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  • 24 January 2019
  • 11 min read

Is physiotherapy right for me?

  • Matticus Chong
    Physiotherapy Student

Matticus is a physiotherapy student at the University of Southampton. If you've considered physiotherapy as a career but don't know if it's for you, then Matticus can help you out with this video!

Play video: Matticus discusses whether physiotherapy is the right career choice for you!

Happy new year everyone and welcome back to Matticus Vlogs.

If you are new to visiting the channel then I like to take the time to wish you the warmest of welcomes and hope that it's the first of many visits that you make, and if you are a returning subscriber then what can I say - you guys are just awesome!

Now as you guys can see from my new intro I am working with a website called Healthjobs.co.uk.

Quite simply put Healthjobs.co.uk is an online website that helps allied health professionals such as physios, occupational therapists, podiatrists, but also nurses, midwives and doctors to find work.

You go on to their website and you click on, for instance for me when I qualify as a physio I'll go into their website and then select the area which I want to find a job in and any keywords, and it will come up with any jobs that are advertised and it just makes it very easy to look for a physiotherapy job and to apply for it.

So essentially what happened was a few weeks ago I was contacted by Healthjobs and I was asked if I'd like to make videos with them, or to work with them rather would be a better way to put it - and these videos would be to give people more insight as to what physio is about.

Not only the job, which I haven't got yet because I'm still a student, but more so what being a student is like and loads of topics ranging from questions that many people have about the physiotherapy degree and since I am going into my final year or physiotherapy at the University of Southampton I have some experience - I hope - as to what the degrees actually all about and a lot of the lessons that I've learned and any questions that people have about placement and about grade requirements and interviews and things like that.

In short I will now be making videos once a month that will be on the topic of physiotherapy and all things related to that.

Whether it be like skills or what you actually learn, or five things I wish I knew about physiotherapy before I got in, to help people who are considering a degree in physiotherapy because quite frankly we need more physios and there is a massive shortage of physios.

How to tell if physiotherapy is right for you

Anyway onto the topic of the video.

As you can see by the title ‘is physiotherapy right for you’ well how do you know?

How are you supposed to know if physiotherapy is right for you?

Well first let me start off by saying that physiotherapy is such a good course to be on at uni, like I've thoroughly enjoyed it.

It's been challenging at times but actually I'm just so grateful to be where I am and there are just so many aspects that I like and very few aspects I dislike or have apathy towards.

Pretty much everything about physio that I've learned in the last year has showed me that it is for me.

If you'd like some advice on how to qualify for and find a job as a physiotherapist, then read Healthjobs.co.uk's blog!

Are you a caring person?

The first thing to be sure of is that you care about other people because that is what physio’s all about.

It's a profession where the central aspect of the profession is the patient, like it's patient-centered care and rehabilitation so if you like to help other people, if you really care about other people and about their well-being then physiotherapy could be a profession for you. 

'You actually do something that's making a huge difference in someone else's life.'

Are you sociable?

Another thing is that to be a physio you have to be quite sociable.

You have to be a social person, you have to like to talk to people, you have to be a people person.

So what I mean by this is, using myself as an example, I enjoy the theory behind physio like learning all the techniques but also all the studies and backgrounds and all the anatomy is just so interesting, so fascinating but even more so than that it's about getting hands-on.

So at Southampton we have a lot of lectures but we have even more practical time.

After the lectures we'll go straight to a practical session in the practical room and yeah it'll just be hands-on, practicing all the techniques that we've learned and the lecturers will demonstrate and then we'll go over and practice and practice and practice because practice makes perfect.

If you're a really hands-on person and you enjoy talking to people and working with people then physiotherapy could be the profession for you.

Do you like to see people grow and progress?

Another thing is if you like to see progression in people, if you like to see people improve.

So for me what gives me the greatest joy is to see someone who for instance can't walk after surgery or that they've broken their leg and to see them on each week progress and obviously listen to the advice and the exercises you give them, but to come in every week and see like a progression like a journey of them getting back to where they were before, getting back to their baseline that like gives me like the greatest sense of joy and achievement.

Did you know physio isn't just sports based?

And the last thing that I want to quickly address is that a lot of people think that physio jobs are all sport physio.

They say ‘oh you'll be working with footballers and all that’ and you can get people who go into physio for sports physio and that's fine.

If you're only into sports that's fine but really what we need with the increasingly aging population and then demographics of society changing, we have more old people in hospital we have unfortunately more people getting sick and cancer, having operations and these things mean that we need more people, more physios in the hospital helping to rehab patients who have come to hospital and they lose some of their physical ability and they need to get that back.

So most likely you won't be working as a sports physio because that's not really what we need at this time.

Mostly you'll be going into the NHS.

There are three branches of physiotherapy, three main branches.

There's cardiovascular respiratory, neurology and musculoskeletal and then like this neuromuscular was just kind of in-between for people who have had like a slipped disc in their back, and this slipped disc then presses upon the spinal cord and compresses it, irritates it and it does whatever and potentially causes referred pain or radicular pain down their leg for instance, and might cause paralysis.

Anyway those are the three main branches plus neuromuscular which is kind of in between neurology and muscular.

So you might be working in an acute respiratory ward, so people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and just breathing difficulties.

It might be working with neuro so that's people who had a stroke or who have multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease and have some sort of neurological symptoms that prevent them from carrying active daily living and you might also be musculoskeletal physiotherapists, to shorten it an MSK physio, and you might be working in outpatient so dealing with people who have had a hip or knee operation and they're coming in because they want to restore their movement in their leg or whatever.

When people think physio they often think sport physio.

Actually there's so much more to it than sports physio and is only like the tip of the iceberg.

Also another thing I want to address is that a lot of people think that physio is about just giving massages to people and that's that's not really what it's about.

Physios don't always just give massages so again it’s a lot more than that - if you want a massage then go to a sports massage therapist.

So yeah that's just something I'm gonna throw out there because I get a lot of people ask me how my degree is going, they've asked if I've massaged loads of people yet with oil so that's not really…

'To come in every week and see a progression journey of them getting back to where they were before, gives me the greatest sense of joy.'

If these things apply to you, then you should DEFINITELY consider physiotherapy

With all these things that I've discussed already, if you're a caring person, if you're a people person, if you like to see progression in people and if you are aware that physio is not just sport physio, if you answered yes to all these things then physiotherapy might just be the profession for you.

As I said at the beginning of the video, physiotherapy is a fantastic profession and the degree that I'm doing now I absolutely love it like I wouldn't trade it for anything, any other degree, any other course in the world.

Right now physio is also a highly respected degree. If you tell people you're going to be a physio they're like ‘wow!’ Physio gets almost the same level as if you're a doctor or if you are doing something really cool or like a rocket scientist or something, it's like, wow, you actually do something that's making a huge difference in someone else's life.

But also physiotherapy is a degree that's highly practical, if you go to uni to study physiotherapy you're pretty much guaranteed a job like there are going to be hospitals that need you like a lot of people who go even to Oxford or Cambridge and they study music there - no offense to my mate Barney who studied music at Cambridge...!

But I know people who done degrees like music or classics or like a degree that's not necessarily vocational but more academic and they end up like stacking shelves at Amazon, and there's nothing wrong with that if that's what you want to do then that's fine the point I'm making is that yeah physio is a very vocational degree and you are very likely to get job.

Salary

Another thing I want to talk about very quickly is salary.

So on a physio job salary you're not going to be earning a huge amount but you're not gonna be not well-off as well, does that make sense?

So you actually start off with a salary of 22 thousand pounds per year like as a starting salary if you come out as a band 5 physio which is the starting point where you come out of uni.

You’re a band 5 physio and you progress to band 6 band 7.

Get work experience

Ultimately the biggest factor for determining whether physiotherapy is the right degree for you is work experience.

If you have physiotherapy related work experience and get to the hospital or wherever you're working to get the work experience and you can't see yourself there, if you can't see yourself working as a physio then it’s probably not for you.

That's all I wanted to talk about in this video but before I go there was something I like to share.

So this verse is from Philippians chapter 2 verse 4 and it reads ‘let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others’.

Now I sincerely hope that you've enjoyed this video, I really hope that you found it helpful.

If you have then please give this video a like as it really does help the channel out.

If you like to see more videos like this and follow me on my journey to becoming a physiotherapist as well as my adventures at Southampton Uni as a physiotherapy student then the why not consider subscribing by clicking on the subscribe button down below.

So until next time, bye everyone!

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About the author

  • Matticus Chong
    Physiotherapy Student

I am a physiotherapy student studying at the University of Southampton. I'm also a qualified personal trainer. When I'm not at uni, I upload vlogs about my experiences of being a physio student and my life at uni to my YouTube channel, Matticus Vlogs.

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  • Matticus Chong
    Physiotherapy Student

About the author

  • Matticus Chong
    Physiotherapy Student

I am a physiotherapy student studying at the University of Southampton. I'm also a qualified personal trainer. When I'm not at uni, I upload vlogs about my experiences of being a physio student and my life at uni to my YouTube channel, Matticus Vlogs.