A day in the life of a physiotherapist is busy and varied and could involve anything from working with patients who have neurological, neuromusculoskeletal, cardiovascular or respiratory conditions to liaising with other healthcare professionals and supervising student and junior physiotherapists.
07.30: Preparing for the day
The first step in every physiotherapist’s day is often the same. Before the first patient arrives at the practice, the focus is on preparing for the day. Physiotherapists usually begin by seeing patients at around 8am, which means that they need to be there around 7am-7.30am. They will need to prepare in a number of ways, including:
- Changing into their uniform
- Making sure the treatment room is clean and tidy
- Reviewing the patient list and treatment plans
- Reviewing notes and instructions from the patient’s previous session
- Organising activities and equipment for the session
08:00am – 12pm: Meeting with patients
At around 8am, a physiotherapist will begin seeing patients. If they are seeing a patient for the first time, they will begin by assessing the nature and extent of their problems. This usually involves examining and observing the patient. The physiotherapist may ask the patient to perform various exercises so that they can identify the issues they’re facing and put together a suitable treatment plan. The session may also include massage techniques and stretching and exercising, as well as the use of treatments like acupuncture and intramuscular stimulation.
Usually, physiotherapy sessions last between 30 minutes to an hour, however, this depends on the nature of the problem. A patient’s first session will usually last longer since the physiotherapist will need to take their medical history.
Returning patients will tend to pick up where they left off at their previous session. This will usually include hands-on soft-tissue work and stretching as well as teaching the patient new exercises they can perform at home to improve their condition.
Lunch may not fit neatly into every physiotherapist’s schedule. As with other medical professionals, delays such as late patients or overrun sessions can cause it to change and adapt throughout the day. However, it’s very important for physiotherapists to make time for lunch even when they are rushed off their feet.
1pm-3pm: Meeting with patients
After lunch, a physiotherapist will usually continue seeing patients. They will assess and treat patients with many different conditions, ranging from people with sports injuries and stroke patients to intensive care patients requiring chest physiotherapy. Patients of all ages attend our physiotherapy clinic in Chelmsford. We treat children, the elderly, and many people in between.
3pm – 4pm: Clinical teaching
For many physiotherapists, clinical teaching may be a part of their day. Clinical teaching allows them to share their professional and clinical knowledge and expertise with physiotherapy students. Students can gain skills and competencies required for clinical practice.
A typical day varies greatly between different physiotherapists. There are various clinical specialities and sub-specialities within physiotherapy, ensuring that each medical professional will have different tasks to attend to daily. The needs of the practice and patients will also determine what the day looks like for a physiotherapist. Physiotherapists usually work 37.5 hours a week, however, this may include evenings, nights and weekend work.
Our physiotherapy clinic Chelmsford is open various days and times throughout the week to cater for patients with different schedules. Call us on 01245 901170 to book a session today.