Physiotherapy is another term used for physical therapy, and it concentrates on treatment of patients’ physical ailments through rehabilitation and therapy, sometimes with the use of exercise equipment. Patients are categorized depending on the cause of their condition.
Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation focuses on patients that have heart disease and has undergone bypass surgery, an area which includes chest physiotherapy. Geriatric physical therapy focuses on patients that are aging and have conditions like arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, among others. Neurological physical therapy covers patients with neurological disorders like cerebral palsy, Parkinsons’ disease and spinal cord injury, an area which includes occupational therapy. Orthopaedic physical therapy focuses on rehabilitation of the skeletal system after a surgery concerning the bones, where physiotherapy exercises are done during rehabilitation. Pediatric physical therapy specializes in diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of children, from infants to adolescents.
With all these of these specialties, there is great demand for jobs in this industry. Because of this, there are several schools and institutions that offer physiotherapy courses. If you're interested in this field, you can easily find a school which will meet your needs.
Here are some things you need to know:
- Most medical schools offer courses on physiotherapy or physical therapy.
- Online search engines show several available programs for physical therapist assistants. For those who cannot afford yet to pursue a physical therapy course, they can opt to finish a degree to be a physical therapist assistant and gain some training. Once finished with this degree, it can be advanced to a full physical therapy degree with all past subjects credited.
- Check with the American Physical Therapy Association to see which institutions offer an accredited physical therapist program. This is to ensure that you do not end up with a bogus school.
- Get to know physiotherapists in your area and ask them for referrals. They would probably refer you to their school, but they can definitely provide you with information about other physiotherapy schools and programs available.
- Physiotherapists and physical therapists are required to pass a state examination—the National Physical Therapy Examination, to acquire a license to practice. It will be wise to scan the latest examination results and check where the top exam passers graduated. This means that the school and program they enrolled in have been good and effective. Be wary of schools and programs that do not produce state exam passers.
- Most hospitals and physical therapy centers are associates, so it will be good to check with hospitals on which schools trained their students. This is the safest way to find a school, since the hospital itself is staffed with graduates from these schools.
It is easier for physiotherapy graduates to land jobs in hospitals and rehabilitation centers they have trained in during their internship and physical therapy programs, that is why it is more advisable to enroll in schools which are associated with hospitals and clinics.
Internships provide the students with first-hand experience and help them pass their certification and licensing exams. Each state requires physiotherapists to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination before practicing in their state. Physiotherapists may pursue a doctorate degree and become a Doctor of Physical Therapy.