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Physical Therapist

Physiotherapists, also called physical therapists in other locations, are healthcare professionals who use their knowledge of movement, posture and balance to treat problems connected to the bones, muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.

The exact duties and responsibilities of a physiotherapist or a physical therapist may vary per organisation, but they typically include the following:

  • assessing the physical condition of patients and choosing an appropriate treatment plan based on the assessment,
  • implementing the said treatment plan and monitoring the patient’s progress as the treatment moves along,
  • prescribing suitable mobility aids to help patients with movement,
  • serving as a liaison between the patients and other related healthcare professionals if needed

There are additional courses that physiotherapists can specialise in depending on your field of interest including hydrotherapy. 


How to be a Physical Therapist in South Afica

Get the Required Qualifications

The requirements to be a physical therapist vary depending on the specific career path you wish to take but you will typically need the following qualifications to become a physical therapist in South Africa.

  1. Certificate (National Senior Certificate / NC(V)  Entrance requirements may differ for the various educational institutions)
  2. Bachelor’s Degree (Bachelor of Physiotherapy)
  3. Community Service (12 months of community service)

In addition to the training for physiotherapy, hydrotherapy requires the completion of courses on aquatic therapy techniques

Demonstrate Competence in the Required Subjects

Different educational institutions may have different admission requirements; however, you will typically be required to demonstrate competency in the following subjects:

Accumulate Years of Relevant Study and Experience

Physical therapists in South Africa typically study for 4 years.

Find Relevant Employment Opportunities

Careers for physical therapists can be found in various settings including state hospitals, private clinics, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers or other related healthcare facilities.

Find More Information from Relevant Regulatory Bodies

To find more information about physical therapists, contact the South African Society of Physiotherapy.

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