India holding lot of scope for Bachelor in Physiotherapy (BPT) | Kalvimalar - News

India holding lot of scope for Bachelor in Physiotherapy (BPT)- 30-May-2011

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Do you know that today there are only around 5,000 qualified physiotherapists in India? But, it is estimated that one physiotherapist is required for every 10,000 people, and the demand for trained professionals is only growing with time.

Physiotherapy is a science that helps improve movement dysfunction, and promote functions of the human body and optimal health  This involves assessment, diagnosis and treatment of disease and disability through physical means.

Physiotherapists help patients rehabilitate from a state of incapacity due to genetic defect or the result of an accident or illness. Hence, you must have thorough knowledge of the human anatomy and the intricacies of bones, muscles and nerves.

Physiotherapist need to build up a rapport with patients and communicate with their relatives, too, says Dr Sukhwinder Singh, Consultant Physiotherapist, Ashlok Hospital, New Delhi.

Hence, excellent interpersonal skills including being empathetic, having patience and being able to understand people, is a must. Of course, manual dexterity and physical stamina to work for long hours is part of the terrain. It is also needed to work closely with doctors and hence, being organised, working systematically and following the doctors instructions, is a must.

Conditions treated through physiotherapy are spinal and joint conditions with arthritis, post accident treatment and rehabilitation, back and neck pain, problems affecting children including cerebral palsy and spina bifida, cancer and palliative care, pregnancy related problems such as back pain, stress incontinence, work-related injuries, heart/lung conditions like asthma, obstructive airways diseases (COPD) and other breathing difficulties, sports injuries and brain injuries (example: strokes) and other neurological problems
Have a positive attitude, instill confidence and courage in your patients and be sympathetic in your approach.  Remember, every individual is different, no problem is the same, says Dr  Ganesh K. Meena, Physiotherapist, AIIMS. Last but not the least, Dr Singh offers some words of wisdom for aspiring physiotherapists, Always tell the truth and never promise your patients the impossible.

There are three ways to enter the field. A diploma (DPT), a degree (BSc) or a professional course (BPT of four years with a 6-month internship). As a professional discipline, the course made an appearance in the early 60s and mostly was offered as a one year diploma which one can pursue after 10+2.

As the profession grew and the demand for physiotherapists improved the degree attained its professional avatar as BPT. Over 300 colleges offer a Bachelor in Physiotherapy (BPT) The duration is usually four-and-a-half years.
The diploma course increasingly is finding less favour with major hospitals. If you pursue a diploma course (one year), it would just make you eligible to work as an asistant to a physiotherapist.

Though Govt. rules still do not discriminate between diploma and degree in realty a degree finds much more acceptance. Though  a BSc course is an improvement many hospitals are  keen on hiring a candidate with a BPT, which includes an internship period of six months in the fourth year of study. So it would be advisable to go for a BPT .

Eligibility: 10+2 in Science with Biology as a subject and at least 50% of marks in each subject. The minimum age required for candidates is usually 17 years.  You must take the Common Entrance Test.

The course helps students develop a basic understanding of the human body, based on medical sciences. Training comprisesunderstanding procedures for therapy and related skill training. The curriculum includes anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, psychology, medical and surgical conditions, biomechanics, kineseology, disability prevention, rehabilitation and other subjects.

Course is a combination of theory and practicals. I found learning about the internal structure of the body confusing initially. You need to learn all about bones, muscles and nerves and treatment plans, shares SonamTiwari enthusiastically, a third year BPT student at Vikram University, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh who plans to do her internship at AIIMS in Delhi or at a medical college in Mumbai.

Working places include centres for physically and mentally challenged people, community health centers, industries, government hospitals, mental health centres, nursing homes/ private care centres, private and public hospitals, private practice, rehabilitation centres, sports clinics and fitness centres and at universities and colleges
Famous institutes include the All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mumbai; Apollo College of Physiotherapy, Hyderabad;Government Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, Chennai; Indian Institute of Health Education and Research, Patna; Institute for the Physically Handicapped, New Delhi; Institute of Health Sciences, Mangalore; Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal; National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research, Cuttack; and Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad.

Look at the reputation of the institute, recognition of the institute, how old the institute is, faculty members at the institute and infrastructure. The apex body for Physiotherapy education in India is Indian Association of Physiotherapists (IAP). 

Make sure your desired institute is IAP recognised. It is advisable to go for higher studies like MPT for better employment opportunity and grasp of the field.

Choose your college carefully; it must be recognised and have proper infrastructure otherwise you will not receive proper training to work in the field, Dr. Rajeev Mehta, HOD, Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Apollo Hospitals. All courses are not recognised by the government, and it is always preferable to choose a degree course over a diploma or a certificate.

Physiotherapists are required in each department of a hospital, be it ICU or geriatrics, and they can also choose to work independently or be part of a multidisciplinary team. You can enjoy flexible working hours as a consultant, choosing the number of hours you work everyday.

You are trained in maneuvers and techniques to aid in helping patients.  Physical stature does not decide your success, your skills do, explained Sunita, Physiotherapist, AIIMS.

Some hospitals choose to pay physiotherapists according to the number of patients he or she sees. Initial remuneration of physiotherapists varies from place to place. In India, the starting salary ranges from Rs. 7,000 to Rs.30,000 per month. Generally, private hospitals provide remuneration ranging between Rs. 5,000 to Rs.15,000 per month for a fresher.

In a government hospital like AIIMS, a Junior Physiotherapist can earn approximately Rs. 30,000 per month.  The progression in designations is Physiotherapist followed by Senior Physiotherapist earning about Rs. 45,000 per month, followed by Superintendent earning about Rs.60,000-70,000 per month and then Chief Physiotherapist earning about Rs.80,000 per month.  Jobs in a government hospitals are difficult to get so explore other options before you.

The average salary for teaching jobs in Physiotherapy varies from Rs. 10,000 to Rs.40,000 per month. The remuneration for established private practitioners can be nearly Rs. 20,000 to Rs.40,000 per month. Most physiotherapists with experience start their own private practice. They charge usually around Rs. 250 to 400 per sitting. Remuneration for Physiotherapists in countries such as the US, Canada, UAE and Australia varies from Rs. 50,000 to Rs.200,000 per month

Being a physiotherapist can be a very rewarding profession, but will have a share of frustration. Sometimes the treatment plan will show the desired results.  Other times it will not even come close to the desired mark. But gratitude from patients and their families will always follow you. New rehabilitation and robotic techniques keep getting developed, one cannot predict what is in store in the future  opines Dr.Mehta. So always be willing to learn and be prepared. The field is just opening up and there is tremendous scope.

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