Education/Career Advice please - Captain or anyone?

  • I've been interested to study physiotherapy/physical therapy for a long time.

    In the last few years, there have been some positive developments in the course - including a route for working adults to be fully sponsored, and with a monthly stipend, in return for a 6 year service bond, post graduation. They did suspend this arrangement previously and have just reinstated it this year. I cannot afford to go to school - so this would be good alternative for me, if I can get in to the program. The only part I'm not keen about is the bond period.

    Currently, I myself am undergoing rehabilitation for a problematic back injury.

    I need to fully regain strength and mobility before applying for the course - will not qualify otherwise (even if I'm shortlisted), as it is a requirement to be medically fit. it could take a few years to recover sufficiently.

    I feel nervous that if I delay application for a few years, I will somehow be disadvantaged or there could be other obstacles (eg they may stop the sponsorship program). I even worry that my age will be an issue at that point, as I'm already nearing 40. I know this is lack mentality, and I'm trying not to go that way.

    I'm thinking of trying to do some basic volunteer work once my condition has stabilized, to gain exposure to being around patients in a community health environment. Even if it's only 'befriending' work and I cannot directly be involved in any rehab stuff, at least I can see what its like.

    I need some advice - mainly will I be able to get in to this course, if I wait till I'm fully recovered before applying for the program? Am I even suitable for this profession in the first place? Or am I meant to do something else?

    Do you foresee any possibility in me finding a way to finance my studies, so that i can bypass the bond route? I have an interest in specializing in rehab fitness and taking further training, post graduation, so I really don't want to be bonded for so many years.


  • Danceur, you are worrying unnecessarily over what MIGHT or MIGHT NOT happen. Your time is now and you must focus on getting better, not some vague future experience. Where you are is always the right place for you. If you cannot get into this course when you are fully well, then it wasn't meant for you. Flow with life, not against it. If an opportunity for what you want doesn't present itself, then it wasn't right for you. Trust the process of life and of spirit guiding you. Deal with what is on your plate right now - that is how you properly live in the present. Also examine yourself deeply - is this really what you want or only what you think you want consciously? Could you be subconsciously pushing it away through fear of change or fear of failure/success?

    Allow opportunities to come to you and be alert for them - don't just focus on what you think you want, otherwise you might be looking in the wrong direction when they arrive. Ask the Universe to send you the work you NEED, not what you think you want. You may find an opportunity presents itself that you have not previously considered when you were less open to anything. Don't try to plan out your whole life - let life happen. It can be more wonderful than your own plan. Relax too - I can sense your stress and it's not helping you heal. Heal first, plan later.

  • Thanks for that advice Captain!

    You are spot on 🙂 I was feeling that even as I wrote it - that I want to be open to whatever comes along. Truth be told, I don't have to start anything in a hurry - my own rehab is a whole experience unto itself, and i do want to see where it takes me.

    In truth, I can't know if I'd be good at this profession unless I try. I want to be able to just try, because I'm interested in it. And it does seems that the path is starting to clear - in terms of emotional and physical healing and external opportunities.

    You're right that I'm stressed, but I'm also excited, because I feel momentum. My mind is opening up and I see possibilities. Just want to go forward and let go of everything else.

    Actually I'm interested in being an remedial massage practitioner too...but courses are not available in my country - and the job opportunities are scarce. I really want so much to have a profession/trade and at least chart a path towards it, even if it takes time to actually start learning. And just live life and grow in the meantime. My life has been unconventional thus far, and has pretty much centered on going with the flow actually - so I know I would bounce back, even if life steered me in a different direction altogether.

    How will I know if an opportunity is meant for me? Sometimes I just can't tell the difference - of when I'm supposed to take action or not?

  • Have you tried asking people who are working in this profession all about it? I'm sure someone would be willing to give you more details about their actual hands-on experience so you could see if it would suit you. They may even suggest ways of going about getting in that you may not have considered. They might even offer you a chance to work for them part time for free to get some experience.

  • Hi Captain,

    It did cross my mind to try and get a part-time internship, but it's a health-related profession - so it's quite tightly regulated. Without any certification, relevant work experience or status as a full-time physio student, you won't be allowed to be involved or observe. I will try to look around though.

    In the meantime, I've been watching a lot of physical therapy videos on Youtube. I find them really interesting as they explain the techniques and how to identify dysfunction. Also, since I'm going through injury rehab as well, I am observing what my therapist does, how he communicates etc. I'm not really chummy with him, so I don't feel comfortable asking him about the work itself. But I am doing some reading online to try and understand anatomy (complex!) and the terms etc. All of this is helping me understand my own treatment too.

    You know even if this is not the path for me, it just feels very interesting to me to be doing all this at the moment 🙂

  • You don't have to be especially chummy with someone just to enquire about their work. First-hand information is better than second-hand videos or just reading up on the subject. Are you assuming that without any certification, relevant work experience or status as a full-time physio student, you won't be allowed to be involved or observe, or have you actually been told that? You seem a little reluctant to dig deeper into something you indicate you really want. Or are you just afraid of speaking to professional people face-to-face for fear of rejection? Perhaps you prefer the fantasy of the work to its reality? You never know what will happen until you try.

  • Not really Captain. I'm willing to talk to professionals about this. Doesn't matter if there are rejections. Not worried about that. I'm actually pacing myself and taking a more research-oriented approach, because I'm not able to move forward on anything in my current condition. I realized that I was jumping the gun earlier. It's as you said in your initial reply, heal first, plan later (but keep the interest alive). To me, this feels more like allowing. Because I'm still growing the seeds in an area of interest, while giving time for the external circumstances to sort themselves out.

    I am aware it is not an easy profession. It is clearly very hard work - mentally, physically, emotionally. And it doesn't pay well in my country. I'm not sure I'm even smart enough to take the course. But it sounds like a worthwhile profession to consider.

    I'm pretty sure the rules are strict with physio internships because there are regulatory, health and safety and liability considerations. Which is fair enough. They won't let you learn on the job unless you are only doing counter/admin work. Even with volunteer work, it's clearly stated that you need to have relevant experience/qualifications to volunteer to assist in therapy work.

    Anyway, as you say, you don't know till you try. And once I've healed sufficiently to take on physically-oriented work, I will make the calls then to search for a potential internship.

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