The physiotherapist is a professional trained in a higher education course that lasts an average of 4 years . The main function of a physiotherapy professional is to assist a patient with muscle problems, usually referred by a doctor, in the recovery of movements through physical exercises and specialized techniques.
Role of a Physiotherapist
But this is not the only function of a physiotherapist, the prevention of injuries or muscle problems being one of the main characteristics of her work. Most of the physiotherapists’ activities are focused on the hospital physiotherapy area, but several specializations allow this type of professional to work in other areas as well.
This is a profession that has been growing in recent years and with a lot of competition in the job market, however, the market has also noticed a greater need for physiotherapists and new job vacancies are appearing all the time.
Women in the Physiotherapy Market
The job market for physical therapists is very open and receptive. Both companies, clinics and hospitals have mostly women in this area, 83% of whom work in physiotherapy in Brazil. And that number has already been higher for some decades, but it has been decreasing, which does not mean that there has been any major change with regard to the performance of women in the profession.
Although the numbers point to a large majority of women who practice the profession, it is true that there is still a taboo in relation to sports physiotherapy. Especially when we talk about football, but it is something that has been changing little by little and we already see many more women working in this area today than a few years ago.
What is the Profile of a Physiotherapist?
The physiotherapist, in general, is a versatile professional who can work both as an autonomous and as a fixed professional from different places such as hospitals, clinics, clubs and health units, both in the private and public sectors. This type of professional can also work alone or in a group, depending on the location and the functions you want or should perform.
Some characteristics still make up the profile of a physiotherapist , such as being a very well organized professional and with ease to outline plans and goals, being attentive to technological innovations in her area, in addition to knowing how to act in a multidisciplinary way, dealing with professionals from other areas to the good of your patients. It is clear that each type of physiotherapist has a different characteristic that stands out and uses more, but, in general, these are the most common and most necessary for a physiotherapist.
What does a Physiotherapist do?
A physiotherapy professional works on several fronts, always with the purpose of helping in everything that concerns the movements of our body , both to prevent and to treat problems related to muscles.
The physiotherapist can act autonomously or work for institutions, both private and public, within hospitals, clinics and clubs , to name a few examples. As in almost any profession, physiotherapy has several areas that have their specifications. Some of them are:
- Preventive Physiotherapy
- Work Physiotherapy
- Equipment Industry
- Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy
- Sports Physiotherapy
Preventive physiotherapy is a type of physiotherapy focused on health prevention , which focuses its efforts on prevention and not simply on the rehabilitation of muscle problems. For these works to be performed, breathing exercises, muscle relaxation and stretching are used.
The professional who works with preventive physiotherapy usually analyzes her patient independently, checking her habits and proposing the best exercises to avoid problems. But this type of technique also works in some specific groups, as is the case of preventive physical therapy for the elderly or, aiming at specific exercises for each of these groups.
A physical therapist at work also works with prevention, but with specific groups of workers, analyzing the way they work, detecting the main needs of their bodies and devising series of exercises that will help them in what they need most.
More and more companies have adopted lectures and hired physiotherapists to develop exercises for their employees because several muscular problems are directly related to the stress that a worker accumulates, in his posture and bad habits, such as performing repetitive movements, for example. The physiotherapist at work, then, is not only about preventing muscle problems, but also about preventing excessive stress.
Physical therapy exercises often require various equipment and technologies that assist professionals in their work environment. Physiotherapists working in the equipment industry carry out research and tests to develop new technologies with safety and quality. However, tests and evaluations can also be carried out on existing products, both to affirm the quality of the product and to assess the weaknesses and strengths that will assist researchers in the development of new equipment.
The physiotherapist specialized in the prevention and treatment of cardiorespiratory diseases aims to provide a better quality of life to patients who need this treatment, through specific exercises linked to the circulatory and respiratory systems.
In addition to being a specific niche in physical therapy, the professional who chooses to work in this area can work both in private clinics and in hospitals, serving different types of patients who suffer from this type of disease.
This is perhaps the only area of physiotherapy where the majority are men , especially when it comes to big football clubs. However, this reality is also changing and opportunities for women who wish to work with sports physiotherapy have appeared more frequently in recent years.
The main functions of a sports physiotherapist are to design exercises so that athletes are not easily injured and, if any of them get hurt, to develop a recovery plan that is quick and efficient. The market offers several opportunities in addition to working with teams from some sport. Institutions such as clubs and gyms, for example, have hired many more physiotherapists to treat their members.
Graduation in Physiotherapy
The graduation in physiotherapy lasts an average of 4 years and includes disciplines such as human anatomy, biophysics, biochemistry, public health, among many others. The course can be found at state, federal and private universities across the country.
Colleges generally balance theory and practice , making practice more and more intense by the end of the course. The tuition for an undergraduate course in physiotherapy varies according to the institution and the region where you live.
Of the courses in the health area, the physiotherapy course can be considered one of the cheapest , but it is also the one with the most variation in tuition prices, ranging from R $ 400.00 to R $ 4,000.00. However, most institutions have a monthly fee of around R $ 900.00.
To act as a physiotherapist, in addition to graduating, you also need to be duly registered with CREFITO (Regional Council of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy) in your region.
Main Physiotherapy Faculties in Brazil
- University of Fortaleza – Fortaleza (CE)
- Federal University of Minas Gerais – Belho Horizonte (MG)
- PUC – Porto Alegre (RS)
- Federal University of Paraíba – João Pessoa (PB)
- Paulista State University – Presidente Prudente (SP)
- Faculty Estacio de Sá de Vitória – Vitória (ES)
- University of Brasília – Brasília (DF)
- Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences of Juiz de Fora – Juiz de Fora (MG)
- Federal University of São Carlos – São Carlos (SP)
- Octávio Bastos Teaching Foundation University Center – São João da Boa Vista (SP)
Specializations in Physiotherapy
A physiotherapy professional needs to advance in her studies after completing her degree if she wants to compete for the most coveted places in the job market. With the increase in competition in the field of physiotherapy, specializing became practically a must . In addition to the specific types of physiotherapists already mentioned here, we can highlight some postgraduate courses with relevance in the market, such as:
- Home Care Physiotherapy
- Oncology Physiotherapy
- Judicial expertise
The specialization in acupuncture has attracted the attention of several professionals in recent years. Before seen as something strange by many professionals, acupuncture has been showing results and growing little by little in Brazil. Nowadays it is no longer strange to hear about the technique, much less a student of physiotherapy specializing in acupuncture.
As it is a Chinese medicine, postgraduate courses usually have disciplines with a philosophical basis to explain and insert the student within the context of acupuncture. Acupuncture treatment should be done as a complement to the treatment of any illness, usually indicated by a doctor. The acupuncture professional usually works in specialized clinics to carry out such complementary treatments.
Home Care Physiotherapy
It is the course that prepares physiotherapy professionals for home care. Many people may think that it is simply physical therapy done inside the clinics, but in the patients’ homes, which is not entirely true.
If the physiotherapy professional needs to go to a patient’s home, it is because he needs special care and that is exactly what is taught in graduate school in home care physiotherapy. Several disciplines such as neurofunctional, cardiovascular and respiratory physiotherapy are part of the curriculum of the course.
Cancer treatments can affect our bodies in several ways, for this reason, the oncological physiotherapist is so necessary, as she is responsible for the elaboration of specific exercises to promote the patient’s well-being during and after the cancer treatment.
Oncological physiotherapy aims to maintain, preserve, develop and restore the integrity of the patient’s organs and systems after strong treatments such as radio and chemotherapy or surgeries. Another function of this type of professional is to prevent disorders caused by the treatment of various types of cancer.
The post-graduate course in oncological physiotherapy has an average of 400 hours of workload and includes disciplines such as the performance of physiotherapy in the ICU and the particularities of cancer patients.
The post-graduation in judicial expertise for physiotherapists has several theoretical elements to insert the student in the context of the course. Within a labor process, a physiotherapist can be the key to solving the case, as she will perform several tests that will be referred to the judge of the case.
The course has an average workload of 420 hours and has a theoretical basis and the practices to insert the physiotherapist in this market, which, in a way, is far from the reality of other types of physiotherapists.
How Much Does a Physiotherapist Earn?
The different specializations that a physiotherapist can do have different salaries, as well as different work environments and different workloads. Everything changes from one type of physiotherapist to another, so it is also important to take into account how much each type of physiotherapist earns.
How much does a Physiotherapist at Work earn?
- Starting salary: R $ 1,800.00
- Average salary: R $ 2,430.00
- Highest salary: R $ 5,000.00
How Much Does a Sports Physiotherapist Earn?
- Starting salary: R $ 1,770.00
- Average salary: R $ 2,500.00
- Highest salary: R $ 5,000.00
How Much does a Home Care Physiotherapist Earn?
- Starting salary: R $ 1,750.00
- Average salary: R $ 2,400.00
- Highest salary: R $ 4,200.00
How Much Does a Hospital Physiotherapist Earn?
- Starting salary: R $ 1,660.00
- Average salary: R $ 2,840.00
- Highest salary: R $ 5,000.00
The salaries vary according to company size, the physiotherapist of responsibilities within the work environment and the region where each will work. However, it is possible to have a good idea of what to expect with the average wages seen here.
Physiotherapy is a specific area of health where the professional needs to be interested in the movement of the body and the study of movements in general. Thus, no matter what the professional’s specialization is, dedication and intensive study will make her an excellent physiotherapist and a fundamental piece to help deal with the movement of many people.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.