Cardiovascular. ...
- Geriatrics. ...
- Neurology. ...
- Sports Physiotherapy.
- Geriatric Physiotherapy.
- Orthopedic Physiotherapy.
- Pediatric Physiotherapy.
- Neurological Physiotherapy.
- Cardiovascular Physiotherapy.
I am an enthusiastic, self-motivated, reliable, responsible and hard working person. I am a mature team worker and adaptable to all challenging situations. I am able to work well both in a team environment as well as using own initiative. I am able to work well under pressure and adhere to strict deadlines.What is a professional profile description? ›
What is a professional profile? A professional profile, also known as a personal statement, is a brief summary of who you are, your skills, experience and career goals. The profile is the equivalent of an elevator pitch, which is designed to capture the employer's interest so that they read your CV in full.What are the four pillars of physiotherapy practice? ›
- exercise, movement, and rehabilitation.
- manual therapy and therapeutic handling.
- therapeutic and diagnostic technologies.
- allied approaches.
The first definition of physiotherapy was based on the following: massage, exercise, electrotherapy and 'kindred forms of treatment'. These four elements are known as the four pillars.What are the three principles of physiotherapy? ›
- Kinaesthetic and proprioceptive mechanism to be restored back to normal.
- Mobility of joint and soft tissue to be increased.
- Muscle power to be increased.
- Movement reeducation.
- Daily functional activities to be restored back.
- Prevention of swelling and recurrence of the injury.
1) Sam Suke, Principal Physiotherapist at Exercise Thought, 2022 Physiotherapist of the Year.What is the lowest salary of physiotherapy? ›
Physiotherapists with 3 years of experience earn the least, with an average monthly salary of R42,500.00. Physiotherapists with 5 years of experience earn the highest salaries, with an average monthly salary of R47,900.00.What is the difference between PT and physiotherapy? ›
Both physical therapy and physiotherapy use movement and hands-on techniques to improve the body's condition, but they differ primarily in their approach to doing this. In short, physiotherapy is focused on manual therapies, while physical treatment is more exercise-based.What is the difference between a physiotherapist and a physical therapist? ›
The main difference between physical therapy and physiotherapy is how they focus on healing. Physiotherapists typically use a manual, hands-on approach with soft tissue and fascial releases, stretches, and massages. On the other hand, physical therapy uses hands-on therapy but adds an exercise-based approach.Do physiotherapists do massage? ›
It's first important to state that Physiotherapists are typically not trained Massage Therapists, therefore generally don't do what individuals would consider to be regular massage. However, a common technique in Physiotherapy uses elements of massage to manipulate, mobilise and massage the body tissues.How do I write my own profile? ›
- Conduct research on the subject. ...
- Focus on answering the question. ...
- Stay focused on your topic. ...
- Keep a record of all interviews. ...
- Create a profile-specific theme. ...
- Use quotations. ...
- Start writing. ...
- Fact-check and proofread.
There are five key points you should aim to address in your personal statement: your academic profile and qualifications, the relevant industries you've worked in, the products and processes you've worked with that may cross over and the key job titles you have held.How do I create a professional profile? ›
- Your online profile needs to be concise, engaging and convincing.
- State a clear title/role under your name.
- Your summary should be in short paragraphs.
- Think about who you want to read your profile and write in an appropriate style for them.
- Add links to examples of your work if you have them.
- Include a brief description of yourself. ...
- Mention your skills and abilities. ...
- Include relevant certifications, education or experience. ...
- Write about your career goals. ...
- Keep your personal profile short and concise. ...
- Tailor your personal profile to fit the job description.
A profile headline is a tagline that usually appears under your name on professional networking platforms. It briefly describes your professional background — usually in around 200 characters. Your profile headline is one of the few things hiring managers and recruiters see when they visit your profile.
ACPs are deployed across all healthcare settings and work at a level of advanced clinical practice that pulls together the four ACP pillars of clinical practice, leadership and management, education and research.What are the 4 pillars of advanced practitioner? ›
The four pillars of advanced practice are clinical practice, leadership and management, education, and research.What are the components of physiotherapy profession? ›
It is concerned with identifying and maximising quality of life and movement potential within the spheres of promotion, prevention, treatment/intervention, habilitation and rehabilitation.What is the principle of physiotherapy practice? ›
Physiotherapists are respectful of the differing needs of each individual and honour the patient's right to privacy, confidentiality, dignity and treatment without discrimination.What is physiotherapy main objective? ›
The aim of physiotherapy is to restore the proper functioning of the body. The physiotherapist will also consider ways to improve general well-being and quality of life. To demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical and practical basis of physical therapy.What are the golden principles of physical training? ›
- Principle 01: Specificity.
- Principle 02: Overload.
- Principle 03: Adaptation (Rest and Recovery).
- Principle 04: Progression.
- Principle 05: Plateau, Regression and Reversibility.
- Principle 06: Maintenance/Regularity.
- Principle 07: Individualisation.
- Principle 08: Warm-up/Cool-down.
- Hospitals. Hospitals are the biggest employers of physiotherapists. ...
- Private clinics and nursing homes. ...
- Corporates. ...
- Rehabilitation centres. ...
- Sports and fitness centres. ...
- Orthopaedic clinics. ...
- Universities and colleges. ...
- Defence establishments.
Arkansas has the lowest physical therapist salary of $64,149. The national average salary for physical therapists is $73,070.Why is there a shortage of physical therapists? ›
Reasons for the Physical Therapist Shortage
One of the main reasons is the COVID-19 Pandemic, which has caused large amounts of stress and fear for healthcare professionals industry-wide.
As mentioned earlier, osteopaths often treat more holistically than physiotherapists. An osteopath may treat one part of the body to reduce pain in another.
Rehabilitation professionals in the United States are called physical therapists, while outside the United States, they may be referred to as physiotherapists. In general, both physical therapists and physiotherapists perform similar interventions.What is the American version of physiotherapist? ›
Here in the United States we call the profession physical therapy…with one occasional exception. Some practitioners suggest that physiotherapy is more concerned with manual therapy.Are physiotherapists in demand in USA? ›
The country offers a wide scope of job opportunities in the field. Physiotherapy in the USA is one of the most profitable jobs with an equal amount of job satisfaction.Is physiotherapy a lucrative career? ›
If you are someone interested in improving the health and quality of life of others through various exercises or hands-on care or educating them about the same. In that case, a career as a Physiotherapist is one of the best career options for you.How much is a Physiotherapist paid in USA? ›
The average physiotherapist salary in the USA is $80,000 per year or $38.46 per hour. Entry level positions start at $71,608 per year while most experienced workers make up to $104,216 per year.Is PT harder than nursing? ›
Physical therapy is typically regarded as the more challenging option for the education level required to begin a career in these two fields.Should PTs be called doctor? ›
In order to provide accurate information to consumers, physical therapists who have earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree (DPT) and those who have earned other doctoral degrees and use the title 'Doctor' in practice settings shall indicate they are physical therapists.What are physiotherapists called? ›
A physiotherapist, or physical therapist, works with patients to help them manage pain, balance, mobility, and motor function. Most people at some point in their lifetime will work with a physiotherapist. You may have been referred to one after a car accident, after surgery, or to address low back pain.What is the difference between PT and PTA in physical therapy? ›
PTA's practice alongside PT's, and can perform many of the same techniques as PT's. The biggest difference between a PT and a PTA is that PTA's cannot perform an initial evaluation or create a plan of care. These diagnostic and evaluative skills are only to be performed by a licensed physical therapist.What is neurological physiotherapy? ›
What is neurophysiotherapy? A neurophysiotherapist assesses and treats people with neurological conditions. These are conditions associated with the central nervous system – the brain, spinal cord and nerves. People with neurological conditions can often have complex problems including: Muscle weakness.
Kinesiologists focus on improving flexibility, agility, mobility, and strength, through exercise interventions. Physical therapists evaluate injuries and rehabilitate people with a wide variety of medical conditions.What techniques do physiotherapists use? ›
- Ice treatments.
- Manual therapy.
- Electrotherapy (electrical stimulation)
- Ultrasound therapy.
Physiotherapy is an important part of treatment for most people with arthritis. Physiotherapists are part of a team of healthcare professionals who help you to resume or maintain an active and independent life both at home and work. They're experts in assessing movement and can also show you how to protect your joints.How long does physiotherapy last? ›
Typically, physiotherapy sessions are 30 to 40 minutes. However, this varies from person to person and clinic to clinic, and depends on the specific needs of your injured area.What is the main goal of physiotherapy? ›
Physiotherapy is anchored in movement sciences and aims to enhance or restore function of multiple body systems. Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability.What are the objectives for a physiotherapy? ›
- Relieve pain.
- Improve movement or ability.
- Prevent or recover from a sports injury.
- Prevent disability or surgery.
- Rehab after a stroke, accident, injury, or surgery.
- Work on balance to prevent a slip or fall.
- Manage a chronic illness like diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis.
The Role of Physical Therapy
The goal is both to restore physical health, quality of life and overall wellness to the patient, while minimizing the risk of injury or illness in the future. Physical therapy can be helpful for people of all ages, with a wide range of health conditions.
SMART Goal Examples
Patient will improve postural control by performing sit to stand from max to min assistance 2 out of 3 attempts within 15 minutes to aid in transfers by the end of 4 treatment visits. Child will increase strength to creep across family room to obtain a toy.
Physical therapist practice is guided by a set of seven core values: accountability, altruism, compassion/caring, excellence, integrity, profes- sional duty, and social responsibility.What is subjective and objective physiotherapy? ›
Subjective - What the patient says about the problem / intervention. Objective - The therapists objective observations and treatment interventions. (e.g. ROM, Outcome Measures)
Physiotherapy is a highly effective treatment for multiple disorders, diseases, and injuries. This niche treatment aids in the restoration of mobility, movement, and function of the affected body parts. Physiotherapy employs medically proven physical procedures and profound knowledge of how the human body works.