What it's really like to be a physiotherapist
Do you like to help people, enjoy a challenge and want a career that is stimulating and rewarding? If yes, then physiotherapy could be for you. But what does the day-to-day of being a physiotherapist really involve?
ACU Bachelor of Physiotherapy graduate Ben Hay is now working at The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane. He gave us an insider’s perspective.
What does a typical day look like for a physiotherapist?
“Working in a hospital can mean a wide variation in my days depending on the specific area I am working in. I’ve just finished working in the Cystic Fibrosis Unit and have begun work in the outpatients’ department.
“I see a wide variety of people with musculoskeletal problems; from post-operative management to general referrals from the public. I help run classes for people with knee osteoarthritis and general exercise classes. Often I am seeing up to nine patients a day.”
What are the best parts?
“I love the people that I get to spend my days with; the patients, other physiotherapists and all the other amazing members of the team that make a hospital work. Every day there are hundreds of little moments – small wins – like a person walks a little further. And it’s those moments that combine to make this such a rewarding job.”
What are the challenges?
“Looking to improve the care I am delivering to patients provides a constant challenge. Working with a wide range of patients you see a lot of medical conditions, so there is always something new to learn. There can also be challenging situations where patients don’t get an ideal outcome and that can be hard both for the patient and the therapist.”
What skills do you need to succeed as a physiotherapist?
“I believe that the most important skill for a physiotherapist to have is to be able to motivate, engage and help people. All the technical skills are incredibly important as well, but if the patient isn’t engaged in their own rehabilitation, you probably won’t get as far.”
What are the best school subjects to do if you want to get into physiotherapy?
“Anything in the sciences will be helpful. Physical education is also going to be helpful. But I’d recommend doing subjects you enjoy and are going to achieve highly in, because the uni subjects you do in physiotherapy usually don’t have any assumed knowledge required.”
What are the types of jobs a physiotherapy graduate could find?
“There are a wide variety of areas a new graduate can go into including hospitals, private practice, nursing homes, community programs, sports clubs, paediatrics and schools. There are so many things you can do.”
Interested in a career like Ben’s? Explore physiotherapy at ACU.
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