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Banish pain

Physiotherapy is a science that seeks to alleviate movement dysfunction and promote optimal health and functions of the human body through exercises and/or therapies, using heat, wax and electricity.

education Updated: Sep 22, 2011 10:55 IST

The lowdown
Physiotherapy is a science that seeks to alleviate movement dysfunction and promote optimal health and functions of the human body through exercises and/or therapies, using heat, wax and electricity. Physical therapists practise in hospitals, rehabilitation centres, private clinics and sports centres. They may also find work as specialist researchers with research centres in India and abroad

Clock Work
The average day of a physiotherapist in a large tertiary-care hospital:
9am: Start work in the OPD. Spend 30 to 40 minutes with a hemiplegia patient (one half of whose body is paralysed), teaching him to sit and make him do exercises. Make a young patient, suffering from stiffness of the back (due to a spinal ailment), perform exercises for mobility
1pm: Lunch
2pm: Clinic for outdoor patients, e.g. paraplegics. Give electrotherapy to a post-operative case
3.30pm: Attend to patients and keep records of their state
4.30pm: Head home

The payoff
In a central government hospital, the gross salary of an entry-level physiotherapist is Rs25,000 a month (Pay band 2). The maximum gross salary is Rs75,000 a month for someone with a chief physiotherapist’s rank, but this depends on experience. The entry-level pay in the private sector is from Rs10,000 to Rs15,000 a month. Which grows with experience

Skills/TRAITS
.
Compassion
. Good communication skills
. Patience, especially when fielding queries from patients
. Physical stamina

Getting there
Take science in Class 12. After this, go for a bachelors in physiotherapy/ physical therapy. Depending on your interest and career goals, you may specialise at the postgraduate level

Institutes and URLs
. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute for the Physically Handicapped, New Delhi www.iphnewdelhi.in
. Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh www.pgimer.nic.in
. KEM Hospital and Seth GS Medical College, Mumbai www.kem.edu

Pros and cons
.
The work hours are flexible
. Low pay, at least initially
. On certain days, the effort spent on working with a critically ill patient can leave you exhausted