The scope of practice of physiotherapy varies widely around the world. Most physiotherapists deal with different medical care, such as wound care, pediatrics, home care or aged care, respiratory or cardiopulmonary, geriatrics, musculoskeletal or orthopedics, neurology, sports, and a whole lot more. With that, the variation in conditions treated and level of independence in practice also vary widely. As a matter of fact, the preference for the terms physiotherapy and physical therapy differ around the world. The wide variety of choices of course, offers many different physiotherapy positions, as well as opens plenty of doors to advance one’s career as physiotherapist.
Working as a Registered Physiotherapist
After starting their career by working as support role in clinic’s administration or physiotherapy assistant, and/or getting their educational background and required training, newly licensed physiotherapists can now work in their chosen field. Some of the more common field for trained physiotherapists includes:
Continence and Women’s Health
This physiotherapist position is ideal for any physiotherapists interested in incontinence management and specific women’s health issues. Physiotherapists of this field are involved in providing services in both the public and private sectors.
They provide antenatal and postnatal education in public sector, as well exercises aimed for pregnant women and treatments pregnancy-related issues, such as back pain and incontinence. They also provide education for osteoporosis and treatment for post-mastectomy on women.
Cardio Respiratory Physiotherapy
This type of physiotherapy position provides treatment for cardio-respiratory related problems, such as clearing lung secretions, and helps prevent it, as well as improve the areas of the lungs that collapsed and help make breathing easier.
This type involves the use of different techniques to manipulate bones, muscles, joints, cartilage, ligaments, nerves and spinal discs, as well as manual assessment and treatment techniques for various conditions that involves the aforementioned body parts.
This type of physical therapy assesses, diagnose and provide treatments for children. This involves different treatment techniques for developmental, neurological, cardiorespiratory and orthopedic conditions for children up to 18 years old. It also provides treatment and rehabilitations for injury sustained during childhood and help patients transition to adult care.
This type has the physical therapy technique to treat people with neurological impairments, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury, etc.
This type of physical therapy position promotes healthy and active ageing, allowing elderly patients to maximize their quality of life and stay mobile and able to perform their daily routines. It provides specific exercises for balance, strength, vitality, and overall fitness. It also comes with pain management and rehabilitation for function and mobility after surgery.
Occupational Health and Safety
Physiotherapists in this role are in a very important and unique position, as they are the ones responsible for injury management and vocational rehab to business organizations. It involves preventing employees from developing diseases or getting injured at work through training and health promotions.
This is one of the most common forms of physical therapy, as we often hear, read and see about physiotherapists of athletes on TV, magazines and online. Therapists on this field provide relief recovery and rehabilitation for athletes who have undergone surgeries, diagnose sports-related injuries, rehab, and of course, help athletes avoid injuries.
As its name suggest, animal physiotherapist deal with animals. Also referred as veterinary physical therapy, therapists in this field add complementary treatments recommended from veterinary referral. The most common services are performance enhancement, treatment for musculoskeletal injury, etc. It also deals with post rehab for animals with neurological or orthopedic conditions, as well as the improvement of life of the animals, especially those suffering from arthritis, compensatory muscle spasm, etc.
Specialized physiotherapist, such as those physiotherapists in higher position in their hospital, clinic or organization, and those with Master’s degree, normally has higher salaries as well. Thus, if you want a successful career as a physiotherapist position, you can’t just be a one trick pony; you should also equip yourself with specialized skills to be able to provide professional services to wider range of people.