PHYS­IO­THER­A­PIST Heal­ing touch

THE LOW­DOWN

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page -

CLOCK­WORK The av­er­age day of a phys­io­ther­a­pist in a large ter­tiary-care hospi­tal: 9am: Start work in the OPD. Spend 30-40 min­utes with hemi­ple­gia pa­tients (one half of whose body is paral­ysed); Phys­io­ther­apy or phys­i­cal ther­apy is an al­lied health sci­ence con­cerned with help­ing pa­tients re­gain or max­imise phys­i­cal move­ment and func­tions through ex­er­cises and elec­trother­apy. As a phys­io­ther­a­pist, you have to get the max­i­mum out of what­ever po­ten­tial an in­di­vid­ual has left in him or her. Whether it is pain, stiff­ness, paral­y­sis, surgery, or non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases such as di­a­betes, hy­per­ten­sion, obe­sity, dys­lipi­demia lead­ing to heart dis­eases and stroke, a holis­tic ap­proach is used by phys­io­ther­a­pists to heal the pa­tient. They also play a very im­por­tant role in preven­tion of life­style dis­or­ders preva­lent to­day. Ear­lier, phys­io­ther­apy was used in a few dis­ci­plines like orthopaedics, neu­rol­ogy and pae­di­atrics, in­volv­ing small chil­dren. Now, it caters to ev­ery­one — from ba­bies to the el­derly and even healthy peo­ple. There are wider job av­enues to­day for qual­i­fied phys­io­ther­a­pists in hos­pi­tals, hospices, nurs­ing homes, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tres, pri­vate clin­ics, spe­cial schools, fit­ness cen­tres, and non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions work­ing with the dis­abled and se­nior ci­ti­zens teach them to sit and make them do ex­er­cises. Teach ex­er­cises to the par­ents of a cere­bral palsy pa­tient so that the child can do them at home. Make a young pa­tient, suf­fer­ing from stiff­ness of the back (due to a spinal ail­ment), do ex­er­cises for mo­bil­ity 1pm: Lunch 2pm: Clinic for out­door pa­tients, eg para­plegics. Ad­min­is­ter elec­trother­apy to a post-op­er­a­tive case 3.30pm: At­tend to pa­tients in the wards and keep records 4.30pm: Done for the day

THE PAY­OFF In a cen­tral government hospi­tal, the gross salary of an en­try-level phys­io­ther­a­pist is R25,000 a month (Pay band 2). The max­i­mum gross salary is R75,000 a month for some­one with a chief phys­io­ther­a­pist’s rank, but this de­pends on ex­pe­ri­ence. The en­try-

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