All you need to know about career as a physiotherapist

  • Aanchal Bedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 16, 2015 12:28 IST

Gone are the days when ­physiotherapists dealt with strictly physical problems like neck pains or ­backaches. Today, the intervention of such health care ­professionals are required in nearly all branches of medicine, says Navneet Singh, a ­physiotherapist at Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket.

“The scope of a ­physiotherapist’s work has increased. Not just ­orthopaedic, ­neurological and paediatric cases, today, ­physiotherapists are an integral part of patient care. Common conditions treated through ­physiotherapy vary from spinal and joint ­conditions such as arthritis, post ­accident ­treatment and rehabilitation to problems affecting ­children including cerebral palsy and spina bifida, cancer and ­palliative care, and simple pregnancy related problems such as back pain, sports injuries, brain injuries and other neurological ­problems,” says Singh.

The work is pretty exhaustive. Physiotherapists ­perform a history and physical ­examination, conduct ­assessments to determine a ­diagnosis process, select ­appropriate physical therapy interventions to treat the ­dysfunction, and monitor the effectiveness of treatment.

“Various therapeutic ­intervention techniques are used to treat a patient such as manual therapy, ­electrotherapy which include ­ultrasound, ­interferential therapy, ­transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, laser, acupuncture and exercises using ­equipment like ­robotics, ­treadmills, static cycle, force plates,” says Singh.

Talking about how he started his career, Singh says, “I joined Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket as an intern after going through a rigorous interview process where my theoretical ­knowledge and clinical skills were ­examined. Then came the on-the-job training under ­supervision of the existing staff. The training went on for six months after which I was appointed in the hospital.”

After three to four years of experience, Singh is ­currently working as a team leader of cardiac-­oncology unit at the hospital. “My day starts with meeting patients, interaction with ­primary ­doctors ­followed by administrative work, ­taking ­physiotherapy ­sessions and supervising other staff ­members. I am also in charge of conducting training for interns and students of physiotherapy,” says Singh.

With ­hospitals coming up both in the public and ­private sector, the demand for ­physiotherapists has increased. Job avenues are available in hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, ­rehabilitation centres, private clinics, special schools, fitness centres, and non-government organisations ­working with the disabled and senior citizens.

But there is lack of ­awareness about the field. “Also, the fact that ­physiotherapists are not ­considered at par with doctors and low pay structure are often a deterrent for aspirants. However, it’s the flexible working hours that attracts them,” says Singh.

Although the work of a physiotherapist could get strenuous as it involves physically lifting and supporting patients, it brings much satisfaction to see a person get back on his or her feet.

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