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First Contact Physiotherapist

First contact physiotherapists are qualified autonomous clinical practitioners who can assess, diagnose, treat and manage musculoskeletal (MSK) problems and undifferentiated conditions and – where appropriate – discharge a person without a medical referral.

Entry requirements –

To become a physiotherapist you will need to have a degree in physiotherapy. This can be done via an apprenticeship or full time or part time route. If you already have a degree in psychology, sports science or biological science you could do a postgraduate degree in physiotherapy instead. To get a place on the degree you are likely to need 2/3 A-levels, one preferably biology, grades A*-C or a Level 3 appropriate equivalent. You may also be working as a Physiotherapy Assistant and study part time around your role. You will also need GCSEs in English, maths and science grades 9-4 (A*- C).

Career progression-

You could progress to senior physiotherapist or move into health service management. You could also specialise in an area like orthopaedics, sports therapy, occupational health, or working with older people or children. You could also move into research or teaching.

 Physiotherapist goals:

  • Support GPs by taking on the MSK caseload creating capacity to focus on medically complex patients
  • Create an efficient MSK pathway for patients
  • Reduce diagnostics
  • Improve the quality of referral and conversion rate to surgery in orthopedics.

Skills you need:

  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • analytical thinking skills
  • knowledge of psychology
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be able to use a computer