Physiotherapy can be highly rewarding for those with the patience and discipline to learn all there is to know. Fortunately, postgraduate courses are designed to effectively deliver the required knowledge so that graduates can enter the workforce and apply their knowledge in practical, clinical contexts. This article will thereby ask four questions, the answers to which could help you understand if this is a field for you.
Day to day, physiotherapists assess the problems their patients are having by listening to their problems, hypothesising what might be wrong and testing these hypotheses. It’s a profession consisting of much empathy and conversation each day. It also requires a great deal of organisation, as physiotherapists must juggle many different, varied cases at once. Communication with your peers as well as clients is integral to achieving sizeable patient development and recovery.
Postgraduate physiotherapy courses provide both the technical and interpersonal knowledge required to enter the field, often containing units in topics like:
To enter a postgraduate physiotherapy course, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in a cognate health discipline. Unlike many other postgraduate courses, these can also require you to have completed units in psychology, statistics, human physiology and anatomy in prior undergraduate study. Unfortunately, there really aren’t any alternate methods of entry aside from going back and getting a bachelor’s degree that meets all these requirements. Even the graduate certificates are designed strictly for practicing physiotherapists.
Overall, this is a profession for people with a great deal of empathy and respect for people. Physiotherapists are required to take on the burdens and troubles of hundreds, maybe even thousands of people over the course of their career. So, it takes a significant combination of resolve and personability to succeed and that isn’t even taking the rigorous study into consideration!
Physiotherapy is listed among the Australian government’s list of Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills, which we’ve touched on in our student visa article. This means the government deems it in short supply, which theoretically means higher job prospects. However, we’d still urge you to be cautious and make sure you take up tangentially related part-time work/ volunteering during your studies to improve your chances of employment. After all, unlike a field such as medicine, there is no clearly defined guaranteed internship/ employment path. That said, Australia’s ageing population will have need of more physiotherapists in the near future.
According to Payscale Australia, physiotherapists in Australia make AU $64,691 on average per year. This can range between $51,605 starting out to $93,805 when more senior.
There are several methods of study for aspiring physiotherapists, all of which serve fairly different purposes. Bear in mind that graduate certificates and diplomas are almost exclusively for registered, practicing physiotherapists and are meant as supplement to, not replacement for, fundamental physiotherapy training. With that said, the following are some popular methods of study:
Hopefully this has given you greater insight into what physiotherapy’s about, or if you’re already a professional, what you could gain from further study. Wherever you choose to go and whatever course suits you best, we wish you all the best!