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Physiotherapy assistants make a difference to the lives of our patients every day by helping them recover from a range of illnesses and conditions. It is also a route to becoming a physiotherapist.
Training and qualifications required
There are no set entry requirements for physiotherapy assistants. Employers expect good numeracy and literacy and some experience or qualifications in health or social care. Employers may ask for GCSEs in English and maths. Apprenticeships in healthcare can provide you with experience to apply for physiotherapy assistant and other clinical support roles. You will be given the training you need to do the job, including an introduction to the department and its procedures and how to set up and use the equipment. You may be offered the chance to study for qualifications such as the NCFE CACHE level 2 Certificate in Healthcare Support Services or the NCFE CACHE level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support.
Expected working hours and salary range
As a physiotherapy assistant you will typically start on Agenda for Change band 2 or 3. With further training and experience, you could apply for more senior positions at band 4 - eg as an assistant practitioner. Physiotherapy assistants in the NHS work standard hours, which are likely to be around 37.5 a week. This may include evenings and weekends. Terms and conditions will usually be different for physiotherapy assistants working outside of the NHS.
Desirable skills and values
As a physiotherapy assistant, you need to be happy to be hands-on with patients, willing to demonstrate exercises, able to use gym equipment, a good listener, calm and understanding, happy to talk to and work with groups, able to follow procedures, able to motivate people, willing to work alone or in a team and physically fit. You'll also need good organisational and communication skills and the ability to explain treatment to patients.
With experience, you could become a team leader supervising the work of other physiotherapy assistants. You could apply to train as an assistant practitioner or, with the qualifications needed for entry into university, as a physiotherapist.