Physiotherapist

Occupation Overview

Delivering programmes and interventions to help people affected by injury, ageing, illness or disability

Occupational profile:

Physiotherapy is a science-based profession.  Physiotherapists work with individuals, and their families and carers, from birth to end of life and in a wide range of health and social care settings.  They lead and deliver programmes and interventions to help people affected by injury, ageing, illness or disability.  Physiotherapists use a range of physical and psychological treatment approaches, including movement, exercise and manual therapy, to optimise an individual’s mobility, function and quality of life. They also provide education about health and wellbeing and provide specific advice that can be applied to everyday activities to manage and reduce the risk of pain or injury.  The profession helps to encourage development and facilitate recovery, enabling people to remain independent for as long as possible. As a physiotherapist, you will practise as an autonomous, independent practitioner, while contributing strongly to team-working. Individuals are able to seek care directly from you and without referral from another professional.  You will work with people who may present with complex and challenging problems resulting from multiple illnesses, injury or disability.  In addition to providing physiotherapy interventions, you will play a substantial educational, health coaching and advisory role to patients, other healthcare professionals and the public.  Physiotherapists typically work in a range of large and small organisations across public, private and charitable sectors.

 Physiotherapy practice

You will be able to:

  • Take responsibility and be accountable for your decisions and actions as an autonomous practitioner.
  • Assess individual needs, using clinical-reasoning skills to diagnose and plan (e.g. to deliver advice or treatment, or make a referral).
  • Be sensitive to the needs, preferences and goals of individuals, working with them, their family and carers to plan and keep progress under review.
  • Use and advise on a range of physical and psychological approaches (including manual therapy, exercise, physical activity, clinical technologies and equipment) to optimise function, movement, mobility, independence and well-being.
  • Design and deliver individual and group rehabilitation activities.
  • Manage a clinical caseload to meet identified needs and contribute to  efficient service delivery individually or as part of a team.
  • Promote health and well-being, advising on reducing the risk or effects of illness and supporting individuals to achieve reasonable, person specific goals e.g. walking following a stroke, self-management of a long-term breathing problem, reducing the risk of falls.
  • Include health technologies in how you deliver advice and interventions, in line with individual needs and available/accessible resources e.g. exercise apps.
  • Keep accurate, timely records of the care that you deliver.
  • Comply with all relevant health and safety requirements.
  • Use a range of communication approaches, in line with people’s needs, to provide information, advice and solutions to patients, carers, health care professionals and those to whom you delegate activity.
  • Use contemporary quality evidence to inform your practice.
  • Effectively evaluate professional practice to inform personal and service development.
  • Raise and act on concerns about issues that may compromise safety, quality and risk.

You will know and understand: 

  • The structure and function of the human body in the context of health, disease, disorder and dysfunction, across the lifespan.
  • The biomedical, psychological, behavioural, physical and social science basis of physiotherapy practice.
  • Physiotherapy approaches to whole body systems including musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, to enhance movement and to minimise loss of function.
  • Theories and approaches underpinning holistic assessment, rehabilitation, re-ablement, self-management and behaviour change.
  • Approaches to inclusive communication, engagement and partnership-working. 
  • The significance of population and patient health care trends for   physiotherapy practice and service delivery.
  • The evolving evidence base underpinning physiotherapy.
  • Approaches to enabling access to appropriate physiotherapy services in line with need e.g. triage, self-referral.
  • Ways to evaluate and develop physiotherapy practice and service delivery through patient outcomes, clinical audit and data collection.
  • How to use a range of research methods to explore and develop physiotherapy.
  • The political, social and economic factors impacting on health and social care and physiotherapy service delivery.
  • The legislative and clinical governance frameworks in which physiotherapy is delivered.
  • The limits of your scope of practice and seek guidance where appropriate to ensure safe and effective interventions.

Physiotherapy values and behaviours

You will be able to:

  • Engage with and fulfil the ethics, values and behaviours that underpin physiotherapy practice and professionalism.
  • Take a person-centred approach to how you make decisions and act, including how you contribute to delivering physiotherapy and evaluate value and impact.
  • Fulfil all legal, regulatory and professional requirements and standards relating to being a physiotherapist[i].
  • Demonstrate an inclusive, culturally aware approach to your physiotherapy practice and act as an advocate where appropriate.

You will know and understand: 

  • The ethics and values underpinning UK physiotherapy practice and professionalism[i].
  • The legal, regulatory and professional requirements and standards to which you need to adhere as a physiotherapist.
  • The significance of your behaviour outside your physiotherapy role for your personal standing and the profession’s reputation.
  • How to engage with people in non-discriminatory ways, obtain informed consent, maintain confidentiality, uphold data security, and appropriately report any issues that may impact on your own capacity and capability to practice.

Development of self and others

You will be able to:

  • Reflect on your practice and learning, actively engage in supervision, acting on feedback from others, be self-aware and identify areas for your own development.
  • Advocate for the physiotherapy profession through your actions and communication.
  • Demonstrate leadership in how you engage and interact with others.
  • Facilitate learning through designing and delivering activities for patients, students, colleagues etc.

You will know and understand:  

  • Your responsibility to engage in career-long learning to maintain and develop your competence and scope of practice.
  • HCPC and CSP regulatory, professional and employment requirements to demonstrate your professional development[i].
  • Developments in physiotherapy, their significance and implications for your practice.
  • Theories and approaches to leadership and management.
  • How to design and deliver learning activities for individuals and groups, to meet intended learning outcomes.

 Professional engagement

You will be able to:

  • Engage in professional networking, recognising its importance for your own and others’ professional development.
  • Keep up-to-date with developments in physiotherapy practice, models of service delivery and the profession’s evidence base.
  • Share information, ideas and solutions to contribute to knowledge transfer and quality improvements.
  • Respect and engage with the role and contributions of others who contribute to meeting health and social care needs.

You will know and understand:   

  • Available professional peer support networks relevant to your career and areas of professional interest.
  • How to search, appraise and use literature and other resources relating to physiotherapy practice.
  • How you can share information, findings and ideas with others in a range of formats and through a range of media.
  • The dynamic, evolving nature of physiotherapy, including in international, inter-professional and policy contexts.
  • Models of health and social care delivery, including multi-disciplinary teams and inter-agency collaborations.

Qualification requirements:

Apprentices will be required to complete a BSc (Hons) degree in Physiotherapy or Level 7 qualification approved  by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy where the apprentice already holds a Level 6 degree.   Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to completing the end-point assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement the apprenticeships English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3 and British Sign Language qualification are an alternative to English qualifications for whom this is their primary language. 

Entry requirements:

Typically 3 A levels to include biology or human biology, or, an equivalent access qualification.

Level:

6

Duration:

Typically 4 years

Review Date:

After 3 years

Regulated Standard

This is a Regulated occupation.

Regulator Body:

Health and Care Professions Council

Training provider must be approved by regulator body

EPAO must be approved by regulator body

 

Originally published on Gov.uk, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

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