Q:

What qualifications do I need to be a physiotherapist?

A:

Quick Answer

A bachelor of science degree in physical therapy and a physiotherapy license are necessary to become a physiotherapist. Physiotherapists may also complete a master’s or doctoral degree in relevant specialties, such as orthopedics and neuroscience.

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Full Answer

Aspiring physiotherapists are required to have undergraduate degrees to enter some physical therapy programs. The next step after finishing the program is taking the regional physiotherapy licensing exam to become a registered physiotherapist. Many students also pursue a bachelor of science degree in kinesiology before studying physical therapy.

Workplaces of physiotherapists include clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools and government agencies. They also work in extended care facilities, psychiatric treatment rehabilitation divisions, sports injury clinics and acupuncture clinics. Good communication, as well as interpersonal, coordination and analytical skills are essential to perform the duties of a physiotherapist. It is also important to have excellent teaching skills, as physiotherapists should motivate and teach patients regarding preventative care.

To gain experience, physiotherapists can work voluntarily at a physiotherapy clinic, help disabled athletes or join Special Olympics groups. Those with a master’s or doctoral degree may teach or perform research at a university or conduct individual consulting. They can also create rehabilitation programs for workers or carry out evaluations for insurance purposes. Experienced physiotherapists typically get promoted to management or supervisory positions, or they choose to open their own clinics.

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