What does an individual do if he injures his body or is ill and it does not get better over time? Go to rehabilitation, of course! That is, rehabilitation for the body! These rehabilitation specialists are physical therapists or, as they are sometimes called, “PTs”. A physical therapist is a person who helps the injured manage their pain and improve their movement. A physical therapist is an individual who goes through a certain amount and type of schooling to obtain a specific degree that makes him eligible to become a qualified physical therapist. The promising job outlook and good pay benefits, combined with possessing certain skills, makes this career in physical therapy a great choice.Order now
Physical therapist care for people of all ages with “functional problems” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2) that result from illnesses or injuries connected to sports, work, or everyday activities. Physical therapists typically review a patient ‘s medical history and any notes or referrals from surgeons, doctors, or other health professionals. Physical therapists attempt to diagnose a patient ‘s movement by watching how they walk or stand and by listening to their complaints. However, there are “different forms of treatment” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2) that are needed, depending on the patient. The physical therapist creates a set “plan of care” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2) for a patient that outlines their personal goals and the outcomes expected. Physical therapists use a series of stretching techniques, exercises, and massage therapy for the patient in order to “help them increase mobility” and to “prevent further pain or injury” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2).
The physical therapists will evaluate and record the patient ‘s progression, and, if needed, they adopt their findings by “modifying a plan of care and trying new treatments” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2) to better heal the injury. Physical therapists also educate the patient and his family about the recovery process and how to handle the challenges that come with it. Physical therapists are part of a “healthcare team” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2), supervising the work of physical therapist assistants and aides who help them rehabilitate the patient to the level they need to be or want to be.
A career in Physical Therapy requires years of training and education. Some college majors that introduce and lead students to becoming physical therapists are “kinesiotherapy, kinesiotherapist, physical therapy/therapist” (Physical Therapist Career) and science-based majors, such as Biology. If one wants to become a physical therapist, one must first complete a four- year bachelor ‘s degree program. Once that is complete, the student will enroll in a doctoral degree program, which takes approximately three years to complete. Enrollment is through a program that is approved through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). After the student successfully completes the doctoral program, it is necessary to obtain and complete a clinical internship with an experienced supervisor. All states now require a physical therapist to be licensed ” (Physical Therapist Career). Once school is complete, physical therapists must pass a national examination that is managed by a national examination agency, and a state examination, administered by the applicable state licensing agency. Applicants are allowed to take the National Physical Therapy exam three times in a twelve-month period. Once an individual has earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, schools recommend that a clinical residency be part of the learning process, in order to focus on special areas of care that set one apart from other physical therapists. (Physical Therapist (PT) Education Overview), “Learn as much as possible, because the more one knows, the better physical therapist one can be. (Dessens 2015)
Once the stress of education is complete, each individual wants to become successful in his chosen field. People in the field will quickly say that a physical therapist must have certain skills to become a success. If a person wants to become a physical therapist, he must be good at “multitasking, communication, and must have the ability to learn as he goes,” (Dessens 2015) mainly because of the multiple patients with different problems and personalities that he will encounter. It is very important for a physical therapist to “be able to teach the patients that they are not wasting their time,” (Dessens 2015) in other words, conveying to the patient that going to therapy is worth the pain and work that is put forth for the patient to get better. Physical therapists should be physically fit, themselves, in order to be able to “spend much of their time on their feet, working with patients” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 3). Physical therapists must possess good “judgment and decision making” (Physical Therapy Career) so they can easily evaluate and decide the benefits of potential actions and actions that are most appropriate in a patient ‘s situation.
One probably wonders if this is a career worth having. The job outlook or possibility of employment for physical therapy is “34% (much faster than average)” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 1) for most occupations. Since the advancement of technology, there has been an increase in the “use of out-patient surgery” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 6) to help test different illnesses and injuries. The existence of active older people, trauma victims, and babies with birth defects permit a greater percentage, which helps create “additional demand for rehabilitative care” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 6). As a result, physical therapists will always play an important role in helping a patient ‘s recover faster from surgery. Licensed physical therapists are expected to be exposed to good job opportunities “in all settings” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 6). For example, prospects should consider jobs in “acute-care hospitals, skilled-nursing facilities, and orthopedic settings,” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 6) and in places where the seniors are treated more. Additionally, the right physical therapist would do well in under-represented rural areas, because most therapists are located in “highly populated urban and suburban areas” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 6). If a physical therapist is able to obtain one of these rural area positions, he would have little competition.
The most important question one wishing to become a physical therapist may ask is, “How much can a physical therapist earn?” The annual wage for an average physical therapist is approximately “$82,390” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 5). The demand for physical therapists is increasing, so “practitioners may also drive up salaries” (Physical Therapy Job Outlook/ George Fox University). The majority of physical therapists work full-time. “1 out of 5” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 5) physical therapists work part-time. Additionally, most physical therapists work the normal business hours; although, some do work weekends and even on holidays. Sometimes the physical therapist’s is motivated by the schedules of the patient.
A career in physical therapy is a smart decision. Physical therapists are not only paid well with a “steady salary” (Dessens 2015), but the services of a physical therapist will always be in demand. Why? Because people are human, they get hurt a lot. Individuals will continue to push their bodies to extremes, either in training, work situations or sports activities. Doctors and physical therapists each do their part to make this happen. For a person who loves biology, anatomy, mechanics of body function, and people, this career is the one to choose.