Physiotherapist

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Jim, late 30s

Jim has always had a deep love of sport, which lead him to pursue a career in the health and sport field. He has been working as a physiotherapist since 1993 and is currently employed by Lifecare Prahran Sports Medicine Centre.

What made you get involved?

Jim first toyed with the idea of becoming a physiotherapist at a very young age. He remembers watching a physiotherapist run across the field to help an injured player when, as a youngster, he watched the Australian cricket team playing a match on TV. "Ever since then I have been involved in sport!" says Jim.

What's the job like?

Jim describes his job as very diverse and sometimes quite challenging. "You have to be able to get your clients back into their sporting activities as quickly and efficiently as possible."

He believes that it helps if you have excellent communication skills, enjoy talking, are willing to work around other people's schedules, and have an analytical approach to problem solving.

"But you also need to be good with your hands, have a good sense of body balance and good posture. Being ambidextrous and physically fit can be really useful too," adds Jim.

What's the best thing about the job?

One of the most rewarding aspects of the job is actually seeing results, helping people get healthy again.

"It's also good to have a job that's so flexible. I'm not stuck in an office all day and I get the chance to work with elite sports stars and minor celebrities. The high turnover of clients makes the job really interesting as I meet new people all the time."

Jim has been the physiotherapist for the South Melbourne Soccer Club for the past three years and attends to any injuries incurred at training sessions or at matches.

And the worst?

Being a physiotherapist does have its downsides: "The work involves really long hours. Sometimes this means you lose your weekends."

A regular day at the Centre often involves seeing up to 25 clients and writing notes on each, calling doctors to discuss the progression of clients, conferring with other physiotherapists, designing exercise and treatment programs, and completing paper-work, and administrative duties.

What career opportunities are there?

Jim feels that the public is finally becoming more aware of the wide range of problems that physiotherapists can assist with - from everyday injuries, through to neurological conditions.

Physiotherapy can lead to a number of career paths. You may want to specialize in sports or manipulative physiotherapy, or you can go on to undertake research, or with experience, open your own clinic.

When asked what advice he would give to young people contemplating a career in physiotherapy, Jim responded, "Physiotherapy is a really rewarding career path. It's a real privilege to have the knowledge and ability to design programs to treat injured clients and to see them happy and healthy once again."

Find out more about this career path at myfuture.edu.au (new window) (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).