5 Significant Professional Challenges of being a Physiotherapist
Working as a physiotherapist can be a rewarding experience. Physiotherapists have the opportunity to help people regain mobility and reclaim independence every single day. However, it’s important to have an open and honest conversation about the challenges of being a physiotherapist. Though it’s touch, seeing the difference we make to patients lives makes it all worth it.
1. Significant Educational Investment
Physiotherapists must complete at least six years of higher education before they can begin to work in the physiotherapy community. A bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement. Part of your education will include working in a practical clinic or hospital settings as a therapist intern so that you can gain the experience you need to find a job once you graduate. Expect to invest several years and a lot of money towards your education.
2. Emotional Stress
A physiotherapist works with people who have been through traumatic illnesses or injuries. Although your ultimate goal is to help your clients regain their independence, you will spend much of your time pushing them to do the hard work required to achieve that goal. It can be emotionally draining to face client after client who is struggling with the aftermath of an illness or injury.
3. Physical Demands
Part of your job as a physiotherapist will be to literally offer support to your clients as they work toward supporting themselves. You may be required to lift someone into and out of equipment. You may need to help someone stand or sit. At the very least, you should expect to be on your feet moving around during almost all of your therapy sessions with patients. A physiotherapist needs to be strong and in good shape so that they are prepared for every possible situation.
4. Long Work Hours
As with any medical profession, physical therapy is not a strictly 9:00 to 5:00 job. You will need to spend more time with patients who need a little extra work when it is important. Schedules can become stretched due to patients who are late for their appointments, sessions that run long, or patients who need to be squeezed into an already full schedule. When you are not working directly with a patient, there are still plenty of documents you need to complete and file for each patient on your schedule. Even if the physiotherapy sessions run smoothly, the paperwork can keep you at the office long after you expected to go home for the day
5. Continuing Education Requirements
Even after you graduate from school and begin working in the community, you will still need to keep up with current industry trends. Most state certifications require that physiotherapists complete a specific number of continuing education credits every year in order to maintain their certification. While you will have the freedom to choose the continuing education that you would like to take, you will need to carve several hours out of your busy schedule each year so that you can attend workshops or conferences to keep your education current. Most continuing education options also require a fee for attending the classes or workshops, which also cost a lot of money.