AFTER completing a Foundation in Science programme, Valerie Tan pursued a four-year degree course in physiotherapy at INTI International University.
Now the 25-year-old isapaediatric physiotherapist and sensory practitioner at The Energy Source, a purpose-built children’s centre in Kuala Lumpur which offers a range of paediatric therapy services.
“My job as a physiotherapist is to first assess the client’s needs and goals. Therapy begins after the assessment. I do see children with developmental delays, poor balance and coordination, and foot deformities. Through exercises such as stretching and strengthening, I help them to get better,” she said.
Since she works with children, her sessions are done in a play-based setting.
“Sometimes, I work with other therapists such as speech therapist and occupational therapist if the child is not just physically delayed. Once in a while, I do see adult clients who have low back pain, knee pain or sport injuries.”
As an athlete during her schooldays and at university, she has always been interested in becoming a physiotherapist.
“I did some research into physiotherapy and realised I can do more than just sports. At the end of the day, I love helping and working with people, especially when you can see them getting better.
It puts a smile on their faces and brightens up my day.”
A physiotherapy course requires knowledge of biology and chemistry to master subjects such as musculoskeletal system, rehabilitation—neurology, sports injuries, paediatric and geriatric, women’s health and pharmacology.
“The field of physiotherapy is very wide. There are opportunities to work in the hospital rehabilitation department or sports physiotherapy, children’s and physiotherapy centre. Physiotherapists can conduct home-based visits either part- or fulltime.”
Tan advised those who want to become a physiotherapist to do research as different workplaces have different job scopes. “Once you know what you want, love what you do. You can also progress further by pursuing a postgraduate course.”
The starting pay for physiotherapists range from RM2,500 to RM3,000.