Physiotherapists use physical practices and exercises to help individuals optimise their functional ability and potential. Physiotherapy treatment allows individuals to promote, maintain and restore their physical, psychological and social well-being. Physiotherapists manage conditions at all stages by providing advice, treatment and rehabilitation as well as promoting self-treatment and lifestyle changes. 


Physiotherapist: Career Case Notes

Check out all the vitals for a career as

Graphic of a clipboard on background of medical illustrations that reads: Profession: Physiotherapist Essential Qualifications: Degree or degree apprenticeship in physiotherapy Frequently works in: GP practices, hospices, adult care homes, hospitals, fitness centres, sports clubs Frequently works with: Occupational therapists, doctors, sports coaches, personal trainers Average working hours: 37.5 hours and may include a mix of shifts, such as nights, early starts, evenings and weekends Key skills: Communication, hands-on approach, physical fitness, patience



  • Charlotte's Journey to Physiotherapy

    “After my GCSE’s, I went on to study Biology, PE and Psychology at A-level. It is very difficult to get work experience as a physio, but I was able to do one day in a private outpatient clinic and one day going around different wards at Southmead Hospital. I had also done a lot of work as a volunteer at Bristol Children’s Hospital, so I knew I liked working in a hospital environment.”

  • Why Physiotherapy?

    I decided to study physio as I wanted to go into a career where I would be active (I can’t sit still for too long), and where I would be engaging with a large variety of people and I could focus on biology/anatomy as I find it fascinating. So, physiotherapy seemed the ideal choice for me. I also had physio when I was younger and it helped me a lot.”

    “Also, a friend of mine was very unwell and it was a physiotherapist that helped them to walk again, so I thought that seemed like a pretty incredible job to be able to help people in such an amazing way!”

  • How do you learn?

    “We spend most of our time on the course at university, in lectures, seminars or practicals on the subject of respiratory, neuro, musculoskeletal, exercise and biomechanics or health and wellbeing. However, I have found that you learn the most when you are out on placements.”

  • What is Placement like?

    “On placement it can vary massively depending on whether you are in the community, hospitals or outpatient clinics. A typical day on a ward would be:

    • 8:15am – arrive at team gym/office for morning briefing
    • 8:30am – be on your ward for board rounds with all the other members of the MDT (multi-disciplinary team). This is where you get updates on your patients and find out if there are any new patients you need to see.
    • 9:00am – board rounds finish and you work out your caseloads and priority patients for the day. You let the physio techs know what patients they need to see by themselves or to support you with patients who need extra support.
    • 12:00pm – a second board round to share any updates on patients.
    • 12:30pm – lunch.
    • 1:15pm – back to the gym/office to catch up with the rest of the physio team and to see if anyone can come and help on your ward if you have a lot of patients left or if you have any capacity to help on another ward. You can get any advice from other physios if needed.
    • 1:45pm – back to the ward to see afternoon patients.
    • 3:30pm – ensure all notes that should have been written up are done, all patients have been handed over to relevant members of staff or you update their file on the computer.
    • 4:15pm – back to the gym/office to check in with the rest of the physio team and check there have been no issues.
    • 4:30pm – time to go home.
  • Charlotte's advice

    "I’ll be completely honest that physiotherapy is not an easy course - you have to work hard but it is 100% worth it. If you are passionate about helping people and enjoying meeting different types of people, then this career is perfect for you. Once you are on your first placement you will see just how rewarding it is.”