1 Division of Teaching and Outcomes of Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Warsaw (POLAND)
2 Division of Rehabilitation, Department of Physiotherapy, Medical University of Warsaw (POLAND)
3 Escuela Universitaria de Fisioterapia, València (SPAIN)
4 Escuela de Fisioterapia, "Duques de Soria" Universidad de Valladolid (SPAIN)
5 Departamento de Enfermeria y Fisioterapia, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Palma de Mallorca (SPAIN)
6 Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona (SPAIN)
7 Departamento de Fisioterapia,Universidad de Sevilla (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 988-996
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
In Poland and Spain there is a shortage of employment opportunities for physiotherapists. This might influence our students negatively and affect their learning and professional attitudes. In spite of this, physiotherapy studies are still popular with 35 university physiotherapy centers/ 3000 graduates in Spain and 150 university physiotherapy centers/ 11000 graduates in Poland.
The objective of this study is to compare physiotherapy students’ attitudes towards their chosen career and their familiarity with career possibilities in Poland and Spain.
The study sample is based on 500 first-year Bachelor programme students from eleven university centers in Poland and five university centers in Spain. These centers offer studies in Physiotherapy and 250 Polish students – (PL), 250 Spanish students – (ES) have participated in this study. In this study, we have used a questionnaire (21 questions) to gather some specific information and it has been designed by the authors. The survey applied not only to Polish students, but Spanish as well, were of three types:
a) single-choice questions,
b) questions requiring some subjective opinion which answers ranged from most important (signed 1) to least important, and
c) semi-open questions.

The survey was carried out at the beginning of the 1st semester of the Bachelor’s programme in both countries and it was an anonymous questionnaire and non compulsory. According to the opinion of the Intrinsic Ethical Review Board of the Medical University of Warsaw, the study did not require IRB approval with respect to its scope and the study population.
The statistical analysis of the questionnaire was based on using STATISTICA 9.0 software by StatSoft Institute (Warsaw, Poland). The nature of the data (nominal, discrete and ordinal) needed the use of non-parametric statistical testing methods. The Mann-Whitney U, Chi-square test were used to determine statistical significance (p<0.05).
More than 80% PL and ES students declared not to be familiar with employment opportunities in physiotherapy profession and were willing to learn about it at university. More than 30% of PL and ES saw no differences between seeking employment in physiotherapy vs. other professions. More than 70% PL and ES believed in easier employment in other European Union (EU) countries than their own. For PL the most important factor to have a secure job was to be graduated from a prestigious center (p<0.05), while ES pointed out to be good connections (p<0.05).
However, students’ decisions to study physiotherapy were not affected by the difficulty to find a job. At the same time, students believe that is easier to find a job in other EU countries than their own. Thus, they will probably try to look for a job in other EU countries.
They also underline that the curricula at BA level should include information on career possibilities, both domestic and in other EU countries (free movement of workers) and universities should prepare students to enter the labor market and provided the needed information to find a job in the future and any associated problems.
A professional information service on job opportunities in EU countries should be created so as to keep future physiotherapy professional informed.
Career possibilities, students, European Union countries, curriculum.