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Physiotherapy: A Healing Career
By: Sonam Pelmo

Physiotherapy is one of the most rehabilitative services required for community. This branch of healthcare science focuses on the physical aspects of an individual’s healthcare by treating their physical ailments. Physiotherapy is a vital therapeutic supplement of the medical profession and is integral to the treatment of most patients.

Physiotherapy as a profession may be defined as a science that seeks to alleviate movement dysfunction and promote optimal health and functions of the human body. It involves the treatment of patients through exercising therapy and other therapeutic agents, including heat radiations, electricity, sound, water and massage .It is used to cure weak muscles, difficulties in the movement of shoulder, knee joints, paralysis, inborn and acquired deformities, gynecological ailments and other such disorders.

Physiotherapists also train the permanently disabled and handicapped people to make the best use of their abilities. Besides dealing with the preventive and remedial aspects of the disabled, they play a significant role in training sportsmen and in treating any injuries caused. Although a relatively new profession, the demand for physiotherapist is immense, especially with the increasingly sedentary lifestyles.
Basic Information

Various institutes in India offer graduate, postgraduate and diploma courses in physiotherapy. Out of which the Indian Association of Physical Therapists (IAP) recognizes 18 physiotherapy schools.
It is imperative to face the Joint Entrance Exam conducted by the Rehabilitation Council Of India, New Delhi to acquire admission into these institutes.

Qualification Required:
1.B.Sc Physiotherapist
Eligibility: Candidates who have completed 17yrs of age and passed the 10+2 or equivalent examination with Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English.
Duration: 3 to 4 years (6months training period) internship.

Eligibility: B.Sc. physiotherapist,
Duration; 2yrs

3. Diploma; 3 to 3 and half years
Eligibility: same as above.

Personal Attributes: A positive attitude, ability to instill inspiration and courage in patients, strength of mind and purpose, teamwork, good powers of observation, patience, understanding, sympathetic approach towards the patients, calm temperament, yet firm and persuasive.

Academic Programme:
The subject taught in the first year of the degree/diploma courses includes anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology etc. Practical study during this year includes the scientific foundation needed for understanding physical therapy.

During the second year, the students study psychology and the medical and surgical conditions and subjects related to the therapeutic application of this profession.

The third year of theoretical study includes biomechanics, kinesiology, disability prevention, rehabilitation and other subjects.

The students undergo practical and clinical training at various hospitals and institutions during second and third year. During the last six months of the course, the students work under the supervision of senior professional at various hospitals and institution

Main Areas of Work:

Physiotherapists, like all other medical and paramedical professionals, can work in hospitals and also engage in private practice. Their demand in medical institution is increasing since physiotherapy plays an important role in the treatment of patients with muscular and cerebral problems. They work in co-ordination with specialized medical practitioners. Not only do they work in the orthopedics and rehabilitation departments, but increasingly employed in the neurology, dermatology, pediatrics, cardio-thoracic and even the prenatal and antenatal.

Areas of Specialization:

The areas of specialization in physiotherapy include sports medicine, cardiac therapy, pediatric and geriatric physiotherapy.

In the area of sports and medicine, problems arising out of the various sports injuries are treated. In cardiac therapy, breathing problems are treated and exercises are conducted for controlling the stress on the heart thus enabling patients with heart disease to cope with their limitations.
Job Prospects:

Employment opportunities for physiotherapists are tremendous. A physiotherapist can be employed in the Rehabilitation Department of hospitals both in government and private centers like the Institute of the Physically Handicapped, medical rehabilitation centers, health institutions, sports organization and medical establishments.

Physiotherapists can also opt for teaching in the schools of physiotherapy. Graduates can also establish private clinics provided they have a strong financial support to bank on.
She is a Career Counselor

tibetoday vol. 1 No. 2
JANUARY 10th, 2007

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