How to become a Physiotherapist
If you’ve been considering a career as a physiotherapist in Australia, you’re likely wondering what it takes to become qualified for the job. Becoming a physiotherapist requires dedication and hard work, but the rewards of helping others can be worth all your effort. Read on to learn more about what it takes to become a physiotherapist in Australia.
Step 1: Complete your degree in physiotherapy
To become a physiotherapist in Australia, you must complete a bachelor's degree in physiotherapy. Courses are typically four years in duration and are offered at universities throughout Australia. These degrees include coursework in areas such as anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology. In order to graduate, you must also complete a supervised placement at a physiotherapy clinical.
Step 2: Register with APHRA
After completing a degree in physiotherapy, you need to apply for registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). When registering for AHPRA, applicants must lodge an application that provides proof of graduation from an accredited physiotherapy program and passing a written and practical examination. In addition, physiotherapists must adhere to the code of conduct and ethical guidelines set by the Australian Physiotherapy Association.
Step 3: Complete continuing professional development (CPD)
There are many different types of CPD activities that physiotherapists can undertake, including attending conferences and workshops, participating in online learning or webinars, and completing self-directed learning activities such as reading professional literature or completing online courses. It's important to note that physiotherapists must complete at least 100 hours of CPD over a three-year period, with a minimum of 20 hours per year.
Step 4: Start your business
Once you’ve met all the prerequisites for becoming a physio, it’s time to focus on starting your business. To get started, you’ll need to find a location to operate from. There are several different settings in which physiotherapists can work in Australia, including hospitals, private practices, community health centers, and aged care facilities. Once you find a spot, you’ll want to arrange the right equipment so you can care for patients in a modern and professional setting. If you are unsure about starting a business, take this business quiz to see if you have the right attributes to be an entrepreneur.
Step 5: Purchase business insurance
Most physiotherapists will purchase professional indemnity insurance, public liability insurance, personal accident insurance, and insurance for their practice premises and equipment. This will ensure you have all your bases covered in the event something goes wrong. To get the right business insurance, connect with a specialist broker, and they’ll help you sort out what you need. Once you purchase insurance, make sure to keep your receipt for tax time.
Step 6: Invoice your clients
The final step to being a physio is to invoice your clients for the work you perform. Thriday is a great tool for physiotherapists, because it combines banking, accounting, invoicing and tax into one platform. This makes it easy to keep across your income and expenses, invoice clients, and track when you get paid. Thriday’s inbuilt invoicing solution includes income reconciliation, automated payment reminders, and the ability to personalise your invoice to your business and brand.
Becoming a physiotherapist in Australia requires plenty of studying and continuous development, but once you get your practice up and running, it can be very rewarding. Start by researching entry requirements at various institutions then make sure you meet them; investigate studying options available; gain relevant experience through clinical placements; and finally register with AHPRA. With enough determination and hard work, you’ll be able to start your career as a physiotherapist within a few years.