When you first stumble upon physiotherapy as your preferred career choice, and what you wish to study at university, it can be reassuring to know you’ve found your path. However, new problems can arise when you finish your degree and you have to work out which of the many physiotherapy jobs appeal to you. In this article, we’ll be looking at how to best navigate yourself when trying to match your passion and stimulus to a specific career path within physiotherapy.
Firstly, it should be noted that you won’t be going into this type of decision without any type of experience in different fields of physiotherapy. In the UK, physiotherapy is one of the most practical-based degrees out there. With many degrees following a working week of Monday-Friday, 9-5. A lot of this work will be shadowing and performing in different areas of physiotherapy. So, when it comes to decision time, you should have an inkling of what you are preferring. If this is still not the case, a more general role, such as orthopedic physiotherapy might be an interest to you. This covers a lot of general physio areas, and offers a chance for specialisation later on in your career. You’ll be working with lots of other people in the NHS from those in community nurse jobs, to hospital consultants and even social workers!
Make sure to understand how well you’re responding to these different types of physio. In this line of work, it’s very important you’re following the path which stimulates you the most, not necessarily the one with the largest paycheck. Saying this, you should be wary of thinking you’ll have a guaranteed career as a sports physiotherapist. This is the sort of role that attracts many to physiotherapy as a degree, along with degrees in sports science. Even though it can be the most glamorous, the most financially appealing, and also that which got you first interested in physio; it is also the most competitive field by a very long way. This can result in years of unsuccessful applications, or time spent volunteering, or not progressing through the ranks like you would in other physio roles.
Your time gaining work experience in particular fields of physiotherapy will be limited. This means it’s down to you to research further the areas that have interested you. This is especially important when applying for specific work placements. Never leave these applications until the last minute, or else it’s very likely you’ll end up in a placement that doesn’t match your interests.