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How to become a physical therapist

Physical therapists, or physiotherapists as they are more commonly known in the UK help to treat individuals with physical problems resulting from aging, illness or injury. Find out how to become a physical therapist in the UK.

What does a physical therapist do?

Role of a physical therapist
Physical therapist work with patients of all ages and use the training that they have gained throughout their university degree course in their everyday work. Physiotherapy sees human movement as crucial to the physical and psychological health of individuals.
A physical therapist therefore identifies and maximises movement through treatment and rehabilitation and, where appropriate, preventative healthcare and health promotion. Fields
Physical therapists work in a variety of healthcare fields. They may work out of large hospitals, small clinics or in the community. Areas in which physiotherapists work include:
-General outpatients
-Intensive care
-Women’s health
-Geriatric care
-Mental health
-Orthopedics
-Paediatrics
Profile
Physiotherapists work as part of a larger multidisciplinary healthcare team which may include occupational therapists, health visitors, district nurses, social workers and general practitioners.
They must possess excellent communication skills, enabling them to build a strong rapport with their patients.
Prospective physiotherapists must be physically fit.
This is because the role is very “hands on”.
Physical therapists also need to show patience and compassion.

What training does a physical therapist have?

Qualifications
To enter onto physical therapist training course, it is essential to be in possession of at least five high GCSE passes and three A level qualifications, including at least one A level in a science-based subject.
Prospective physiotherapists will be required to attend university to study for a physiotherapy degree.
Each university sets its own entry requirements, so it is essential to check the number and type of A levels required before embarking on A level study or equivalent.
Courses
Physiotherapy degree courses last three or four years in length.
At the end of their studies, students acquire a BSc in Physiotherapy.
This enables students to register with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Physiotherapists who wish to work in the NHS in the UK will be required to register with this society.
Final word
Experienced physiotherapists may go on to specialise in a specific health-care field. Experienced physiotherapists may also progress into teaching or research.

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