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Becoming An NHS Physical Therapist and Rising Through the Ranks: What You Need to Consider

nhs physical therapist The NHS is one of the biggest employers in the world, with a whopping 1.2 million workers across Europe, ranging from healthcare assistants, ambulance service team members, doctors, midwives, physical therapists, and much more. Especially if you’re considering a career in the latter profession, it’s no surprise you’d choose to pursue it through the NHS, known for its career progression opportunities and unique worker benefits like the Blue Light Card discount service.

The primary role of an NHS physical therapist involves helping athletes recover from injuries and patients with chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries live the highest quality of life possible despite their condition. As you can imagine, becoming a physical therapist can be incredibly rewarding and reaps many benefits, such as staying active at work, travel opportunities, and much more.

However, even if you’re satisfied with your current job role, there is always room for personal and professional growth. Fortunately, if you’re ready to take your career in another direction, there are many ways you can do so as an NHS physical therapist. From refining your skillset to choosing which direction you want your career to go in, here are some of the best ways to rise through the ranks below:

Choose A Pathway

First, choosing a pathway to take for your career is essential. You might be satisfied remaining as a physical therapist, but after several years in the same position, you may have grown tired and set your sights on opening your own practice. Or if you like a particular element of your current job, like working with patients, you could specialize in that area.

Alternatively, if your mind is set on chasing a bigger dream, consider a significant career change, like going into surgery. Regardless of the pathway you choose, determining where you’d like to be within the next several years can help you set specific career goals and ensure that you take the appropriate steps toward achieving them.

Revisit Your Skillset

As with any job we pursue, one of the first things we do is research the skills needed to succeed in our chosen position. If you’re looking to rise through the ranks, you’ll need to revisit this skillset and determine what you are good, bad, and decent at, then work on the skills that need improving.

Fortunately, there are many ways to improve your existing skillset while working within the NHS, from taking on new challenges, finding new learning opportunities, learning from more senior staff members, and enrolling in short courses. Many staff in the NHS will change job roles while staying within the NHS as they rise through the ranks so that they can make change happen at the top level.

Higher education can help bolster your skills to be ready for a career change within the NHS. If you want to be in a position to make meaningful change to the policies within the NHS, then expanding your career into health economics will be for you. There is an online certificate course at the London School of Economics and Political Science covering health economics and policy that can help you learn more about the decisions that are made within the health industry. Rising through the ranks of the NHS will help put you into a position to make decisions and impact policymaking.

Consider visiting their site to view their programmes, take advantage of their programme finder, discover more about them, and much more. Alternatively, contact them directly for any specific queries and learn how enrolling on one of their programmes could help you refine the skills needed to rise through the ranks today.

Look For Networking Opportunities

Another way to rise through the ranks at your NHS physical therapy job is by looking for networking opportunities. As known by many working professionals, networking is one of the best ways for personal and professional growth since it puts you in contact with like-minded professionals who can help you rise through the ranks of your career.

Networking has many benefits, from gaining a more robust support network to increased visibility, impactful connections, and many more. But one of the main benefits is that it links you with like-minded professionals who could give you career advice, offer you a job, introduce you to a potential employer, or collaborate with you in the future.

Shadow A Co-Worker Or Find A Mentor
Lastly, you can also grow your career by shadowing a senior staff member or finding a mentor. Shadowing or enlisting the help of a mentor can be beneficial for many reasons, from helping you grow from personal experiences and putting you in contact with other professionals in your field to recommending higher education opportunities and giving you words of encouragement.

To get started, ask your place of work if you could shadow a senior staff member or even someone whose work ethic you admire. Or ask them about mentoring opportunities, as they might be a part of a mentorship programme, or they could point you in the direction of an excellent mentoring programme. On the other hand, if all else fails, find a mentor by going to professional networking advent, using social media, joining a mentorship platform, attending social events, looking for industry meetups, or volunteering for social clubs. You never know what could open the door to a mentor/mentee relationship, so explore every avenue!


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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 8th March 2023.

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