Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapist

The main focus of a Cardiac Physiotherapist, is working with clients/patients recovering from cardiac surgery.  They assess clients/patients to determine the level of exercise most appropriate, then design therapeutic programs.  The therapy that follows consists of simple cardiovascular exercises, such as swimming, riding a stationary bike and walking on a treadmill. The therapy regiment aims to help patients regain strength lost through cardiac fatigue.

A Respiratory Physiotherapist treats all clients/patients from infants to the elderly, who have respiratory or cardiopulmonary conditions.   They work with physicians and other healthcare professionals to assess and implement therapeutic treatments for clients/patient needs.

Respiratory Physiotherapists perform physical examinations and conduct diagnostic tests, such as measuring lung capacity.  They provide complex therapy and treatment to clients/patients who are in hospital intensive care units, and those who are unable to breathe on their own. 

Gaining qualification and titling as a Specialist Physiotherapist requires advanced expertise and experience in the specialisation area. There are two pathways to becoming a specialist – experiential and academic – both of which require being a qualified physiotherapist and joining the relevant national group for the field of expertise. The experiential pathway then requires at least five years’ worth of practical experience, including three years in the relevant field of expertise, along with evidence of engagement in professional development during this time. The academic pathway requires the completion of an approved Masters course as well as two years’ clinical experience with evidence of working the relevant field.