What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is concerned with creating a better enjoyment of life for patients through treatment and care using physical therapy, including massage therapy and techniques, heat treatment and exercise.
It’s a different method of treatment from regular therapies as it focuses on physical treatment, not the use of medication. Physiotherapists are in high demand and are the most referred to professions by GPs to treat patients, especially in improving mobility and joints. Physiotherapy careers span many different areas, from providing treatment and rehabilitation therapy; through to chronic disease management and occupational therapy.
About the Industry
The Physiotherapy industry has risen very strongly over the past five to ten years, with this trend set to continue in the future according to the Job Outlook data.
Currently, there are over 25,300 registered physiotherapists in Australia which indicate that employment is needed in all regions around the country and 66% of these workers are full-time.
In terms of education, the most common level qualification in physiotherapy is a Bachelor Degree, however, pathways to this, such as through a Certificate IV, is seen often.
The average Physiotherapy salary is around $83,000 per year, much higher than in most occupations.
What Does a Career in Physiotherapy Involve?
- Assess the physical condition of the patient
- Educate on prevention methods
- Develop treatment plans
- Monitor progress
- Re-evaluate techniques used
- Work with other health care professionals
Physiotherapist Courses in Australia
No matter what your commitments are or how you wish to study, there’s plenty of physiotherapy courses in Australia for you to choose from. Where you want to become a physiotherapist in Melbourne, Perth or Sydney of looking to study physiotherapy online; you’re bound to find a great range of excellent courses.
A Certificate in Physiotherapy is a great way to get a solid understanding of the practices and theory behind physiotherapy. The specialist skills and knowledge needed to deliver treatment plans exercise programs and support are covered comprehensively in a course such as a Certificate IV in Physiotherapy or Allied Health Assistance.
Not only does a Certificate in Physiotherapy teach you everything from rehabilitation, exercise and how to monitor and implement a treatment plan; it can also give you access to membership at the Australian Physiotherapy Association upon completion.
One of the most popular qualifications in Physiotherapy and other related allied health areas such as massage therapy, podiatry and occupational therapy is a Bachelor Degree. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can allow your Certificate to count towards a higher degree and fast track your learning.
A Bachelor Degree is one of the most common physiotherapy courses undertaken by professionals in Australia, usually a Bachelor of Physiotherapy or alternatively, a Bachelor of Applied Science with a major in physiotherapy or a further Master afterwards. A physiotherapy degree usually takes around four years to complete, with a strong focus on clinical placement so you can gain hands-on experience in the workforce before you graduate. A Bachelor degree in this subject often covers research, theory and biomedical sciences in areas of anatomy, kinesiology, pathology and physiology.
How to Become a Physiotherapist
In order to become a Physiotherapist in Australia, you need to be registered. The main board of registration is the Physiotherapy Board of Australia which you’re required to be a registered member of before you can start practising. Registration takes place through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority (AHPRA)
There are a number of different areas of physiotherapy including:
- Cardiorespiratory- Heart and Lung treatment
- Neurology- Treatments to the brain
- Gerontology- assisting the aged with treatment to help keep them mobile
- Musculoskeletal- helps prevent and treat joints, mobility and other injuries often seen in sports and reconstructive procedures
Other Career Areas in Physiotherapy
- Occupational therapy
- Massage therapy
- Allied Health Assistant