If you came across this article, chances are you are considering a career in physiotherapy. It is a profession that focuses on helping others improve physically, achieve their complete potentiality and gain control over their bodies.
Even though it is a pretty common profession that welcomes and caters to people from all walks of life, a lot of questions still remain regarding this career. If you are looking to walk the path of becoming a physical therapist and wondering, is becoming a physical therapist hard, then you’re at the right place.
Whether becoming a physiotherapist is hard or not depends on a lot of factors such as your financial situation, determination, and efforts.
Well, let us help you find the answer to that and more in this article.
Becoming A Physiotherapist
Physiotherapy, also known as physical therapy (or PT), is a medical profession that aims to treat patients to maintain, restore, and maximize their functionality, mobility, and overall well-being.
They do it through physical rehabilitation and injury prevention if their patients are affected by injury, illness, physical stress/trauma, or disability.
Physiotherapists help the patients by guiding them and getting them involved in their own recovery. They introduce the patients to a series of personalized movements, exercise, manual therapy, etc., while providing advice and educating them in the best manner possible.
There are some steps that you need to complete to become a physiotherapist:
Step 1: Education
Earning a bachelor’s degree/undergraduate is a prerequisite for entrance to any physical therapy program; this career path is no different. Courses required completed during undergrad in physiotherapy may include biology, chemistry, and anatomy.
If you have done your undergraduate in another subject but still want to pursue this career, you need to complete a master’s degree in physiotherapy. During this, you may have to combine theory and work placement, which will allow you to gain some practical experience.
Step 2: Extensive Education Requirement
Next, you need to enroll yourself in a program of doctor of physical therapy, which generally takes about three years. Proof of a bachelor’s degree is required to get enrolled or admitted in such programs and may include various courses ranging from exercise physiology, anatomy, biology, chemistry to finance, physics, etc.
Step 3: Training
After completing the degrees, we arrive at the clinical components related to them. You may choose to complete a fellowship or clinical residency to gain practical knowledge. You can also apply for an apprenticeship or apply to become a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA).
In both cases, you’ll be working under the supervision of a physiotherapist. This requires collecting data and information, as well as assisting in physiotherapy sessions.
Step 4: Certification and License
To become a physical therapist officially and legally, you need to pass a national exam and require a license. In the US, you also need to obtain licenses that are state-specific.
If you are looking to specialize, you need to pass specific additional examinations. In most cases, you have to complete several (fixed) hours of practical/clinical work before you can receive certification.
Step 5: Career and Related Careers in Physical health
After you have received certification or obtained your license, you can start actively looking for jobs. You can apply for physiotherapists at local hospitals, private hospitals, nursing homes, etc.
Pros Of Becoming A Physiotherapist
Let’s get to know the perks of choosing the path of a physiotherapist.
On the general pay scale, physiotherapists earn above average. You may need to start small, but with time and experience, you can work your way up.
Physiotherapists have a flexible schedule and, in most cases, can set their own timetable. Even while working with institutions offering a fixed schedule (hospitals, gyms, etc.), you still have some flexibility in terms of making appointments.
This provides more freedom and flexibility compared to typical 9-5 jobs and a more stable work/life balance.
Wide Range of Job Opportunities
There is a wide range of working environments/medical spaces to choose from, with people from different walks of life.
You can work as a physiotherapist in hospitals (private or funded/public), rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, schools/educational institutes, gyms or fitness centers, etc.
With the rise of pollution and problems, even with increasing automation and AI, the coming to age baby boomers will always require physiotherapists. The demand for physiotherapists is already pretty high and is estimated to only increase even further.
Cons Of Becoming A Physiotherapist
Here are the reasons for being cautious while choosing this career path.
Cost of Education
To pursue a successful career in physiotherapy, you need to go through some intense study programs and take several exams. Hence, the cost of education may not seem affordable to many.
Limited Opportunities for Transition
As the skill sets required for being a physiotherapist are very different from other jobs, you may struggle to transition if it gets monotonous or tedious.
As a physiotherapist, similar to other medical professions, you have to continuously study and stay updated and informed. Moreover, detailed medical history needs to be collected for each patient before treating them, and each treatment needs lots of paperwork.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is Being a Physical Therapist a Good Career?
Being able to help people be their best selves is a fulfilling career. Physiotherapists make astonishingly above average on the pay scale while enjoying a flexible yet stable work-life balance. It is one of the top high-paying, low-stress jobs; and definitely a good career to consider.
- Is Being a Physical Therapist Stressful?
Physiotherapists have flexible hours compared to typical 9-5 jobs. They aren’t expected to work night shifts and are mostly self-employed. Maintaining a work-life balance is easier.
As the number of baby boomers growing old with more physical problems increase, PTs won’t have to worry about being out of work. Among all notorious medical professions and career paths in general, being a Physiotherapist is on the far end of the stress scale.
- How Many Hours Do Physical Therapists Work Weekly?
On average, physiotherapists work around 40 hours a week while working in clinics. Since PT work is flexible, they can choose 10-hour shifts 4 days a week or 8-hour shifts 5 days a week. If you are self-employed, you have the freedom to arrange your working hours more flexibly.
Ultimately, whether or not one should pursue the career of physiotherapist depends on them and them only. This article is designed to help you figure out the stages or steps you need to endure to become a physiotherapist, along with introducing you to the advantages and disadvantages.
If you are wondering ‘is becoming a physical therapist hard? This answer eventually depends on you; your career goals and intentions, how much effort you are willing to put in, and your financial ability to complete all the required steps.
We hope going through this article helps you make an educated decision, and we wish you all the luck!