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How to become a Physiotherapy Assistant

physiotherapy assistant careers

What does a Physiotherapy Assistant do?

Physiotherapy assistants work alongside qualified physiotherapists,helping to rehabilitate patients suffering from injury, illness or disability. They work with patients of all ages, ranging from babies to elderly people, who may be out-patients or in-patients from any department of the hospital.

Assistants follow programmes devised by qualified staff, providing encouragement and support to clients by helping them work towards achievable goals. This may involve preparing patients for therapy, showing them how to use mobility aids, working on exercises with patients, and setting up equipment.

They may maintain written records of clients' progress and provide reports to physiotherapists. Other duties include general administration tasks, maintaining equipment and keeping the department tidy.

What's the working environment like working as a Physiotherapy Assistant?

The working week is usually 37.5 hours, Monday to Friday. There may be opportunities for part-time work.

Most physiotherapy assistants work in the NHS in hospital physiotherapy departments. Assistants may also be employed in private practice.

The work can be physically demanding, helping patients move and providing support. A uniform is usually provided.

What does it take to become a Physiotherapy Assistant?

To be a physiotherapy assistant, you should:

  • have good communication skills and enjoy working with people
  • have an interest in physical education
  • be patient, sensitive, tolerant and tactful
  • be understanding and persuasive in order to gain patients co-operation
  • be encouraging, helping patients persevere with their treatment
  • have a caring attitude, be concerned for the well being of patients
  • have good health and stamina
  • work well as part of a team.

Physiotherapy Assistant Career Opportunities

Vacancies for assistants will be advertised locally, although demand for jobs often exceeds availability. You should contact your local NHS trust to see what opportunities are available in your area.

In some areas NHS trusts and universities run linked schemes which allow physiotherapy assistants to take a part-time degree in physiotherapy, leading to registration as a qualified physiotherapist. Check with individual universities for details on their entry requirements.

Work as a physiotherapy assistant provides valuable experience if you wish to qualify as a physiotherapist; please check physiotherapist job profile.

Part-time degrees which are not part of a linked scheme are also available at some universities. Information about these can be obtained from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy; see Further Information for contact details.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Physiotherapy Assistant that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

NHS Learning and Development Service
Tel: 08000 150 850
Email: learning@nhscareers.nhs.uk

NHS Careers
PO Box 376
Bristol
BS99 3EY
Tel: 0845 606 0655
www.nhscareers.nhs.uk

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
14 Bedford Row
London
WC1R 4ED
Tel: 020 7306 6666
www.csp.org.uk

SkillsActive
77-91 New Oxford St
London
WC1A 1PX
Tel: 020 7632 2020
www.skillsactive.org.uk