Education Definition

The Work Of A Physiotherapist And Their Position In The Medical Field

The Meaning Of Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is a field of medical science aimed at providing holistic treatment methods to safeguard the health of an individual and has a key focus on the patient’s lifestyle choices. The goal of physiotherapy is to help the patient take part in their treatment plan by educating them, giving them the tools they need, and making them aware of their role in their overall health.

A Brief Overview of the History of the Physiotherapist’s Role

According to historical records, the practice of physiotherapy can be traced back to 460 B.C., when physicians such as Hippocrates and Galenus promoted the application of modalities like massage, hydrotherapy, and manual therapies to treat various illnesses.

Later, in the 18th century, with the development of orthopaedics, machines such as the “Gymnasticon” came to the fore and helped to treat medical conditions like gout and related illnesses. The joints were worked out in a planned way as part of the treatment. This idea led to the development of physiotherapy as we know it today.

A Physiotherapist’s Role

Physiotherapists are trained to help people get better after an injury, illness, or disability. They do this by giving patients the right exercises and movements, giving them manual therapy, and giving them the information and advice they need to stay healthy.

How does physiotherapy work?

An individual must have a degree to work as a physiotherapist. Physiotherapists have been extensively trained on human anatomy and physiology and possess many other vital skills and modalities to help patients heal from or manage long-term and acute illnesses.

The Importance of Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy assists patients to boost their health, and restoring body movement, and function following an illness, injury, disability, or any form of body pain. Physiotherapy also helps patients deal with long-term conditions and disabilities.

Physiotherapy can be used to treat the following symptoms:

Physiotherapists help patients recover from a wide range of illnesses and symptoms. Physiotherapy is categorised into the following system-specific areas of specialization:

  • Neurological to treat Parkinson’s disease, stroke, MND, and multiple sclerosis
  • Neuromusculoskeletal to treat knee and back pain and for post-op orthopaedic rehab
  • Cardiovascular issues such as heart disease
  • Respiratory for conditions such as asthma and cystic fibrosis

The list above is not extensive and only highlights some of the major conditions that can be alleviated through physiotherapy. Other areas where physiotherapists can work include women’s health, palliative care, and chronic pain departments, among others. Considering physiotherapist jobs in education would also be a good career move if you also enjoy working with children.

The Major Responsibilities of a Physiotherapist

  • Helping patients with various conditions recover; the recovery period can be weeks or months.
  • Diagnosing, evaluating, and treating different health conditions
  • Prescribing healthy exercises and movements for patients
  • Providing patients with guidelines for living a healthy life
  • Monitoring the patient’s recovery and producing reports

Other Healthcare Professionals Who Work With Physiotherapists To Provide Holistic Patient Care

Physiotherapists fit into a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) that includes a solid division of experts from different departments in the hospital setup. Physiotherapists are mainly involved in providing professional care to patients in the wards.

Other professionals that work with physiotherapists are doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, and speech and language therapists. Many times, a physiotherapist works in partnership with these professionals to treat a patient and takes part in regular MDT meetings to review and analyse every patient’s treatment and recovery process.

Working with a multidisciplinary team (MDT) guarantees that the patient receives holistic treatment and a high level of care until they make a full recovery.

Employment Prospects and Areas of Practice for Physiotherapists

Physiotherapists can function in a number of work environments, such as:

The Community

Physiotherapists can work in the community by caring for patients in their homes. They can also offer patient care to inpatient facilities by caring for patients in hospital wards or as outpatients. In such environments, physiotherapists can help people recover from musculoskeletal conditions like knee, neck, or back pain.

Community-based health care is paramount for lowering the rate of patient admission to hospitals. In addition, it helps to empower people to manage their conditions at home. Neurological rehabs, such as falls rehab and stroke rehab, and elderly care are two examples of medical conditions that can be provided at the community level.

In this way, physiotherapists provide critical support to help patients heal and return home more healthy, fit, and able to move and function normally.

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