Five reasons why: Physiotherapy

The Good Universities Guide has launched Five Reasons Why, a series of blogs and articles dedicated to providing prospective students with insights into choosing their future profession. Each piece reveals five key reasons you should consider a career in a particular field, including everything from study duration and subject variety to job prospects and median salaries.

Variety of work opportunities 

It doesn’t matter how old you are, what you do or where you come from – most of us will pay the physio a visit or two during our lifetime. There is a consistent stream of demand for physiotherapy services, meaning those who work in the profession are spoiled for choice when it comes to employment choices. 

It’s a cliché but the world really is your oyster when it comes to a career in physiotherapy – you can choose to go urban, rural or abroad, or work in clinical practice, aged care or the sporting industry. Physiotherapists can specialise in several different areas, whether that be sports medicine, neurology and paediatrics (just to name a few). You could even impart your knowledge onto the next generation of physios by becoming a university lecturer or researcher. 

The reward is worth the work

Helping people get back to their previous selves is an obvious highlight of this job, especially as you can see the physical impact your work has on people’s lives. You could be working with an elite athlete who has struggled with chronic injury, a teenager with a spasming back or a recovering stroke victim who is learning how to walk again – either way, you have the potential to make a profound difference to their lives with your care and expertise. 

The results of your work aren’t just physical either. The mental health of your patients can benefit from treatment that results in increased mobility, a reduction in pain and general improvement to their quality of life. What could be more rewarding than that? 

You’ll be presented with new challenges every day 

We all know that healthcare workers are presented with weird and wonderful challenges every day, and physiotherapy is no different. You will have a range of people walking through your office door, some with underlying conditions and illnesses that are causing pain or injury, and it is your responsibility to accurately diagnose and treat their diverse ailments. 

You may also be presented with patients who aren’t responding to typical courses of treatment, or cases that require referral onto other medical specialists. You simply never know what you may see, so becoming a physiotherapist is definitely not for those who fear unpredictability. 

You will have a diverse web of colleagues 

Depending on how you decide to carve out your physiotherapy career, you will be working with a variety of people from orthopaedic surgeons to elderly patients. Physiotherapists employed in hospital or rehabilitation settings collaborate with a team of other medical professionals – this include cardiologists and neurologists, to paediatricians and emergency doctors. If choose to go into clinical practice, you could go from treating a nine-year-old with a broken arm to managing an elderly patient who is living with Parkinson’s. 

If you decide to go into sports medicine, your colleagues will extend beyond fellow health professionals to include some well-known elite athletes and sports teams. 

Job prospects are promising 

There’s some great earning potential in the physiotherapy profession due to the higher than average full-time wage and forecast for strong job growth. Physios earn above the all-jobs average according to Job Outlook data, while this profession is set to cash in on the predicted Health Care industry boom over the next five years – approximately 13,000 job openings will be created up to 2023 at a rate of roughly 2,600 jobs per year. 

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