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Perception of physiotherapy students regarding their chosen career: An exploratory study on leveling the playing field

Authors:

S. W. K. Gamage ,

University of Colombo, LK
About S. W. K.
Undergraduate, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
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Piyanjali de Zoysa

University of Colombo, LK
About Piyanjali
Senior Professor in Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

The physiotherapy profession plays a significant role in multi-disciplinary healthcare teams, especially in planning rehabilitation regimes, re-establishing maximum movement capability, and achieving functional independence of a patient. The professional status of physiotherapy depends on career satisfaction amongst physiotherapists. Understanding the dynamics of professional in/ equity would be useful to develop the profession. Therefore, this study explores the perceptions of physiotherapy students about their profession [i.e., the reasons for choosing to study physiotherapy, level of satisfaction with having chosen physiotherapy, and (perceived) problems in the profession] in a Sri Lankan state university, and to explore potential inequities in the profession. A cross-sectional survey of 100 students was conducted using an online, self administered questionnaire. Results indicated that 79% of the students were satisfied with having chosen physiotherapy as a profession. Their year of study and gender did not influence their career choice. The students most frequently cited the opportunity to serve humankind and job opportunities in Western countries as reasons for choosing to study physiotherapy. The most frequently cited profession-related problems were wage inequity, lack of knowledge amongst the public about physiotherapy, and lack of job opportunities in the country. Although the profession is perceived to have these problems, most students were satisfied with their career choice. The results indicate that Sri Lanka needs to further develop the professional equity and status of physiotherapy.
How to Cite: Gamage, S. W. K., & de Zoysa, P. (2022). Perception of physiotherapy students regarding their chosen career: An exploratory study on leveling the playing field. University of Colombo Review, 3(1), 20–31. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/ucr.v3i1.57
Published on 02 Aug 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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