What Do Physiotherapists Do in Hospitals?

Male patient takes first steps using orthopedic parallel bars

Physiotherapy is a science-based discipline that takes a ‘whole person’ approach to health and wellness, encompassing the patient’s general lifestyle. It is a degree-based program that you must learn in school by studying physiotherapy-related courses in Malaysia.

In Malaysia, students become trained physiotherapists after completing their programme and awarded a Bachelor of Physiotherapy degree. As a trained physiotherapist, you can work in different environments, including hospitals, community health centres, private clinics, sports clubs, rehabilitation centres, schools, and fitness centres.

Physiotherapists who work in the hospital help people recover from injuries suffered from surgery, sickness, ageing, or impairment. They direct patients to strengthen their body and movement to avoid any complications in the future.

Physiotherapists also seek to diagnose the causes of injuries and put together a recovery plan, including exercises, manual therapy, and electrotherapy (using electrical energy as a medical treatment. They also advise on treating long-term conditions.

Physiotherapists treat a wide variety of individuals, including infants, sportspeople, and the elderly. Some patients will need support to recover from accidents or surgery, and others will have long-term illnesses.


Patient having physical therapy in hospital

Here are some of the conditions a physiotherapist will treat in the hospital.

Musculoskeletal physiotherapy They treat conditions such as strains, sprains, back pain, and posture problems.
Cardiorespiratory physiotherapy They help to prevent or relieve the symptoms of conditions like asthma, chronic bronchitis, and other cardio-respiratory disorders.
Neurological physiotherapy They target conditions affecting the nervous system, including Parkinson’s, strokes, and brain injuries.
Geriatric physiotherapy They concentrate on the diverse movement needs of older adults.
Paediatric physiotherapy They rehabilitate children after illnesses or accidents.
Sports physiotherapy They work to relieve discomfort and reintroduce freedom of movement following sports injuries.
Women’s Health They focus on addressing the female reproductive system, breastfeeding, prenatal and postnatal treatment.


Duties of a physiotherapist in the Hospital

The typical responsibilities of a physiotherapist in the hospital include:

  • Acting with patients with a variety of disabilities, often over weeks or months
  • Diagnosing, evaluating, and handling conditions
  • Encouraging fitness and movement
  • Advising patients on living a safe lifestyle
  • Keeping tabs on patients and their progress
  • Liaising with other healthcare practitioners to promote a holistic approach to treatment
  • Staying up to date with advances in therapies
  • Being loving, gentle, and patient


Mid adult female doctor uses laptop in physical therapy room


Qualifications to Become a Physiotherapist in Malaysia

There are three major routes to choose from to qualify as a physiotherapist:

  1. Bachelor’s degree: You can study for a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at a university in Malaysia.
  2. Master’s degree: if you have an undergraduate degree in a specific area (such as health sciences), you can study for an MSc in Physiotherapy.
  3. Degree apprenticeship: you can study for a BSc in Physiotherapy while being employed in a registered clinic.


Final Thoughts

After getting a Bachelor of Physiotherapy in Malaysia and your license to practise, you will have various career development opportunities and specialisation opportunities. Some physiotherapists divide their time in various job positions.

If you want to work in the public sector, you may work in several departments like occupational health, orthopaedics, and intensive care. You can work in a hospital department, a GP surgery, or a nursing home. You may also specialise in sports therapy, become the resident physiotherapist for a sports team, or assist armed service veterans with recovery.

A physiotherapist in the private sector will have the opportunity to take on patients and, if you like, start your practice after you have gained enough experience. In any of the areas you choose to practise, the job description remains the same — to help patients recover from injuries sustained from surgery, illness, ageing, or disability.