Eight years?! :O Crikey! You guys work hard over there!
We do 3 years of university training over here with 1000 clinical hours before we can register as a Physiotherapist. The degree we come out with is a BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy. You can do masters and doctorates once qualified and specialised.
I work as a physiotherapy assistant in my holidays (the jobs are like gold dust, I'm effectively an underpaid physio!) on medical and elderly wards in an acute hospital but have done surgical wards. Other areas we can work in, burns and trauma, accident and emergency, paediatrics, neurology, orthopaedics (trauma and elective), rheumatology, amputees, hydrotherapy (usually as a sidekick to another specialism), orthopaedic outpatients, hand therapy, in schools and special needs schools, and in the community.
I think I've covered everything, but really, you can get physios where ever theres a need for them. We can do masters degrees to allow us to prescribe and do further diagnosing.
I'm in my first year at the moment, but have already had a placement in a paediatric setting which was brilliant. I hope to get another paeds placement in 3rd year (final year) when I do the paeds module.
The OTs over here usually work very closely alongside the physios, so usually you wont find a department with an OT but not a physio and vice versa. I really enjoy my job as an assistant, and I enjoy my degree, although it is extremely hard work.
What sort of things does your degree cover?