So you want to be a physiotherapist – what’s it going to take?

So you’re interested in how to become a physiotherapist and want to know what it’s really going to take……

The Australian Physiotherapy Council (APC) accredits physiotherapy courses in Australia, and courses will include a mandatory supervised practice component in a clinical setting. The APC has set out 9 standards required for safe and effective entry into the profession of physiotherapy. They are:

1. Demonstrate professional behaviour appropriate to physiotherapy
– requires you to operate at all times in accordance with external and internal requirements and codes of conduct relevant to physiotherapy practice and to make judgement on your own capacity to provide specific services based on self assessment, and to take appropriate action.

2. Communicate effectively
- encompasses establishing and maintaining rapport with the client, to comply with relevant documentation requirements including maintenance of client records and to use medical terminology and jargon appropriately

3. Access, interpret and apply information to continuously improve practice
– requires your compliance with internal and external accountability requirements, and your ability to source, access and make use of a wide range of information and your address to ethical issues in relation to research and information management.

4. Assess the client
- requires that you gain a client’s consent, conduct a safe, systematic and efficient assessment in accordance with accepted procedure,
– work with client in a holistic way
– maintain professional, unbiased physiotherapist-client relationships
– identify where further assessment by a specialist physiotherapist or member of another professional discipline is required to assist in the diagnosis of the client’s problem.

5. Interpret and analyse the assessment findings
– requires you to work within your own capabilities and provide referrals if necessary, and also requires you to work in partnership with the client

6. Develop a physiotherapy intervention plan
- requires you to respect the views expressed by the client, to ascertain the client’s understanding of the problems and needs, to successfully negotiate goals and to develop an intervention that is evidence-based and appropriate for individual assessment findings

7. Implement safe and effective physiotherapy intervention(s)
- requires you to accept the client’s right to refuse physiotherapy services, to have an informed consent where you do proceed with treatment, to match the intervention program to the problems, risk factors and identified client’s needs and to provide primary health care

8. Evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of physiotherapy intervention(s)
- encompasses the collection and accurate analysis of information about the client, the condition and the management to form a judgement about how to proceed which may include continuing with the intervention, changing the intervention or referring the client to another service provider

9. Operate effectively across a range of setting3
– includes delivering services within current accepted paradigms of health service delivery in Australia, including providing a primary health care focus to services delivered, working safely and effectively within the health workplace environment, including providing and seeking supervision, managing workload, working within the defined job role and own capabilities, and contributing to quality improvement processes, compliance with external requirements, including legislation, health initiatives and priorities, providing access to high quality services for all clients, promoting the value of physiotherapy services to clients, other service providers and the community

If you want to learn more about becoming a physiotherapist in Australia, please continue reading on the full document from Australian Standards for Physiotherapy.

Click here to see what’s been happening in the profession of physiotherapy in Australia.

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