What's it like to be an Osteopath?
Osteopaths diagnose, treat and alleviate ailments which affect the body’s musculoskeletal system. They provide manual treatment and therapies including massage, stretching and manipulation of the muscles and joints.
Tasks and duties
- Diagnose patients' complaints using information from case histories, physical examinations, observation of patients' body structure and mobility, as well as medical testing.
- Treating biomechanical complaints (including backache, general joint problems, sports injuries, arthritis, stress and repetitive strain injuries).
- Assisting to improve the function of all body systems such as musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, endocrine and genitourinary systems.
- Applying a variety of manual techniques, such as soft tissue stretching, muscle relaxation, gentle mobilisation and manipulation.
- Devising, administering monitoring and reviewing treatment plans including exercise and nutritional programs.
- Referring patients to specialists and liaising with other health professionals when necessary.
- Educating patients, their partners, family and friends in therapeutic procedures, such as home exercises and lifestyle changes, to enhance patients' health and wellbeing.
Osteopaths take a holistic view of the body and consider how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a unit and how an injury to one organ can affect other organs in the same system. They often treat patients with sports related injuries or arthritis complaints.
Osteopaths interact with members of the public daily and work in private practices, as part of group practices, in community health centres or physical rehabilitation centres. They may also work in consultancy roles for sporting and fitness organisations.
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How to become an Osteopath
- Complete a Bachelor degree majoring in Applied Science or Health Science
- Complete a master’s level qualification in Osteopathy in an accredited program.
- Hold a current First Aid certificate.
- Achieve AHPRA registration via the application process.
- Renew AHPRA registration every 12 months by demonstrating the mandatory CPD, professional indemnity insurance, and recency of practice.
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