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The Real World – Student to Physio

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New Grad Team

Well you made it. Bachelor of Physiotherapy completed and hanging up on the wall.

Those long laborious last minute assignments and reflections gone.

Here are some things that stick out for a bright-eyed fresh-faced new graduate physio.

You’re an autonomous clinician now!!!

One of the main things is that you have a lot more freedom of choice. Suddenly you can treat a patient in a way that suits your unique style and you make the final decisions, not your supervisor. The choice of tool from your physio tool box is yours. You’ve earnt it!

The first few weeks

No doubt the first few weeks or months are difficult but who can say their first job wasn’t?

Patients can come in the door with some confusing problems and you’ve got to help them through that.

While clinically reasoning each step of the way.

  • While being confident and backing your clinical decisions.
  • While seeing all your patients on time with a smile.
  • While completing all your notes on time.
  • While understanding all the ACC jargon and procedures……………

You get the idea.

You can get overwhelmed in these first few weeks but remember you’ve got the basics (strength, range of movement and stability) to fall back on if you’re struggling.

No more assignments or exams

Yeah. Nah. While no one gives you weekly assignments, there is still work to be done. At Motus they have a tailored graduate mentoring programme to help you to get on your way.

There are also a huge range of courses from manual therapy to breathing control, that you can attend as you improve with your clinical skills.

However, the main difference is that you have patients to relate your time and study to, so the tests and assignments aren’t as much of a drag.

Home time means home time

Seems easy right? Finishing your notes at home or spending time fretting over what you should or shouldn’t have done with a patient is an easy trap to fall into. Having an outlet such as going for a run or heading to the gym is amazing not only for your body but for your sanity as well.

You are never alone

Cheesy yes. Untrue no. There is no end to the amount of support that you have.

Don’t bottle up your worries or problems.  You can always talk too...

  • Your colleagues who have an interest in you being the best physio you can be and will happily review or advise you on any clinical dilemma.
  • Receptionists who at the touch of a button give you that break you need to finish those notes or look up the scapular movements that would be expected at 120 degrees elevation.
  • Friends and classmates to lend a shoulder to cry on if you had a shocker of a day.

This is the support that can make your transition from being a student to a real life physio much easier.

And finally…

Want to work in one of the most supportive settings available.  Motus Health pride themselves on supporting you from student to the best physio you can be.  Apply now at


Michael Ogle is a physiotherapist at Motus Timaru.  Michael joined the Motus team as a new graduate at the beginning of 2016.  Michael has gone from strength to strength as a physiotherapist under the watchful eyes of his mentor and business manager.  Michael loves the work life balance that working in Timaru offers.


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