Physiotherapist Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Physiotherapist, or Physical Therapist provides care for people with functional problems due to physical injuries, illness or old age. Their primary duties include evaluating patients’ physical dysfunction, developing personalised care plans and administering therapeutic treatments to patients.


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Physiotherapist duties and responsibilities

The day-to-day responsibilities of a Physiotherapist can vary from examining a patient’s condition and making a diagnosis to devising and executing a personalised treatment plan. Other important duties include:

  • Consulting with patients to learn more about their physical condition and symptoms
  • Planning, implementing and managing patients’ physical therapy programmes
  • Reviewing patients’ medical history and referrals or notes from Surgeons, Doctors and other healthcare workers
  • Administering medically prescribed physical therapy treatments to relieve pain and improve the patient’s mobility
  • Developing a personalised treatment plan for patients and outlining their goals and the expected outcomes of the plan
  • Recording and evaluating a patient’s progress, modifying their care plan and trying new treatments as needed
  • Advising patients and their families about in-home treatment options
  • Complying with government physiotherapy regulations 
  • Visiting patients at their homes and at other facilities on a limited basis


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What does a Physiotherapist do?

Physiotherapists are an integral part of the healthcare system. They help patients with physical injuries and illnesses to restore movement, overcome their pain and regain health and well-being. Physiotherapists use a blend of techniques such as physical activity, exercise equipment, reflexology, massage and muscular or skeletal manipulation to treat their patients. Sometimes they use specialised equipment like isokinetics machines to administer treatments.

Physiotherapists also supervise Physical Therapist Assistants and Physical Therapy Aides who are undergoing training. Physiotherapists typically work in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, rehabilitation centres, government organisations and sports and fitness centres.


Physiotherapist skills and qualifications

A successful Physiotherapist will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications such as compassion, motivation, patience and empathy which helps their patients get through through difficult times. Physiotherapists should also have a blend of technical, physical and critical thinking skills. Other skills and qualifications include:

  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills
  • Physical strength to manipulate patients’ limbs and help them move around
  • Excellent time management skills
  • In-depth knowledge of physiotherapy treatment practices
  • Outstanding patient management skills
  • Thorough attention to detail


Physiotherapist experience requirements

A strong foundation in physical therapy is generally required for this position. A qualified candidate needs to have at least two years of experience working in a similar role. Some employers prefer candidates who have several years of experience working as a Physiotherapy Assistant. Other employers consider applicants who have worked as volunteers for organisations such as the British Red Cross, St. John Ambulance and the MS Society. A Physiotherapist apprenticeship can substitute for lack of experience.


Physiotherapist education and training requirements

A Physiotherapist typically needs a bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy from an institution accredited by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP). Check that the university a candidate attended is approved by the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). Some employers consider candidates who have completed an HCPC-accredited degree apprenticeship, which combines specialist education and work-based learning modules.


Physiotherapist salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a Physiotherapist in the UK is  £36,276 per year . Their actual salary varies depending on their speciality, work experience, geographical location and the organisation they work for. 


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Physiotherapist job description FAQs


What are the different types of Physiotherapists?

There are several types of Physiotherapists. These include Neurological Physiotherapists, Cardiovascular Physiotherapists and Sports Physiotherapists. Neurological Physiotherapists focus on the treatment of people with neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and strokes. Cardiovascular Physiotherapists treat patients with injuries and diseases in the lungs and heart. Sports Physiotherapists help Athletes recover from weakened muscles, adjust their posture and even reduce the likelihood of future injuries.


What qualities make a good Physiotherapist?

A Physiotherapist experiences several personal moments with patients who may feel embarrassed, vulnerable or at their lowest point during their recovery period. Part of the job of a Physiotherapist is to temper the nerves of a patient, usually through showing the behaviour necessary to make it through therapy. Successful Physiotherapists are people who have a  good sense of humour, are tender and empathetic as this helps them maintain control of difficult sessions.


What should you look for in a Physiotherapist CV?

Look for expertise in physiotherapy and a history of working in a health facility that offers therapeutic services. An outstanding Physiotherapist CV must have an insightful summary. It should also demonstrate how the applicant has used their therapeutic skills and experience to help patients recover from various physical injuries and debilitating conditions. Pay attention to the candidates’ education and certification. The CV must also have references who can testify to their professionalism and achievements.

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