New physio school makes it easier to become the MVP

Thought about Physiotherapy? It’ll be even easier to become one from next year when Wintec opens NZ’s third school of physiotherapy after AUT and Otago University.

Physiotherapists are often regarded as the MVP in the sports teams or the individual athlete they help. The reality is their job (and the people they help) extends well beyond the sports field into many other areas of our health.

Physios work with people of all ages, from all walks of life. One day they might be using physical therapy to help a child with disabilities, and next they will be helping an elderly person be more active or recover from an operation.

What do physiotherapists do?

Physios play a really important role in making sure everyone’s able to live healthy, happy lives. It can be a really fulfilling career.

They work with three main areas of the body: neuromuscular (brain and nervous system), musculoskeletal (soft tissues, joints and bones), and the cardiovascular and respirator systems (heart and lungs). Physios look at a patient’s body as a whole, instead of just focussing on a particular injury, and this is sometimes called a “holistic” approach.

Another important part of the job is to educate people so they don’t get physical problems in the first place. They give advice about things like avoiding injuries, having better posture, or correct lifting and carrying techniques. About a third of physiotherapists are self-employed and work in private practice. 

Wintec's new programme 

Wintec’s new school of physiotherapy is the country’s first new programme in the discipline in 45 years and it’s a response to growing demand as the country’s population and health needs grow.

Wintec is set to offer four-year degree qualifications of Bachelor of Physiotherapy and the extended Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours). The Wintec programme has been developed in consultation with communities and local providers, and will support increased numbers of Māori and Pasifika students to enter the programme and qualify as physiotherapists.

What do you need?

NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects to have studied include physical education, health, biology, chemistry and physics.

You need to get moving too. Interest in the new programme is expected to be very high and so enrolment for the first intake will close on 12 November 2018 for students intending to commence study in February 2019.

MORE: Explore this link to see what physiotherapists do in NZ, how much they can earn and how they can help patients