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8 tips for Physiotherapy students

Others will have already started their career in previous years and will now have to start another academic year, with new subjects and challenges. Well, from my humble position I would like to provide some recommendations that may be useful to you. The advice I will give is completely subjective, based on my own experience. I hope they serve you:

1) Why are you studying Physiotherapy?

The first thing is to be clear about it. It is clear to me that I really liked the race, I continue to like it more every day and, if I went back to the past and had to choose again - at that time and under those circumstances - it is very likely that I would study it again. However, there were also many other studies that called my attention, from nursing or occupational therapy to others not related to the health environment such as journalism or telecommunications. If the decision is not made then but now, perhaps it will consider other options, since the conditions are not the same.

2) Why are you studying Physiotherapy?

Be clear about your preferences and your Keep in mind that one thing is what is studied and then quite another on what one ends up working on. Sometimes you have expectations that do not correspond to reality. Find out how the job market situation is, lest you study thinking that things are one way and then you crash. I met comrades who, after studying the race, complaining about low wages, poor access to work in public schools, plenty of temporary work, difficulty working in the sectors they liked, limiting functions ... From All this you can (must) inform yourself before studying, lest you feel frustrated later.

If you've made up your mind and want to move on, great! Let's continue with the tips:

3) Don't wait for classes to start: study - at least read - what you can.

Ask students from other years for notes, read the recommended bibliography of the subjects you are going to study, search for information on the Internet ... It is true that there are many subjects that need practice or detailed explanations to understand them, but there are others that are like that, period. For example, Anotamy and Biomechanics: It is never too early to start visualizing the structures of the human body and learning some names and locations. This is always going to be necessary, so the earlier you start, the better. Typical atlases are Subtotal or Netter, very renowned and with a somewhat high price. Everyone has their preferences. You can borrow them from the library and assess which one you like best. If you do not want to leave the payment like that, at the first change, a good option with excellent value for money is the Atlas of Anatomy Master EVO5, by MarianIt is a good way to start to become familiar with the human body for a reasonable price.

4) get closer to the Internet and the health blogosphere.

Internet is an excellent way to have access to multimedia resources: YouTube videos about the human body, biomechanics, physiology, exercises, techniques ... Of course, don't stay on Wikipedia. Look for specialized sites. You can also find numerous blogs with content generated by professionals from all over the health field. It is an excellent way to see the reality of the health professions, since the authors usually tell their experiences and express complaints, as well as make proposals for improvement. It is also very useful at an academic level since it presents articles or novel techniques that will take years to reach the classroom.

In addition, the dissemination continues on social networks. Profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, as well as forums and other places where you can meet people to learn from and with whom to share knowledge and concerns. In this way, in your studies, you will never walk alone!

5) Languages: they have gone from being useful to essential.

As soon as you start to investigate a little, you will find that many of the best books and, above all, the newest articles, are not available in Spanish. The usual language is usually English, so if you don't master it, it takes time.

In addition, depending on the area where you end up working, it will not be uncommon to meet foreign patients, so you will not be able to do your job if you do not understand with them.

And given the current work situation in Spain, there are many colleagues who have ended up emigrating to work in countries such as England, France, Switzerland or Italy where, by the way, wages and working conditions are usually better than in our beloved Spain.

Currently there are usually quite a few job offers for France, so it is not a bad idea to dedicate time to this language.

6) Practice as if your life depended on it.

In our profession, what is best remembered is what is practiced: if you practice little, you will remember little. Good thing something is changing. With the introduction of the bachelor's degree, it is assumed that practical and specialized training will be increased. However, why wait for the internship to start to apply the knowledge? Why limit yourself to the centers where the University offers you to do an internship? . It never hurts to visit centers where you would like to work or see how they work to offer your services as a volunteer. They may just let you go to see during limited hours, they may let you do simple work not related to your studies (accompany or talk to patients, help with very simple tasks ...) they may let you collaborate by doing very basic tasks as a physiotherapist in practice or you may be hit with the door in your face, but I think it is positive to try to practice as much as possible. Best. It not only serves to increase dexterity, but to see what work is like in the real situation and to be able to see a sense of the union between theory and the development of the profession.

7) Specialize, but run away from magi.

Currently, there is no specialization in physiotherapy. No, we don't go out knowing everything. I can't know why your knee hurts when you jump on the limp if you tell me on the phone. What do exist are courses, postgraduate courses, masters and other complementary studies to increase the training received at the University and direct it towards a more specific practice: athletes, elderly people, acquired brain damage , traumatology...

The problem I see is that anyone can organize a course on anything, charge for it and give you a diploma. Many times the courses are moved by fashions: that people like Pilates , as all Pilate’s courses. That people like colored stickers, because all the neuromuscular bandage courses. That people like to pay a premium for a placebo, because therapies with cool names and without scientific studies to support them.

My advice is to inform you very well about which courses or complementary studies are really worthwhile. You will hang the diploma on the wall (or more likely to leave it forgotten in a drawer), but you will have the knowledge forever. To find out you can ask colleagues, the organizer of the course or look for information in Internet places where they can recommend you with criteria.

8) Are you not a masseur? Well, don't be offended: explain.

There is a very strong controversy that does not end: physical therapy are not masseurs! Okay, but we give massages and we sell them at a gold price, plus they feel great. Let's not be surprised if they only know us for that. Do you want to be known for something else? Explain. To me I do not offend you tell me massage, or doctor, or baker: it's just that I'm not any of those things. I'll explain it to the person who tells me, period. It is not the fault of the population not knowing what we do, it is our fault that we do not tell them and we sell you something else. Sit down for 5 or 10 minutes and prepare a mini-speech for each time someone asks you if you are a masseur or what a physic does. Against the ignorance of our fields of action, less indignation and more worry about making ourselves known.

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Joined: November 19th, 2020
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