Being a physiotherapist is not as simple a job as you may think it is. It requires excellent communication skills, building relationships and trust with clientele, and a strong work ethic. For my Career Life Education 10 course, I interviewed Colby Treliving, a physiotherapist at Station Physiotherapy. I met Colby about a year and a half ago when I went to physio after enduring a sports-related injury. I chose to interview him because I knew he was very knowledgeable in the field and could answer my questions regarding physiotherapy.
A crucial idea I took away relates to the skills an individual needs to become a physiotherapist. Communication skills are the largest one. Colby mentioned how communication is key because “you have to be able to take care of their pain and listen to them and their stories.” He also emphasized making sure your clients feel heard and how “you cannot be a robot; you have to get your clients excited about rehabilitation.” All in all, strong communication skills are the foundation you need to excel at being a physiotherapist.
Another major concept I learned is the importance of building relationships and trust with the clientele. Colby expressed that as a physiotherapist, “you are not as much of a body parts, muscles, tendons, and joints person as you are a people person.” He also talked about how physiotherapists need to build trust to get clients to look at you as someone who can help them, opposed to somebody who is an expert at treating an injury. I learned of the value of building rapport, getting clients on your side, and helping them help themselves. Seeing smiles and laughter during sessions tells you that you are doing something right.
Lastly, I discovered the value of planning ahead. Although you do not need to know your exact career path as a Grade 10 student because it may change over time, looking, thinking, and planning ahead will not do you any disservice. Colby explained that you should “look into what it takes, figure out what kind of courses you need to get into the specific program, and make sure you are taking those classes in high school.” He mentioned how he went back to redo some math and biology classes because, in high school, he had no interest in becoming a physiotherapist. Outlining clear objectives and goals for yourself now will only set you up for smoother sailing in the future.
By conducting this interview, I have gained valuable insight into what it takes to become a physiotherapist. I learned new information and received details regarding how a day in the life of a physiotherapist would look like. While I do not know what I would exactly what I would like to pursue in post-secondary education, physiotherapy remains one out of the various fields I have an interest in.