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Areas of Specialization in Physiotherapy


When it comes to talking about specialty areas in physiotherapy or what physiotherapy areas you'll like to specialize it should be based purely on your strengths and interests.
Most physiotherapists specialize in musculoskeletal or sports physiotherapy either for lack of better ideas or job prospects ( not that these are totally wrong reasons).
I think some things you should consider when deciding to specialize are -


  • What really are your interests? Would you rather work with the young or the elederly? I personally don't like seeing children in the hospital so paediatrics is definitely not my thing.
  • What skills have you gathered over the years and which of your skills are you likely to harness? Have you seen yourself coming up with successful rehabilitation programs for patients that suffered from musculoskeletal injuries, for example, over and over again? Are there particular cases or conditions that your superiors or colleagues have associated you with because of your achievements? That may be an area worth looking to.
  • What medical conditions are common in the country or city where you practise? 
  • What job openings for senior positions have you noticed? That would give you an idea of what direction your career progression should take.
  • If there's a guarantee of getting a better pay in one area of specialty than another what stops you from taking the plunge? 


Some Common Areas of Specialization in Physiotherapy

Cardiorespiratory/Cardiopulmonary
A cardiopulmonary physiotherapist works to improve functional independence and endurance of patients with disorders or diseases of the cardiopulmonary system. Disorders like cystic fibrosis, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)...

Orthopaedic/Musculoskeletal
Musculoskeletal physiotherapists focus on Musculoskeletal injuries and conditions and handle rehabilitation after orthopaedic surgery. Common conditions treated are sprains, strains, fractures, amputation, back pain...

Paediatrics
Paediatric physiotherapists in the diagnosis and management of injuries, illnesses and diseases of younger people. They work with children with congenital birth defects and developmental delays like cerebral palsy, spins bifida and torticollis.

Geriatrics
Geriatric physiotherapy focuses on the elderly; keeping them mobile and helping them live healthy lifestyles with specialty knowledge on likely conditions or challenges they might be facing or likely to fave as a result of being advanced in age. Countries like Australia have a high demand for geriatric physiotherapists.

Sports Physiotherapy
Sports physiotherapists don't just focus on treating sport injuries or injuries sustained by athletes. They have in depth knowledge on various kinds of sports and information on likely injuries that may be sustained. They are actively involved in not just rehaibilitaing the sports person but getting him back to optimal performance.

Women's Health
Physiotherapists that specialise in women's health focus on disorders of the pelvis and pelvic floor such as incontinence, prolapse, constipation and pelvic pain.

Neurology
Neurological Physiotherapists deal with people with neurological damage, disease or disorders. Most neurological cases affect the functional dependence of these people. Cases like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, stroke and so on.


How do you get to specialize?

So now that you've made up your mind to go further in your physiotherapy career how do you become a specialist? The first move that reveals what area of specialty you are tilting towards is your Masters program. This is the first step to working towards your area of specialisation.

The next move to make is the hospital setting you choose to work. There are specialised hospitals for assessing and treating paediatric, neurological, musculoskeletal conditions...to mention a few.

If you are a registered physiotherapist in Canada this bit of information might be of interest to you thinking of specializing:

The CPA Clinical Specialty Program is a self-directed certification program to recognize physiotherapists who have demonstrated advanced clinical competence, leadership, continuing professional development and involvement in research. The specialist designation is valid for 10 years.

The CPA Clinical Specialty Program is available to all registered physiotherapists, regardless of practice setting or location.

To register as a candidate in the CPA Clinical Specialty Program, you must meet the following requirements:

A minimum of five years full time (one year full-time is 1800 hours) applied clinical experience
A minimum of 300 clinical contact hours in the clinical specialty area annually
A valid registration with their physiotherapy regulatory body in Canada
A completed application form along with payment of the application fee
See more here 



Comments

Have You Read These?

Which Countries Pay the Best Physiotherapy Salary?

We always hear about physiotherapy being a "hot" profession and that physiotherapists are saught after all over the world and that gives us the confidence to go for international jobs. Interestingly, though, I have noticed that physiotherapists move around alot, and we're about ro find out if it's for "greener pastures" , inner fulfillment or just sheer restlessness. I know of physiotherpists that move from Australia to Canada, and others from Canada to Australia...the other day a colleague of mine told me about a physiotherapist that had just devided to leave Australia for Singapore, while he stays put in South Africa.
Many physiotherapists want to know which countries pay the best salaries to help get some motivation to move or jump ship, so let's first try to analyse places that have the best paying physiotherapy jobs or simply put, the highest salaries.

Ireland
A physiotherapist's salary in Ireland ranges from $27000 to $60000 a year andthis wil…

How to Get Licenced to Practice Physiotherapy in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Here's a quick summary on how to get a physiotherapy practising licence in Dubai and Abu Dhabi:

A foreign trained physiotherapist should at least have a B.Sc in physiotherapy, with at least two years work experience.

The physiotherapist must be a graduate from a National and/ or International recognized college/University.

For graduates from the UAE universities, the program and university must be accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR).

Higher diploma certificates from The Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE will be equivalent to Bachelor degree as per MOHESR standard

A Master degree or PhD (in the area of specialty) will reduce one (1) year from the required experience for licensing provided that the Master’s/ PhD degree is not mandatory to obtain the selected title.

Qualifications acquired through honorary nature, correspondence or distance learning are not counted towards the PQR requirements.

All non-UAE national graduate physiothe…

How to Get a Physiotherapy job in Singapore

Physiotherapy is on the skills shortage list in Singapore and is classified as an Allied Health Profession.

You as a physiotherapist should apply directly to the Ministry of Manpower  or the Human Resources department in the hospital of your choice.
Once your registration is approved you'll need a work permit and you need to have a job to get it. There are two types of work passes the EP and the S pass. You can get more information on the Ministry of Manpower website.

Part of the criteria for a foreign trained physiotherapist to to be able to practise in Singapore is to pass the MOH qualifying exam.

The qualifying exam (QE) is an assessment of the equivalence of the knowledge and skills of the foreign trained physiotherapist and the physiotherapy practise in Singapore.
The exams are conducted four times a year in January, April, July and October and you need to be in Singapore to take the exams. The results of this exam are usually released four weeks after the exam was taken.

Bu…

Getting Study Materials for the DHA, HAAD Physiotherapist Exam

The licensing exam for practicing physiotherapy in Dubai or Abu Dhabi is computer based and multi choice (mcq).
Getting past questions for this DHA, HAAD exam has become a very expensive venture with many websites offering sample questions at a cost.

The Dubai Health Authority has however made it clear that it doesn't sell or make available such past questions and that any one who encounters such should report to them.
So I won't be putting up any names of websites who claim to sell sample questions or offer subscriptions to those who want to rehearse the exam online.

If you want to know how to prepare for these exams or have an idea of the syllabus then you can do one of these two options:
1. Get in contact with a medical recruiting agency with experience.
2. Use the recommended textbooks to prepare for the exam.

I really don't see why you can't go for option 2.
Give yourself a month to go through the textbooks to refresh your memory... It's an mcq exam and pass …

Want to Migrate to Australia as Physiotherapist? Read this first.

If you are a physiotherapist interested in migrating to Australia, reading this first will be highly beneficial to you.

Yes physiotherapy is on the Australia immigration skilled occupation list, but my observation is that there are still very few going through their skill select process.

The Australian skill select process (where Canada got the inspiration for Express entry) is supposed to be a stress free process. It's simply a DIY (do it yourself) kind of thing; fill in your information, upload your English scores and you skills assessment and submit your application for immigration.

Twice every month there are selection rounds and successful applicants are invited to apply for a skilled migration visa.

But this is not actually the case for physiotherapists because you need a skills assessment.

Here are the requirements for applying for a skills assessment:

·         A qualification that is included in theApproved Programs of Study list

·         A Certificate of Substantial Equ…

Working Abroad: Getting a Physiotherapy Job in US

It's okay to look out for something different after being a physiotherapist in your present location for so long. Or maybe you are a fresh graduate seeking adventure and consciously plotting an international pathway for your career...Hmmm or maybe you graduated with a degree in physiotherapy and haven't really done much with it...The question remains the same....

How can I get an international job? Are there really jobs for physiotherapists abroad or is this career just overhyped?
Overhyped?!!
Are you kidding me?
The key to plotting the right graph for your career is information, so I will do my best to point you in the right direction so you can achieve your dream of getting an international job.

Are there actually best countries for physiotherapy jobs?
Well there are quite a number of places abroad where physiotherapists are seriously sought after, but I would start with what I call the big five: United States, Canada, Australia, Dubai and Ireland... Then maybe Singapore and …