The First Year of Physiotherapy Education

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Do you want a career as a physiotherapist? Then you’ve come to the right article. Here we will share how you can become one.

The Biopsychosocial Health-Care Model

It’s critical to grasp this notion early on in your physiotherapy education. Why? When you begin placements, you will see that physiotherapy is much more than just hands-on assessment, exercise prescription, and rehabilitation. People have a wide range of emotional reactions to their illness, and their ideas, feelings, and beliefs will all play a role in their recovery. In terms of patient adherence, rapport and shared goal setting will be crucial.

The first day included learning about this health-care concept, which was further developed over the next three years. Understanding the psychological paradigms around health beliefs, as well as understanding how to adjust and personalize your approach to each particular patient, is critical for providing a more holistic kind of health care. Yes, we all enjoy learning anatomy and the practical components, but having a thorough grasp of and consideration for this model early in your education can help you become a much better clinician in the future.

Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) Work

Once you begin your placements, you will begin to identify with this more, although physiotherapists rarely operate alone in the health care system, instead collaborating with occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, dietitians, nutritionists, psychologists, and consultants, to mention a few.

You will understand this, and you will feel it helped them when they went on their first placement because you instilled this MDT working philosophy from the start of the degree by organizing a marked presentation with people from other modules in order to improve our communication skills and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of other team members.

Start to learn about the roles of other professionals you may encounter and how you may collaborate with them to improve your treatment sessions.


Because anatomy and physiology are essential to your profession – you will be experts in this subject – your first year will include a lot of anatomy teaching. If you will be fortunate to have an excellent anatomy lecturer, but you must apply your knowledge on your own. You must stay up with the information that comes at you thick and fast once you get started!

It is critical to have a thorough understanding of anatomy and to be confident in using it in all of your future activities, including practical sessions and, more critically, when you begin to go on placement. It’s crucial to practice this!

Practical Sessions

Basic passive, active, and resistant testing techniques for a given body area, as well as some special tests such as neurodynamics and prospective treatments / exercises, were covered in practical sessions. You’ll discover that there are a LOT of different examination techniques, and not only would it be tough to go over each one, but it would also be difficult to remember them all! Furthermore, as you begin to examine the evidence, you will discover that some of these tests have low sensitivity / specificity and hence are of limited clinical utility.

The key is to combine your practice sessions with your anatomy knowledge, AND TO CONSIDER WHAT Anatomical characteristics you’re moving and what you’d expect if they were at fault. This is the cornerstone of clinical reasoning, and if you start thinking about it early in your studies, it will set the tone for the remainder of your degree, and possibly your entire career.


Exams are unavoidable, and you will meet a number of them during the course of your three years. There are two types of them:

Written exams focused more comprehension of anatomy and physiology in the three specialties of musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory, and neurology throughout our first year. They can cover a wide range of topics, including muscle origins and insertions, nerve routes, definitions, rehabilitation, and clinical data interpretation.

OSCEs: There was no one in the physiotherapy program who was not apprehensive about these. Objective structured clinical exams, or OSCEs, are commonly used in health-care programs. These exams consist of a series of stations that run 5–6 minutes each and present a setting / issue in which you must exhibit manual inspection, handling, or rehabilitation procedures with a colleague as a role model and an examiner marking you. You are usually given a basic outline of what the OSCE will entail so that you can prepare for it. Finally, avoid letting your nerves get the best of you (easier said than done!). The examiners are not attempting to deceive you in any manner. They want to make sure you’ll be safe in the clinic when you start your placements.


These will also contribute to your overall grade, and the material will differ depending on whatever department assigned them to you. The most important piece of advise I received was to get started as soon as possible. You can build on this over time, even if you start by bullet highlighting objects or writing down some initial ideas. As previously stated, things will come at you thick and fast, so it’s best to have a head start. Once you’ve finished a draft, go through it again and offer it to friends and family to read so that you may obtain a better understanding of your work.


The number and timing of placements vary per university, and some students at other universities began as early as January.

These 5- to 6-week assignments are a fantastic way to put your first-year skills and knowledge into practice with real patients. It also allows you to collaborate with various members of the group and gain insight into the physiotherapist’s working environment.

Ask questions if you have any

In this course, you will be flooded with topics and information, as well as complicated terminology and other factors that can be difficult to comprehend. As a result, if you have a question, no matter how insignificant you believe it is, ASK IT! It’s likely that you’re not the only one who thinks it!

Physiotherapy is a career that requires lifelong learning, so be in the habit of asking lecturers, colleagues, peers, clinical educations, and even members of the multidisciplinary team.

Organize yourself!

You will receive multiple handouts, lecture slides, papers, notebooks, diagrams, and other materials throughout the year. Organize your work by creating folders (one for each module) that are organized into the various topics and subtopics. Then place the week’s notes in a tray and go over them over the weekend, filing them into their appropriate files.

It will surely help you in staying on top of a large workload, and checking over your notes once more before filing them to reinforced your understanding on that particular topic.

Although everyone was a little nervous at the start of the year, you will quickly find your feet, and I can assure you that your first year will fly by. It was a lot of fun, even though the workload got a little daunting at times; but, it’s very satisfying when the puzzle pieces start to fall into place and the foundation of your knowledge is set. It’s when you go onto clinical placements when things really begin to fall into place and are incredibly important in consolidating your knowledge into a real-life setting.