You are a physiotherapist and are located in Franche-Comté.
We’ve been friends for a long time and as you know, I and The Translation Connexion specialise in helping English speakers to settle in France as smoothly as possible. I’m hoping that your interview will help our readers understand how your profession works and helps patients and how they can seek help from a physiotherapist near them.
Thanks for accepting to take some time in your very busy diary to chat with me today 🙂
How long have you been a physiotherapist and how did you get there?
Hi Kate, delighted to be of help to the English speaking community in France in understanding their environment better.
I’ve been a physiotherapist for over 20 years now.
To become a physiotherapist, you have to pass an entry exam to allow you to study for 3 years and become “Masseur Kinésythérapeute Diplômé d’Etat”. That’s the long official name!
What, in essence is your job about, and why would people call upon your help?
A physiotherapist is there to help with muscular issues. That’s the essence of our job.
So in real life, this translates as helping people with a back problem, a wound made doing sports, or after an operation (hip replacement, broken bone, …), or a neurological disease (multiple sclerosa, hemiplegia, Parkinsons disease, …) to give a few examples.
Some treatments can be done at home, ie, we go visit our patients in their home.
Ok, so what would your typical week look like for instance?
Monday to Saturday:
- 8h00 to 13h00 – Domiciles, ie I visit my patients in their home (generally those that can’t come to the physiotherapy centre
- 14h00 to 20h00 – At the physiotherapy center (we are 3 physiotherapists partnering at our center)
I don’t work Wednesday and Saturday afternoons and Sunday all day I spend with my family (though sometimes, I’ll do the occasional visit to a patient in need)
Wow that’s long working hours and weeks ! You must see a lot of people in a typical week.
How do people know they need a physiotherapist?
Can they come on their own decision or does one need a prescription from the GP to come see you?
If you don’t have a prescription from your GP or specialist, you get no money back, but you can decide to come and have a massage if you want for instance.
If you come with a prescription, between your general health organisation (ie CPAM, La RAM, Harmonie Mutuelle for instance…) and your Mutuelle (ie top up insurance), you will get reimbursed in full.
It’s all done automatically with your Carte Vitale.
If you do not have a mutuelle (also called top up health insurance), you can come and have treatments, you will simply not get reimbursed of the 40% part the mutuelle represents.
Thanks, that’s really going to shed some light on how it all works, I think.
How long does a normal workout/session lasts?
30 minutes is standard
What is is that you enjoy most in your job Henri?
Contact with people of all ages, being there to take some of their pain away and improve their condition. That counts a lot for me.
Sometimes I’m not just a health specialist, I become a bit of a confident. I work in a remote area so many a time I can be the only person some elderly people will see all week.
What do you need from your patient to be able to relieve him or her , or help him/her best?
Generally, the prescription from the GP will explain what I need to know and even recommend a course of action. But if you tell me how you hurt yourself, when (how long since you’ve been suffering), show the specific area where you feel pain, then we can work out what to do and relieve your pain.
Henri, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me as this small interview will no doubt be bringing some light to many people about how to seek help for their aches!
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We can help you gain access into the French healthcare system. Want to enquire how? send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also visit the Fédération Française des Masseurs-Kinésithérapeutes et Rééducateurs http://www.ffmkr.org/