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Published in the 16-31 July 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Paramedical sciences: courses with great scope - ii

Physiotherapy is the treatment of a disease by age old remedies such as massage, fresh air and electricity, rather than giving any drugs which may cause complications for a patient.

What's the job? Restore mobility, make the patient feel better and prevent permanent disability. Work for making the life of patients more active and give independence. Help the patient rehabilitate. Quite often a physiotherapist works with burn patients, cardiac and cancer patients and offers them great care and relief.

Specialization of job: With enough experience of general physiotherapy, one can specialize in treating a particular section e.g. Cardiac patients, old people or mentally challenged persons. 

The Key Skills required: (a) Ability to teach and counsel patients. (b) Patience, tolerance and emotional stability. Subjects Studied during the course: Anatomy, physiology, orthopaedics, neurology, medicine, surgery, physiotherapy etc. Practical training is given during the Course in a hospital ward or department.

Job Prospects
(a) Work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, special treatment centers & gymnasium.

(b) Full time or part time jobs with various sports clubs like cricket, football, athletics, etc.

(c) As a health administrator in industries for on-the-spot treatment of employees.
(d) Work in defense medical establishments (through UPSC examinations)
(e) Consultant doctor/ counselor in private institutes for physically challenged.
(f) Private practice after enrollment with Indian association of Physiotherapists (but initial investment required).

(g) Join the teaching profession in medical colleges as lecturer or professor.
Further Education / Specialization: Physiotherapists can specialize in one of the following specializations : cardiopulmonary, clinical electro physiology, neurological physical therapy, pediatric physiotherapy, geriatric physiotherapy, sports physiotherapy.

Occupational Therapy:
Occupational Therapy is a treatment for the physically impaired and mentally sick people through a day to day course ( which is highly regulated ) of suitable work.

What's the job? Treat patients with physical and spastic disabilities. Assist the patients with artificial limbs, patients with neurological disorders, premature infants, disabled patients etc. Many of these people need to gain or regain confidence to tackle such tasks as feeding themselves, washing, dressing, walking, crossing roads, or using public transport. Occupational therapists use a variety of equipment to teach them how to carry out these tasks. Organize recreational and cultural activities that help as techniques to resolve the disabilities and problems of physically and mentally challenged people.

The Key Skills required: (a) Good judgment & effective planning. (b) Good Communication Skills. (c) Ability to motivate people / group. (d) Good physical fitness & stamina to bear the burden ( sometimes ).

Subjects Studied during the course: Anatomy, physiology, psychology, medicine and surgery (theoretical only) and psychiatry. Also various occupational techniques are taught on how to organize recreational and cultural activities.

Job Prospects: (a) Work in both private & government hospitals as consultant. (b) Work at rehabilitation centers for physically challenged ( great demand ). (c) Private practice - set up a unit of psychiatry or an orthopedic. (d) Join the teaching profession in medical colleges as lecturer or professor.
Speech Therapy & Audiology:

Speech Therapy & Audiology involves treatment of speech impairments such as stammering by providing psychological help and supportive speech therapy. Audiology is about treatment of hearing impairments. In recent years, it has caught a lot of attention of students who want to pursue a career in a medical line. It is relatively a new field, which looks into the diagnosis, treatment, alleviation and prevention of hearing problems and speech impairments. Since hearing and speaking are interwoven in our day-to-day communication, this profession is very much in demand.

What's the job? Deal with all types of communication problems, but mainly treat disorders of fluency, articulation, voice and language, which may be caused due to deafness or mental/physical handicap. or may be acquired (for example, through illness and disease, psychological or neurological problems). To assess patients' problems and devise remedial programs, speech therapists spend a lot of time observing and getting to know the patients and gaining their confidence. Much of the work is concerned with children, for instance, those who are slow to talk, have stammers, or have hearing difficulties. Many of the children are mentally or physically handicapped or emotionally disturbed. A lot of work with adults involves the rehabilitation of people after accidents or illnesses.

The Key Skills required: (a) Keen interest in Science (b) Good Communication. (c) Ability to be good with all and win their confidence. (d) Ability to take decisions independently. 

Subjects Studied during the course: The syllabus includes speech patterns, pathology, hearing aid therapeutics, phonetics, anatomy, physiology, psychology, neurology, audiology, physics of sound and diseases of the ear, nose and throat.

Best Institutes : All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysore (highly reputed), All India Institute of Medical Science, Delhi.

Job Prospects: This profession is new to India and well trained speech audiologists have great opportunities. 

(a) Work in government hospitals/ private clinics / schools as consultant. (b Private practice -Can give high returns. (c) Join the teaching profession in medical colleges as lecturer or professor.

NB: The following details are common for all the 3 paramedical courses:

Course Entry: Eligibility : 10+2 / HSC / PUC with Physics, Chemistry, Maths / Biology (securing at least 50% marks with pass in English)
Duration of the Course: Diploma : 2 years, Degree course (B.Sc) 3 - 4 years.

Any queries?
If you have any queries, kindly mail us. We will put the best solutions (not answers) for your career queries. 

Ameen-e Mudassar, Career Counsellor
MSW-Career Guidance & Information Center, Bangalore

Part I Paramedical sciences: courses with great scope - i

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