The profession of a physiotherapist is actually demanding, and few physiotherapy students imagine the real psychophysical burdens of a physiotherapist in practice at the beginning of their studies.
The need to develop the profession of physiotherapy is becoming more and more important for today’s and future society, as pain and movement injuries are the fastest growing segment of healthcare. A sedentary and physically inactive lifestyle accelerates the formation of degenerative defects of the musculoskeletal system and reduces the body’s resistance to changes that occur with ageing.
Basically, the physiotherapist’s goal is to find professionally appropriate solutions for each patient’s condition, with the aim of restoring full movement function. Physiotherapy is the profession of the future, which we at the Medicofit clinic are aware of, which is why we have established an accelerator for the development of good physiotherapists.
At the Medicofit private clinic, we have well recognized the competencies that a modern physiotherapist must possess in order to be successful in treating his patients. We say that a good physiotherapist treats a person with pain and not the pain that the person has. A good physiotherapist is first and foremost a human being and secondly a specialist in injuries.
A physiotherapist must know many areas of medicine in order to have a good understanding of the origin of the pathological conditions he/she treats and to adjust the treatment methods accordingly.
Did you know that a good, modern physiotherapist must know spatial branches of medicine such as orthopaedics, traumatology, neurology, surgery, radiology etc. The physiotherapist of the past worked within silos within the framework of public health systems according to the model of generic treatment of patients, the physiotherapist of the future will work primarily as an independent private expert, therefore he needs a good knowledge of related branches of medicine, as he will have to establish a holistic picture of the patient’s health himself.
The depth of understanding of related professional fields means that the physiotherapist will have a deeper understanding of the patient’s condition, and will be able to effectively adjust the treatment according to previously performed examinations and associated medical conditions.
Did you know that a physiotherapist must also know the field of exercise and sports training, kinesiology, neuroscience, biomechanics, exercise physiology, anatomy, clinical pathology and psychology.
A good physiotherapist is a specialist in physiotherapy and a generalist with knowledge of related disciplines.
A physiotherapist must be a specialist in the treatment of injuries and movement pains and at the same time a generalist with knowledge of related professional fields, especially orthopaedics and kinesiology.
How does professional breadth help a physiotherapist in practice?
Often the physiotherapist will treat younger patients or the middle-aged population with complex traumatological conditions or the elderly with associated systemic diseases. He will also often treat patients who have parallel degenerative and traumatological conditions on various joints with an operative and at the same time non-operative history. A good physiotherapist is aware that a large proportion of patients are not cases with isolated local orthopaedic conditions, but rather more demanding individualist who need adaptation of therapies.
We present to you the 7 qualities that we at the Medicofit clinic have identified as key to the development of top physiotherapists. We actively encourage all 7 qualities in the development and operation of our team of physiotherapists.
A good physiotherapist is effective with his treatment methods.
First and foremost, the physiotherapist must be efficient in the methods he uses. In practice, we often see various alternative forms of physiotherapy that do not address the underlying source of pain or injuries but treat secondary symptoms or perform non-relevant therapies.
Physiotherapy techniques are divided into instrumental physiotherapy, exercise physiotherapy and manual physiotherapy. If a physiotherapist uses only one method of treatment for all conditions, it means that the treatment will nto be effective. An effective hour of physiotherapy includes the correct ratio of manual techniques, instruments and special exercises according to the type of injury and the stage of treatment.
A good physiotherapist achieves efficiency based on measurability, that is, his work practices are scientifically verified and not based solely on feeling. In general, it is a principle in physiotherapy that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach should be avoided.
A good physiotherapist knows how to actively listen to each therapy.
The physiotherapist must give the patient time and space to tell his story. Patients often have their own reference points through which they measure their treatment progress or symptoms, these points are often laymen and refer, for example, to some sporting activity or everyday task, the physiotherapist must respect the patient’s reference point and necessarily include it in the monitoring of the progress of the treatment of the condition. If the physiotherapist’s tests show an improvement in pain or injuries, and the patient reports stagnation of his reference point, then progress in treatment and fully achieved.
Often, active listening greatly conditions the understanding of the patient’s reference point and, above all, his story, how he himself sees his progress. The treatment of an injury professes when the physiotherapist simultaneously achieves the professional goals of the treatment and the subjective goals of the patient.
A good physiotherapist establishes a transparent relationship with his patients.
If the patient does not understand the entire individual treatment program, does not know the intermediate goal of therapies, important tests and final goals, then the physiotherapist will not be effective in his work. The motivation of the patient always depends on his understanding of the therapies and the goals of the treatment themselves, a good physiotherapist before each therapy makes a professional summary of the past therapy and present the goals of the current therapy to the patient, which he also places appropriately in the entire treatment timeline.
Treatment progress strongly depends on the patient’s engagement in performing exercises and accepting treatment methods, and this is best achieved by the physiotherapist with a transparent attitude, where expertise is explained to the patient in a way that they can understand.
A good physiotherapist makes every effort to ensure that all patients clearly understand their injury, course of therapy, tests and goals. A good physiotherapist encourages their patients to be transparent in the form of blunt questions about treatment, symptoms and ultimate goals.
A good physiotherapist is aware that active physiotherapy is superior to passive physiotherapy.
A good physiotherapist is a good connoisseur of training techniques for developing muscle strength and the progression of strength training in relation to the types of injuries. A good physiotherapist understands that the restoration of the patient’s full function, which will be at least the same as the condition before the injury, is the ultimate goal of every physiotherapy, so holistic treatment leads in the direction of an active approach and looks exercise methods that do not worsen symptoms early in the acute phase of treatment. In layman’s terms, this means that the exercises should be started as soon as possible, even when it hurts, but adjusted.
A good physiotherapist understands that the longer the patient performs only passive therapies, the slower he will regain full movement function. At the Medicofit clinic, active physiotherapy is the guiding principle of every treatment.
Eliminating pain is not treatment
A good physical therapist understand that pain relief is only the beginning of treating an injury.
A physiotherapist who is above average in his work understands that eliminating pain is only the initial phase of any physiotherapy and at the same time accepts full responsibility to communicate this properly with each patient. Too often, patients visit physiotherapy only to reduce pain, which leads to chronic conditions and early wear and tear of the joints. A good physiotherapist therefore makes sure that the treatment eliminates pain, restores full function, eliminates the causes of pain and also addresses prevention.
A good physiotherapist is genuinely empathetic towards their patients every therapy session.
A good physiotherapist is aware throughout the treatment that the patient has entrusted his health condition into his hands, which he considers an honour and understands the high professional responsibility he has towards the patient’s health condition.
An above-average physiotherapist is aware that it is not always easy to trust your health in the hands of a specialist, and that patients often have had bad previous experiences, mainly due to the way the public health system operates.
A good physiotherapist therefore understands that he must establish trust with the patient both on a professional and personal level.
The patient’s trust in the physiotherapist and his work methods greatly determines the final success of the treatment. It is important to realize that the relationship between a physiotherapist and patient is often a dynamic currency that fluctuates strongly in different directions depending on the symptoms. The physiotherapist must be aware that he is always treating a person with a pathology and not the pathology that the person has.
Professional agility and variability
A good physiotherapist knows how to be professionally agile and variable, which means that he quickly adapts therapies to the patient’s symptoms and progress.
A good physiotherapist in no way clones his work methods, but adapts therapy techniques for each patient and at the same time knows how to be responsive in case of an unexpected region of the patient’s body. Too many times in practice, we see physiotherapists who learn generic treatment methods and treat all types of injuries the same simply by cloning the same therapy model. Such generic methods of work are common in work assignments due to queue pressure, but patients should be aware that prolonged treatment in private physiotherapy will be necessary for definitive improvement.
Every knee injury is not the same and every anterior cruciate ligament injury is not the same. In reality, there are huge differences between patients at the level of muscle deficits, proprioception and arthrokinematics.
Physiotherapists understand that the variability of professional knowledge is necessary for the individualization of treatment protocols.
At the Medicofit clinic, we are experts in the field of individual treatment, which enables us to be highly efficient, which is why patients trust us and visit our self-paying physiotherapy services.
We have presented you the 7 qualities of a top physiotherapist, although in reality they are basic competencies that every physiotherapist should develop. We have certainly not covered many qualities of good physiotherapists, and we have touched on certain ones only roughly, as the field of physiotherapy is broad, and the nature of the profession is complex. If you would like more information on how to become a better physiotherapist, write to us at email@example.com, entrust us with your questions, and our management team will give you advice on how to become a leading expert in physiotherapy.
As we mentioned in the beginning, the primary goal of a physiotherapist is to find professionally appropriate solutions for each patient’s condition. At the Medicofit clinic, we are aware that certain treatment methods may mean a professionally optimal approach to the patient, but they need to be adjusted due to psychosocial factors of the patient.
Patients often have various psychological consequences of injuries and pain, therefore every rehabilitation is also aimed at restoring the patients’ full psychological strength, but such an approach is in fact rare in Slovenia, and often contradictory within the framework of the public health system. At the Medicofit clinic, we put a positive approach to physiotherapy first, and we also develop the career of all young physiotherapists in the direction of proper psychological support for our patients.
A superior physiotherapist is one whom patients trust and one who reciprocally restores full confidence in their own body and movement through the restoration of full movement function and an approach that takes into account the 7 written qualities of a superior physiotherapist.