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Physiotherapy Degrees: How to Become a Physiotherapist

Canadian Schools offering Physiotherapy Degree Programs

Physiotherapy is a medical profession that focuses on patients who have difficulties with their physical independence and mobility. The role of physiotherapists is to reduce the pain associated with these difficulties. They also endeavor to improve the overall well-being and fitness of the patients concerned.Due to many people in need of physiotherapy, this profession has become much sought-after in the world. This is the same case with Canada. Those who want to become physiotherapists must first gain formal training. The educational requirements for prospective physiotherapists in Canada include:

  • A master’s degree in physiotherapy from an accredited institution within Canada.
  • An undergraduate degree complete with pre-requisites. This is usually applicable to people who want to enter a master’s degree program.
  • Completion of a physiotherapy national exam to determine the competency of all graduating physiotherapists.

A master’s degree program has replaced the undergraduate degree program as the minimum entry-level for prospective physiotherapists. This is because the Canadian population has become more sophisticated in their demands for physiotherapy services. Those who graduate from accredited physiotherapy programs with master’s degree must have undergone numerous courses. These courses relate to various subject areas such as:

  • Pathology
  • Anatomy
  • Biomechanics
  • Physiology

Prospective physiotherapists in Canada also undertake at least 1,000 clinical hours through hands-on learning. This session also involves lab work, clinical placements and group work.

The entry-level requirements usually differ slightly as pertains to those who study outside the country. Such graduates must undertake PCE (Physiotherapy Competency Exam) certification. This exam is a product of Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators, a body that evaluates the qualifications of international physiotherapy graduates.

Before registering for a master’s course in physiotherapy, prospective graduates must ensure that the institutions have accreditation. They can ascertain an institution’s accreditation by visiting the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. This is the umbrella body for all practising physiotherapists in Canada. It also provides accreditation for various institutions to offer physiotherapy courses across the country.

According to the organization, there are 14 institutions in Canada that can provide credible educational programs. The institutions include:

  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Western Ontario
  • McMaster University
  • Universite Laval
  • Dalhousie University
  • Universite de Montreal
  • Universite de Sherbrooke
  • University of Toronto
  • Universite d’Ottawa
  • University of Saskatchewan

After graduating from the college, the new graduates have the choice of specializing in three distinct practice areas. These branches of physiotherapy include orthopaedics, neurology and cardiorespiratory. Orthopaedics deals with medical problems like back pains, sports injuries, post-surgical rehabilitation and strain injuries.

Those who choose to specialize in neurology would tackle issues like cerebral palsy, stroke, head and spinal cord injuries. Cardiorespiratory-based physiotherapists must grapple with problems like pneumonia, asthma, cardiac rehabilitation and cystic fibrosis.

Physiotherapy is on the upward trend in Canada. It is the fifth most popular profession in the country. It is a regulated occupation where 50% of the workforce has private clinics. Still, it is a lucrative job that offers people the chance to change other individuals’ lives for the better.

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