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how to start training for physiotherapists?

What happens after college?

Have you graduated from college and don't know what to do next? 

Should you get a job right away or should you get an education first? 

Do you need a master's degree or is it too much? 

Do you need an internship right away and do you need an internship at all? 

These are just some of the many questions we all had after we finished the first 3 years of physiotherapy college. You are not alone in this situation and unfortunately the system is doing nothing to point you in the right direction to become top physiotherapists who can quickly and effectively rehabilitate their patients. 

In the new blog, we write answers to all these questions because we had the same and through personal experience managed to get answers for them. 

As you, our colleagues would not have to go through this alone, we decided to share our experience with you and advise you on how you can make this path easier for yourself. 

Education of physiotherapists

Do you need a master's degree?

Many students choose to continue their education for only one reason. The reason is that they do not know how to move on and think that the best option is to spend the next 2 years of their young lives in further college education. 

But is this true? 

We think in most cases this is not true. 

Why do we think that? 

The master's degree carries 2 additional years of learning which unfortunately in most cases recycle the knowledge mastered in the first 3 years of college. Also, as you probably already know, a master's degree is not recognized as an additional qualification when working in hospitals in Croatia and you will not receive a salary supplement because of it.

When is the master's degree useful?

A master's degree is useful when you plan to stay in the education system after college or teach at the University. In this situation, you need it and it raises your salary and prospects for advancement in college career. 

What can you do instead of a master?

We believe that instead of a master's degree, you can start with additional targeted education and courses that will direct you much closer to the goal of becoming a top physiotherapist than the master's degree itself will do. 

2 years is a very long period in which you can learn a high level of performance of various techniques that will quickly, in the long-term and effectively help your patient!

Read more about the master in our blog: Do the master's degree and doctorate in Physical Therapy make sense?

Do you need a job or education?

You can do both at once! 

Jobs in various private practices, polyclinics and hospitals do not necessarily require high knowledge of special techniques in order to be successful in the same institutions. 

The best option here is to find a job in the profession that will finance additional education and you will further learn from older colleagues at work. 

As much as you may think (and you are not far from the truth) that a good part of colleagues who work for many years in state institutions actually have no experience because they do only procedures such as therapeutic currents, ultrasound, lasers and similar physical modalities, these are people with significant experience behind them who have seen a large number of patients and can teach you a lot at first. 

In a situation like this where you work and educate yourself at the same time, you combine the pleasant with the useful and you ensure your existence with career progress. 


What training to start with?

What training to start with?

What is the right first course to start your further education?

The answer to this question actually depends mostly on your desired direction of physiotherapy, but there are some basic rules to hold on to in order to progress faster and more efficiently. 

We would certainly advise you if it is possible to start with education related to diagnostics to know how to treat your patients more accurately and to be able to notice red flags in them. 

U Physioverse Academy-u organizirali smo prvu takvu edukaciju na našim prostorima kroz koju možete naučiti kompletnu funkcionalnu anatomiju, ciljanu palpaciju pojedinih mišića, palpatornu dijagnostiku te saznati potencijalna rješenja za dijagnosticirani problem. 

You can see more about this education at the link – Palpation Anatomy and Diagnostics

Which therapy courses should you complete first?

This again depends on your target specialization in physical therapy. 

We would definitely recommend that you decide on the specialization as soon as possible because without a targeted orientation you will never become a good and quality physiotherapist.

Physical therapy is a branch of medicine that is extremely extensive and it is simply impossible to be good in all the branches of medicine that exist. 

For more information about physiotherapy specializations, read our blog:

Types of specialization in physiotherapists

Choose one specialization and stick to it throughout your career to be a top physiotherapist in your chosen field. 

Once you have decided to focus and completed diagnostic education, it is time to start with targeted therapeutic education. 

Most physiotherapists, including us, work in orthopedics and sports, so we will give you an example of this physiotherapy specialization.


Physiotherapist orientation

In what order should education be completed?

Start with an education that will affect the patient's muscular system and with which you will get quick results on the same. 

Such education can be Dry needling educationCupping course, Myofascial relaxation, various Trigger point courses, and similar courses through which you learn to relax the hypertonic muscle. With these techniques, you will get a quick and effective relaxation of the muscles for the patient and consequently increase movement and reduce pain in the treated segment. 

After you have completed and perfected the technique for muscle relaxation, focus on the techniques for establishing a normal range of motion in the joints like Smart Flossing, Manipulations of the spine and extremities, Kaltenborn, Maitland and other similar education. In this training, you will learn how to quickly and effectively restore the joint to optimal function. 

When you are done with passive modalities education it is very necessary to start with active modalities! Such modalities serve to educate the patient about targeted and precise exercises that will keep the patient in optimal condition in the long term. Such techniques are DNS, PNF, Schroth method and all other active techniques for targeted treatment of problems in your patients. 

Don't jump from technique to technique!

Big mistake that we noticed is that a good part of our young colleagues are doing is learning a large number of techniques in an extremely short period of time. 

We understand that you want to become a top physiotherapist as soon as possible and perform as many techniques as possible, but in this way, you will not do it with quality and precision. 

If you learn a technique, do it for at least 6 months as much as possible until you have perfected it and are completely confident in your ability to perform it safely and accurately. 

Techniques such as Dry needling and Spinal manipulation that are extremely demanding and can be dangerous for the patient need to be practiced for a longer time! So if you've decided to perfect any of these techniques, you should stick with it at least a year until you are absolutely sure of your performance. 

Of course, with all these passive techniques, it is necessary to direct the patient into targeted active techniques or exercises, because without them it is not possible to solve the patient's problem in the long term. 

If you need advice on which education to start with, feel free to contact us by e-mail

Picture of Bsc. PT. Toni Marić

Bsc. PT. Toni Marić

Tony is bacc. physiotherapy and the owner of Ad Sacrum practice who has been following top athletes for years and teaches at Dry needling and Cupping education for physiotherapists.

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