Physiotherapists, as a field of health care, is yet a relatively recent development. Its beginnings date back to the Second World War when soldiers were seen by a variety of health professionals who were trained to administer first aid and other assistance. These early doctors were often put to work treating wounds that arose during combat. As the need for physiotherapists grew so did their qualifications and knowledge, and in the 1960’s these became a professional career option for many people. Today a physiotherapist works under a medical doctor and works with patients suffering from a wide variety of conditions, from pain caused by muscles in their legs that are in spasm, to sprains or even birth defects.
The physiotherapist is responsible for assessing the condition of a patient and then planning and executing an effective physical therapy program to help the patient return to a normal state. They will plan and execute group exercises designed to improve muscle strength and flexibility while decreasing pain. The physiotherapist will also carry out diagnostic tests on the patient to diagnose any underlying medical conditions and then plan a physiotherapy program to treat these conditions. Physiotherapists can work independently in a clinic or be part of a health care team, where they are often known as a sports therapy co-ops. Many physical therapy programs incorporate physiotherapy into their treatment plans, sometimes in the form of counseling, which can further relieve the patient of stress and pressure. A physiotherapist will also often refer their clients to a specialist such as a surgeon or an orthopedic surgeon for surgical procedures if there are severe injuries that cannot be treated using physical therapy.
There are numerous schools and colleges around the United Kingdom that offer courses in physiotherapy. If you wish to learn more about this job opportunity, you should speak to your local school or college to see what courses are available. Although it does not give you a degree in physiotherapy, the knowledge and skills you gain from a physiotherapy course will help you in your future job prospects. Once you have completed your physiotherapy course, you will likely find that you have a job lined up at the hospital or clinic where you attended classes.