Physiotherapy is one of the few jobs in the world that offers deep, personal interaction with people. I find this very meaningful and fulfilling. What we learn in Physiotherapy also surprises many people as they think we just learn how to provide therapy and teach patient simple exercises. The fact is that the academic syllabus can be very intensive! As a student, I am exposed to a wide spectrum of topics such as pathophysiology of diseases, biomechanics and even sociology & psychology. These topics fall under the three main areas of Physiotherapy – Musculoskeletal, Cardiopulmonary & Neurology.
Other than the academic side of things, I had the chance to travel to Japan last July for a study trip. We visited the Azumi Rehabilitation Hospital where we were introduced to their Asuraku (means happy tomorrow in English) programme. In the three month programme, elderly come for weekly treatments lasting about two hours. The treatment ascertains rehabilitation progress and decisions are made whether to intensify or lighten their treatment plan. I think that such personalised treatment provides a very personal touch that is essential in motivating patients as they feel cared for according to their needs instead of being given general solutions which they can find online. I believe that this is one of the main reasons for the high compliance rate for rehabilitation programmes in Japan!
I also observed the way the Japanese conducted their healthcare education and how they planned their healthcare systems. Their facilities are really remarkable and fascinating! One thing that left a lasting impression on me was their ingenuity in coming up with simple yet effective treatments. For instance, in one of those treatments targeted at improving balance, patients were tasked to balance on a piece of rope suspended a few cm above ground level. Such learning experiences broadened my perspectives of the discipline. Physiotherapy isn’t just about lecture notes but it is also ever-evolving, challenging and it’s up to you to think of how you can really bring the patient back to full recovery.
“There will never be perfect outcomes 100% of the time, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing your best. If you’re doing your best all the time, that is enough and you will never have room for regrets. Should you fail, take it positively and treat it as a valuable lesson rather than be harsh on yourself.”
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