The Day to Day Responsibilities and Working Conditions of Physiotherapists

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I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say, “because of you I didn’t give up”. (unknown). This quote is the reason why physiotherapy is my choice for a career. When I first saw this quote, I knew that when it came to my career I wanted to do something that is not only going to help people, but change their lives for the better. It makes me happy knowing that this career path will help people so much and have a great impact on their health and their life which is the reason why I want to become a physiotherapist. Knowing that I have the ability to impact one’s life for better makes me more excited to pursue this as my career. Sports are another reason on my decision to work towards this career. Ever since I was a little kid, sports were of so much interest to me. I enjoyed playing them and watching them and when I saw someone get hurt during a game and saw the physiotherapists on the field or the ice helping them, I knew that that’s what I wanted to do when I was older. A physiotherapist is someone who helps an injured person to perform certain movements or exercises in order to get them back up to moving and functioning again. I want to be able to help people in a way that will help them live a healthy and happy life.

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Physiotherapists patients are not only those with sports related injuries but also those who have been in really bad accidents and those who are suffering from heart disease and many other medical issues (red). Being a physiotherapist comes with a lot of different tasks that need to be performed. Some of their day to day responsibilities include taking patients physical exams, and teaching patients movements and exercises that they can do in order to improve their injuries and range of movement from the injury. (red). There are plenty of other tasks that physiotherapists take part in but, these would be the two most important. All tasks performed by physiotherapists are important for getting the patients treated and for getting them to go back to living a healthy lifestyle.

When it comes to finding a place to work, physiotherapists have many options including both public and private clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centres, and working for the school sports teams. (red). They have a lot of choice when it comes to where they are most interested in working. If they are more interested in sports they can aim towards working for school athletic departments and if they enjoy helping the elderly they can lean towards working for nursing homes. Physiotherapy can be a very demanding and tiring job. “They spend long hours standing and bending. They lift equipment and support their clients' bodies. They help clients to stand, walk, or turn over.” (red). With physiotherapy, you have to work to accommodate the schedule of the patient therefore evening and weekend schedules are very common, especially those who work for someone who has opened their own business. Physiotherapists tend to work very long hours, most work eight to ten hours a day, which can translate into forty to fifty hours a week. (red).

Physiotherapy seems to be on the rise therefore it is going to be a tough career to get into. I have to make sure that I take all the courses I need and excel in each one of them. To become a physiotherapist firstly, a kinesiology undergraduate program is going to have to be completed. Next, a physiotherapy program in university will also need to be completed and this program is around one to three years. After all of the university courses are completed a license in your province is needed in order to be part of a physiotherapy practice. It is recommended that one volunteers at a physiotherapist clinic or a volunteer physiotherapist assistant to prepare for this career. (red).

Depending on how much experience you have in this field will determine how much one will earn. Ones earnings usually depend on a few aspects some of them being how experienced you are, and your employer, which seems to be the same factors when it comes to many other jobs as well. Most physiotherapists make around forty thousand dollars a year if they are just starting off with the job. When a physiotherapist has about five or more years of experience that are likely to get a raise, which can reach as high as one hundred thousand dollars a year. (red). Physiotherapists who open their own practice seem to make the same amount of income when they first start off as well as when they have had their practice open for five or more years. Compared to part-time physiotherapists, full-time physiotherapists receive working benefits and job welfare. They often include dental and vison care plans, days for sick leave and paid vacations, some may also offer a retirement program. (red). Earnings can differ from gender as well. In this field of work as well as many other men tend to make a higher income than women. “As of 2010, the average female earned seventy-eight thousand dollars a year, whereas the average male earned ninety thousand a year.”

As it being 2018 it is shocking to see how there is still inequality when it comes to wages. Why is there still a gender wage gap? Why is it that men are getting paid more than women for doing the exact same job? This does not seem fair since both men and women both have responsibilities, families to take care of, and bills to pay. In the future, I hope this inequality can be solved and the gender wage gap becomes more equal between male and female. Brenda Bouw states that in Canada, there are approximately twenty-one thousand physiotherapists and about three quarters of them are women, which means that only one quarter of them are men. Women seem to dominate in this field of work but still seem to be treated unfairly when it comes to their wages. This information shows how there is still so much inequality for women and even if they do dominate in a field of work they still do not get treated fairly and seem to be under appreciated for the work that they do when it comes to doing their job.

Physiotherapy seems to fall under a white-collar job, which means that this job falls under the service sector. More specifically, a physiotherapist can belong to both the private and public service sector. It is found that almost half work in the public sector and a little less than half work in the private sector. This shows that more physiotherapists prefer to work for the government, but plenty of them also prefer to work for someone who has opened their own practice. People may prefer to work for public sectors more because they have better job security and benefits compared to those who work for privately owned businesses. In my opinion, it would be nice to know that job security would be available to me and benefits just in case something was to happen. This also has to do with why people are part of unions. Union leaders negotiate the salary rates and benefits on behalf of the whole group. (career cruising). 58% of physiotherapists are unionized. Physiotherapists and many people in other fields of work like to join unions so that they know their benefits are guaranteed and protected. It makes them feel secure especially if they have families to take care of and bills to pay.

So much is always changing in the world. One of the most common things that changes the most would have to be trends. Being interested in working in the physiotherapy field also makes me wonder what new trends there are going to be in the future when I will be working in the field. The main trends in this field are demographic trends, educational trends and technological trends that have and will change the way this career is now and how it will be in the future. The Demographic trends will talk about gender in physiotherapy, how has the number of men and women working in physiotherapy changed over the years and how will it change in the future. The charts and graphs from the Canadian Institute for Health Information show that since 2007 there have always been more men than women in this workforce. I find it very fascinating that physiotherapy is a very female dominated field of work since this is very uncommon to find since most jobs are dominated by males. This research was taken from a little over ten years ago and still the trend seems to remain the same. There are still more female physiotherapists than male ones, and I expect this trend to continue to remain the same in the future when I become a physiotherapist.

We all need education in order to become a physiotherapist, but the requirements have changed from the past and will most likely change in the future. In the 1980s, it changed to needing a bachelor’s degree in college, and in 2010 to practice physiotherapy a master’s degree is needed and still is today, before this all that was needed to practice physiotherapy was a diploma. In the future, I expect that more education will be required to practice physiotherapy in Canada, and that people might have to go to medical school in order to become a physiotherapist. A trend that is very big in the world is not so big in the world of physiotherapy. This trend would be technology. Physiotherapists that have been interviewed state that “technology use for physiotherapy has a very long way to go before being considered truly enabled.” But as the years go by, technology will become even more popular and will be seen in every workplace all around the world, and I do not expect this to be any different for physiotherapy. This might actually be a good thing for patients. An example of what they can do with the technology is create an app. If the patients are too injured to move and come to the office for a checkup or for help there can be an app that patients can use. This app can contain one on one time with an actual physiotherapist that can provide you with the information you need from the comfort of your home.

Learning about physiotherapy in Canada has given me a lot of thought of what it is like to be a physiotherapist in America and some of the major differences and similarities there are such as the ratio of men to women working in this field, the average salary, education needed to become a physiotherapist and many other things. I expect that there will be some differences between the physiotherapy in Canada and physiotherapy in America, but assume that there are a lot more similarities than there are differences. It is found that in both Canada and America there are more female physiotherapists than male physiotherapists. In the United States, not only are females making less than males but they are also making less than the average salary. This compares to Canada because females also have a lower salary than men. This informs people that there still is a gender wage gap in both countries. Although this seems to be true, the average female physiotherapists in America are making around sixty three thousand dollars a year, whereas the average female physiotherapist in Canada makes around ten thousand dollars more than that. In both countries, it also seems to be that there is going to be a huge job growth. This can be seen as a disadvantage because if there is a huge population of physiotherapists it can be hard to find a job in the future. The job growth in the U.S. is an average of 7.4% growth rate. And in Canada there is an average 5% growth rate which tells us that although it is going to be hard to get a job in both countries it will most likely be easier to get one in Canada. Although there are some differences in both America and Canada I think it would be great to work for either country.

Physiotherapy has been my dream job for the longest time and this essay has opened my eyes on what it would actually be like to work in the medical field. It gave me insight to a physiotherapists day to day responsibilities and working conditions. What courses you need to take in school and how much school you need to go to in order to become a physiotherapist. Information about what labour market this job falls under and if it’s a private or public sector which can help you choose which one you want to work for, one has better job security. This research informed me on how much physiotherapists make in a year and trends that will change the way the job will be in the future. From this research, I have learned that physiotherapy can be very hard to get into and can be a very demanding job but, with this job I will be able to help so many people, and put smiles on their faces which is why I have picked this job from the beginning. Although this job can be very physically demanding it is worth it because I know it will change people’s lives for the better.

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