Physiotherapy

Detailed job

"Physiotherapy is a health care profession concerned with human function and movement and maximising potential:

It uses physical approaches to promote, maintain and restore physical, psychological and social well-being, taking account of variations in health status

It is science-based, committed to extending, applying, evaluating and reviewing the evidence that underpins and informs its practice and delivery

Taken from http://www.csp.org.uk/director/physiotherapyexplained/whatisphysiotherapy.cfm

Physiotherapists see patients every 20 minutes, in this time this includes making a diagnosis for the patient, and treatment of injuries. Treatments can involve soft tissue massage, joint mobilisations, stretches, taping, rehabilitation exercises, X-ray referral, application and removal of plasters. Sports coverage involves attending training sessions to monitor and treat injured athletes, providing on-field first aid and injury diagnosis and recovery at games or competitions.

You will need five GCSE's and three A' levels including at least one science subject. You normally need high grades to get onto the physiotherapy degree course UCAS states ABB grades are required. You will need a physiotherapy degree to enable you to practise. Students who do not meet the minimum academic entry requirements but have significant life or work experience will be considered on an individual basis, but should have evidence of recent study in a science/health related subject area recognised as equivalent academic level by Academic Board. In physiotherapy you can progress in mark bands and into advanced clinicians and team leaders to senior managers.

The initial physiotherapist starting salary is between £19,166 to £24,803 . Advanced clinicians and team leaders normally earn between £27,622 and £36,416. Senior managers can earn between £35,232 and £50,733

Interview with physiotherapist Dave Jones

When and why did you decide to become a physiotherapist?

I used to play local league football for Kidlington in the Helenic League and I had a nasty back injury and basically had to stop playing. It was at that time a friend of mine, John Clinkard, who is the physiotherapist at Oxford Utd, and was previously at Wycombe and Everton, persuaded me it was probably a good idea that I should get involved in this side of the game. It has been a long progression since then.

When did you join Wycombe Wanderers and where did you work before that?

I joined Wycombe Wanderers in 1986 and before that I just worked at local level with Kidlington and I helped at Oxford with their YTS team for some time. David Burgess Alan Gane, I used to look after David Burgess as he lived just down the road from me, and that was how I ended up here.

What was your job before becoming a full-time physio and was it a dilemma to go full- time as a physio?

There was no dilemma whatsoever. I am an electrical engineer by trade and I've done the Football Association courses. Since then I have done many courses.

What is in your medical bag?

Basically, there is not a lot nowadays that you can do for people on the pitch. It is really just a first aid bag with splints, dressings, emergency aid articles. There are also some splints and cervical neck collars in the dug-out that are too cumbersome to carry out, but if you do need them they are there. In the modern game there is very little you can do, they are either fit to carry on playing, or not fit to carry on playing. The old days of strapping them up to get them back out there really was clutching at straws . The modern game now doesn't allow any players to bleed when they re on the pitch, the old pictures of Terry Butcher with his shirt sodden and a big bandage is just not allowed. I cringed the other week when Terry Evans had a nosebleed and I was waiting for the Referee to call me on and tidy it all up. It s business, it s health and safety at work.

What is the commonest injury you treat?

Bruising in all the different major muscle groups of the body. Then we go onto ankles, knees and very often muscle stiffness. We might divulge to the press that someone s got a hamstring injury, but it can be a lot more complicated than that, but if I started to say he s got referred pain, then people wouldn't understand. So, basically, he can t play because he s got a hamstring injury. Very often things are a lot more involved that we will ever divulge.

Have you ever had to tell a player that his footballing career is over due to a serious injury?

I've never really had to do that to be perfectly frank with you. I don t think anybody tells anybody that. What happens is that you go through a process of the injury, the surgeons, the hospital do their job to get that person well again and then you help the player go down the road as far as they possibly can and the player then gets back to playing. It can soon become very evident that when they train they are sore, they can t twist and turn like they should do and then basically you go back and see the specialist, he shrugs his shoulders and says sorry, there s nothing more I can do for you and then you start finding other specialists and they can t help you and then I think the player himself knows that his footballing career is coming to an end. But you don't actually sit the person down and tell them. I think the hardest ones I've ever had have been David Titterton and Keith Ryan when they damaged their knees. You assess the knee, you see what s wrong, they you get an MRI scan to confirm the extent of the damage, but invariably the scan report comes back here first and I have to sit the player down and say the scan has shown that you ve damaged the cruciate ligament, we re going to see a specialist and I think that you re going to be out of the game and not play for a minimum of 6 months, probably a year. In that respect we've been very lucky because Terry Evans has had tremendous experience having cruciates done in both his knees and usually I walk out of the room, tap Terry on the shoulder and Tel goes and talks to them. For the lads that have had their cruciates done, he s been a great mentor.

How does it feel when a player has had a very serious injury, you have helped him regain his fitness, and you see him play again?

That is the thing that gives you the kick in life. I get great kicks from watching the team win, I get kicks out of being involved in the changing room with the lads, I might not show it sometimes, but it affects me. However, to take a person who can t play and over a 6 week period of doing the right thing, you sense he can go back on the field and play, it s very satisfying.

How seriously do players take your advice about how they should look after themselves?

In terms of injuries, they usually are very good. They follow it pretty clearly. You have to remember that the exercises I give people are generally very monotonously boring things to do. If I said to you I wanted you to go and step on your bottom stairs 52 times every night, you would go and do it and for the first 3 weeks it would be great, but after that you would be bored to tears. Generally they do look after themselves pretty well. There s a lot of money in the game and people are realising that because the top players are looking after themselves and they are managing to play for a longer period of time. Then you ve got the players lower down look up and realise that they can make a decent living out of playing to that age. I think it s more of a peer pressure thing.

Interview was taken from http://www.chairboys.ndirect.co.uk/wwisc/dj-int.htm

Areas were physiotherapy will be used in sports

· Outpatients- this is treating spinal and joint problems in accidents and sports related injuries such as knee popping or twisting. This is relevant for all different types of sports.

· Neurology- this is helping people restore normal movement and function. This is relevant to sports when they have had a bad accident they will help them restore back to their normal fitness so they can train again.

· Intensive care - keeping limbs mobile and chests clear .this is relevant to sports so they can help them be fit enough to train.

· Orthopaedics- helping treating patients after accidents. This is relevant because if an athlete has had a bad accident during participating in their sport they can be treated by a physiotherapist who can make sure they are okay.

· Occupational health - this is where they treat people who are in injury related workplaces to make sure they are fit enough to work there. This is relevant to sports because they have to do tests on the sports person before they can start their training.

· Education and health promotion- this is where they teach sports people about the many conditions related to their sport and also how to treat them

· Sports clinics- this is treating injuries in sportsmen and women, advising on recovering fitness and how to avoid a repeated injury.

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