PHYSIOTHERAPY From the Books to the Practice

Published on: 2018/05/28

Dr. Charu Sharma (PT),  Teaching Faculty, Dept of Physiotherapy, Bundelkhand, Jansi, India


Let us start with the basics, that is, a student enrolling in the Bachelors of Physiotherapy (BPT).

He or she may not have a clear understanding of Physiotherapy as most of the students are those who were aiming for MBBS but could not make it and end up joining BPT course. Very few students and their parents have clarity about this field.

So, the first and foremost step for any institute/college should be to conduct the orientation program giving an insight about physiotherapy, course details, the scope of practice in India and abroad, and work opportunities after the course completion.

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Physiotherapy Practice

Physiotherapy is crucial for aliment of various diseases and it is helping many patients with movement dysfunction and impairment. Physiotherapy aims to prevent or alleviate mobility issues in people. Physiotherapists assess the patient to understand his problems, uses his analytical skills and experience for diagnosis and treatment and then decides a course of action.

Physiotherapy in recent years has become a sort after career choice of many students who aspire to become a healthcare professional. According to industry analysts, physiotherapy is set to grow at a rate of 6.78% during 2018-2022. Opportunities for physiotherapists have seen a huge growth in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, home care, and nursing homes.

From the past century, with the rapid growth and advancement in the quality of healthcare, the average life expectancy of the population has improved tremendously. There is a large number of the geriatric population who are in the most need for physiotherapy. Physiotherapists play a major role in curing sports injuries, occupational therapy, therapies associated with obesity and fitness, addressing lifestyle issues like back pain, neck pain, etc. Thus a physiotherapist’s role has seen a big growth and the job of a physiotherapist has become challenging.

Physiotherapy education in India

In India, students who aspire to become physiotherapists enroll for Bachelors of Physiotherapy (BPT). It is a four and a half year course, with a 6 months mandatory internship. After BPT, either they can gain work experience or specialize through post-graduation. The post-graduation specialization can be in community physiotherapy, cardiovascular and pulmonary physiotherapy, sports, neurology, obs-gynecology, pediatrics, hands or they can undertake research.

Skills required to be a successful physiotherapist

A typical day of a physiotherapist involves addressing people suffering from serious or common ailments. A physiotherapist needs to have intent listening skills, caring attitude, analytical thinking, and a pleasing personality. Physiotherapy is a demanding career which can get exhaustive for a person. A patient may need the help of other physicians for his/her recovery along with physiotherapy. So, the physiotherapists should also coordinate with physicians to record the recovery of his patients.

There is an increased awareness among the patients in terms of legal aspects of healthcare. Hence, this has resulted in the increased responsibility of healthcare professionals for patient outcomes. Physiotherapists should be mindful of his responsibilities when handling the patients.

Read more: Physiotherapy – from books to practice by Dr. Charu Sharma (PT), who discusses the physiotherapy education in India and also throws light to the various job options available for physiotherapists.