What is a veterinary physiotherapist?

There has always been some confusion about the meaning of veterinary physiotherapy. The term 'veterinary' is not a reserved word, merely meaning 'working with animals'. Hence a veterinary physiotherapist is an individual who performs physiotherapy on animals. In order to provide directed training, there are several courses now available in the UK that provide a basis for producing a veterinary physiotherapist. CEPT offers one such course.

Why is there a need for veterinary physiotherapy?

There is now a greater understanding of the role that coordinated rehabilitation can play in an animal's recovery from injury, illness, and after surgery. Physiotherapy can be used from the moment of injury right through to the long term support of a healed injury or area. The benefits can be seen in event horses, show jumpers and racing greyhounds through to the elderly animal needing help with its daily mobility. Physiotherapy can help muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments and joints by the proper use of land and water-based therapies, coupled with electrotherapies. The knowledge behind the therapy can only come with teaching, practice and experience.

Veterinary physiotherapy training with CEPT

Canine and Equine Physiotherapy Training provides a course using the facilities at the Nottingham School of Veterinary Medicine and Science (Sutton Bonington campus). This is the newest veterinary school, and as such the course has access to all the facilities associated with training veterinary surgeons. The course is not academically linked with the University of Nottingham.

CEPT is a member of the UK Register of Learning Providers (UKRLP). We are also listed on the Government's Careers Advice Service website.

What does the course offer?
In brief, the training course is centered around a problem-orientated approach to assessing and planning physiotherapy. Students are able to develop their knowledge of a wide range of topics, from anatomy and physiology, clinical conditions and therapeutic techniques through to study skills and research methodology.

The course is unique for the standard of the qualification in that there are specific lecture weekends where you are taught with your classmates. CEPT believes this achieves a higher standard and allows students to resolve queries directly with the lecturers, and also generates a sense of being part of a group.

Practical training

The theoretical teachings of the first year are used to provide the basis for the practical training in the second year i.e. turning theory into practice. CEPT uses veterinary physiotherapists both from IRVAP (www.irvap.org.uk) and from ACPAT (www.acpat.org), and allocates the students to different clinics and veterinary physiotherapists in order to gain a wide experience in the treatment of horses and dogs, both sporting and domicile.

Qualification and support

During the course, or after gaining the Advanced Certificate in Veterinary Physiotherapy, students may join the Institute of Registered Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapists (www.irvap.org.uk) which provides support from a group of veterinary physiotherapists. This allows newly qualified physiotherapists to ask for advice and treatment options from a body of experience, and thus enables a better degree of confidence in their work. IRVAP and CEPT also run CPD days for refreshers and new techniques.


   
 
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