Physiotherapy courses provide the training required to become a physiotherapist or physiotherapist assistant. Physiotherapy is the use of exercises to repair or strengthen muscles and tendons after an injury or accident. These exercises are specifically prescribed by the physiotherapist and the patient works closely with the physiotherapist’s assistant to complete them using the correct technique.
A physiotherapist must complete all their courses through an accredited university. The physiotherapist assistant program is available from a range of community or career colleges. This distinction is important when looking for the best physiotherapy courses, as it determines the career options available to you. In addition to the institution selection, there are three other items to consider: qualified instructors, course outline, and teaching style.
Physiotherapy courses should be taught by qualified instructors, at both the college and university level. The skill of the instructor has a huge impact on the depth of material that can be covered, as the instructor is responsible for creating the course tests and exams, writing the course notes, and facilitating discussions. Most schools provide a short biography of the instructors in the program brochure. If it is not available, ask your admissions counselor for it. All instructors should have a minimum 10 years working experience in addition to formal academic credentials.
The course outline or description is provided in the school’s academic calendar. When reviewing the different physiotherapy courses, take the time to read each description. Look for information about the textbook required, any research projects, job placement opportunities, interactivity, or area of focus. Once you have a short list of courses you are interested in, take the time to get the more detailed description from the program coordinator. This information will include areas of focus, evaluation method, and instructor’s name.
All of this information is very relevant when making your selection. The evaluation method indicates the number of projects, papers, quizzes, and tests. The textbook and areas of focus should fill a gap in your knowledge or understanding of physiotherapy. It is not unusual for several courses to use the same textbook, with a completely different focus. Invest the time when selecting the course to understand what information will be covered.
Teaching styles vary by instructor and course material but can be divided into two broad types: lecture or interactive. Each style has strengths and weaknesses. A lecture style is suitable for imparting a large volume of facts. Students are actively participating in the course by listening and taking notes for later review. An interactive style involves discussion, question and answer sessions, and student presentations. This style is suitable when the facts have already been absorbed, and the instructor is exploring the nuances or options that are built on those facts.