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5 Steps to Becoming a Physical Therapist

5 Steps to Becoming a Physical Therapist

5 Steps to Becoming a Physical Therapist

Becoming a physical therapist is a brave decision. It is brave because it is different from the popular choices of becoming a doctor or an engineer, a sportsperson or a musician. Having said that, the profession of physical therapy is no less lucrative compared to others and a good physical therapist can make a lot of money. Besides, a physical therapist has the ability to bring about a genuine change in others’ lives. This could be by restoring the daily life activities of a child with delayed developments, helping out a pregnant woman during her stress periods, helping seriously injured sportspersons make a strong comeback or help restore normal functioning of people who have met with serious accidents. investing in your education is very important part to be PT . Physical therapy is regarded as a postgraduate degree just like a Ph.D. and a master’s degree. You need to finish a four-year bachelor’s degree so that you can be accepted in programs such as Master of Physical Therapy degree or Doctors of Physical Therapy Degree.

Compare to other bachelor’s degree, physical therapy requires more years. It consumes 4 years for any bachelor’s degree than the addition of 2 to 3 years for a proper PT program. If you really want to become a PT, then you must get into a certified physical therapy degree program. There are certified PT graduate programs online and you must be prepared to spend not less than 2 years to earn your master’s degree and 3 years for your doctoral degree.
Otherwise, you can become a PT assistant if you fail to earn your master’s or doctorate degree in physical therapy. PT assistant can work under the supervision of a certified physical therapist. The only thing required for a PT assistant is an associate degree and on-the-job-training.

When a physical therapist gains some work experience, he or she may choose to become certified in a certain field or clinical specialties such as sports physical therapy or pediatrics. A physical therapist needs to pass the board exam to earn his specialization certificate. All the states require their physical therapist to be licensed and continuing education is required in order for them to keep their license.


Work Of A Certified Physical Therapist ➣

The main work of a certified physical therapist is to help their patients to recover from associated symptoms that affect their normal functioning in their daily lives. Most of the conditions that affect their patients are due to birth disorders, effects of certain health diseases or ailments, and accidents. Some of these conditions may involve sprains, spinal injuries, amputations, burns, cardiovascular accidents, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel symptoms, multiple sclerosis, cracks, and even simple ankle sprains.
It is also the physical therapist’s job to examine the patients and assess what physical therapy program should be used in order for the patient to recover from its normal functioning. Some of the procedures used by physical therapists on their patients include hands-on therapy treatment, remedial exercises, physical aids, movement coaching, and other modern techniques.


Physical Therapist Schools and Education ➣

Currently, physical therapist entrants are required to have a post-baccalaureate degree in accredited PT programs. Practicing the profession is regulated in all states and it normally needs passing grades on all State and national exams.
Foundational courses like anatomy, biology, physiology, exercise physiology, and neurosciences among others are included in the physical therapy school curriculum, as well as classes in behavioral science. Some undergraduate courses can also come useful like biology, anatomy, physics, chemistry, maths, social sciences, and statistics.


Get your degree ➣

Getting a degree in physical therapy is the first step to becoming a physical therapist. You could start with a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy and then move on to Transitional Master’s degree in physical therapy. There are some people who have a bachelor’s in a different stream and then opt for the Direct Entry Masters in Physical therapy, where they will go through one year of classroom training and one year of practical training. A good physical therapist also usually has a Doctorate degree in physical therapy.


Volunteering in a clinic ➣

This gives you a real opportunity to see things up close. Sometimes it is mandatory to spend a certain number of hours in a clinic or hospital with an acclaimed physical therapist, assisting them and learning the tricks of the trade. Besides, it will give you a real feel of what you are getting into. This is the time when your prejudices, for example, touching other people’s feet or anything else related to your work, will vanish.


Pass the State Exams ➣

For practicing as a physical therapist, you need to pass a state license examination. Passing NPTE or National Physical Therapy Examination is also necessary along with the state license exam. So you need to pass these examinations depending on the state you are in before you can consider yourself a professional physical therapist.


Get a Specialization ➣

Just like any other stream, some people want to learn more. There is indeed, scope to learn more in physical therapy. You can go for your specialization courses, if you have thought about the field you want to make a name for yourself, as a good PT. There are various branches of physical therapy. Neurological therapists specialize in treating signs of neurological disorders while geriatric therapists are specialists in treating disorders that are related to aging. Heart-related problems are handled by cardiovascular therapists, while pediatric therapists are experts at treating children and adolescents with developmental delays or other such issues. A physical therapist is also required for sports and you can train accordingly based on your interests.


Employment ➣

Professional physical therapists enjoy the best of both worlds. Physical therapist jobs can bring about personal satisfaction because they are able to help patients who have been injured or are physically handicapped because of illness. At the same time, they are ranked among the best-paid healthcare professionals all over the world.

The demand for licensed physical therapists, or more popularly known as PTs, has been continually increasing. In fact, the PT professional is expected to grow even more in the next eight years. A 22% growth in the profession has been forecasted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and this could mean even greener opportunities for PT practitioners.

Physical therapist jobs are also very financially rewarding. Because of the high demand for their services, physical therapists enjoy high salaries and attractive benefits packages from their employers. In fact, in 2018, the reported average salary for a physical therapist was $87,930 and could have even gone much higher depending on the experience and qualifications of the physical therapist.

Licensed PT practitioners also have many options with regards to their job settings. They can opt to be assigned to a travel job, or be on a per diem job, or be given a permanent position in one medical organization. Whatever type of physical therapist job they choose, they can also enjoy attractive perks and bonuses, including medical and housing allowances, relocation assistance and even 401k plans.

Whether it is rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes or outpatient clinics, there are a lot of physical therapy jobs available for qualified therapists. These are based on the candidates’ knowledge of certain types of tools and technologies used in physical therapy or experience in a similar system e.g. rehabilitation, where physical therapy has a major role to play. He may also opt to work full time or part-time. With the many job opportunities for the PT practitioner, it is not surprising to see some PTs having two or more jobs.

To qualify as a PT practitioner, a person must graduate from course in physical therapy and must pass licensure examinations. Basically, a physical therapist job is evaluating a patient, usually, someone who suffered an injury or has a physical defect, and formulating his treatment plan. He may also handle the rehabilitation of a patient and help him regain motor control, acquire flexibility, and improve his physical strength. Patients who are suffering from arthritis, cerebral palsy or those with paralysis usually need the services of a physical therapist.

Like in any other profession, a PT practitioner must strive to continuously improve himself and be updated on current trends in his field. This can be done by getting additional education, attending workshops and joining professional organizations.

Because the demand for a physical therapist is high, many employers advertise their physical therapist job offers through their websites, including the salaries, benefits, job setting, and other relevant information. This works favorably for the PT practitioner because he is able to compare the various physical therapist job offers and therefore can choose the one that suits his requirements and preferences.
The outlook is indeed bright for the physical therapy profession. With the projected increase in the demand for physical therapist jobs, there is no reason to doubt that joining this profession is a move in the right direction.


An aide to a physical therapist ➣

One of the most commonly available physical therapy jobs includes that of an aide to a physical therapist. In order to make physical therapy sessions more efficient and productive, an aide is indeed required. In fact, for those who are pursuing education in physical therapy, this can be considered as a great learning opportunity. It will enable them to pick new technologies and techniques from experts who are highly experienced in the field.


Physical therapists at rehabilitation centers ➣

There are a lot of rehabilitation centers that have physical therapy jobs available. These vary greatly from hospitals related to the mobility of patients who have suffered accidents or serious injuries from drug abuse or alcohol abuse in rehabilitation centers.Depending on the venue, the expectations of the physical therapist vary. But each venue offers its own opportunities to learn more.


Geriatric physical therapy jobs ➣

Aging people go through a lot of issues and geriatric physical therapy jobs in hospitals and old age homes involve helping such people with the adult aging process. These health-related issues include arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, hip and joint replacements and disorders in balance. A physical therapist will have to help old patients by trying to restore their mobility, enhance their fitness levels and reduce the pain they are facing.


Sports physical therapists ➣

There is no end to the number of sports teams that are around in various sports disciplines. Given the amount of fitness that is demanded of sportspersons and their tough schedules, almost every sports team with a sufficient budget has a physical therapist. Sports physical therapy jobs are quite challenging but high paying as well. There is a great growth opportunity too, as you grow in your job and your reputation increases. Professionals in sports physical therapy jobs are highly trained health care professionals who work with patients that have suffered serious sporting injuries. Sports physical therapy jobs also involve helping out sportspeople to reduce their pain and offer advice with techniques that would result in quick rehabilitation after career-threatening injuries. It includes analyzing the workload of the sportspeople, judging their movements, identifying weak areas and suggesting methods to rectify problems.


Physical therapy trainers ➣

There are physical therapy jobs in health institutions as well as educational institutions where you need to train those, planning to become physical therapists. Experience and expertise are always valued and this is one of the ways you can stay in touch with your knowledge without having to go through grueling sessions of treating patients at rehabilitation centers. You can use this time to go for research too and develop new techniques as well.


Continuing Your Physical Therapy Education ➣

5 Steps to Becoming a Physical Therapist

For prospective students looking into becoming physical therapists, you have likely already learned the path you will need to take in order to gain your degree. But what happens from there, and what kind of continuing education is either required or recommended for practicing physical therapists in the field? Use this guide to learn about continued education, advancement and further studies after graduating with your degree.

First, let’s do a quick review of what kind of degree you’ll be getting and what it means. Physical therapists, by and large, will aim to get a DPT or Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree. Of the 213 accredited programs in the United States, more than 200 offer this form of physical therapy degree, and within a few short years, the mandate is that all of them must. Today, MPT degrees, or Masters level physical therapy degrees, are available from some accredited institutions, but they represent a tiny minority of the whole.

Once you have your degree from a CAPTE accredited program, then you’ll be able to take the licensure exam and obtain your license. Some students enroll in study courses or review programs prior to taking their licensing test, although this is by no means required. Since you’ll be doing this after your graduation, some people already refer to this kind of learning and studying as continued education.

But after that, when you actually have your license, and you can practice as a physical therapist anywhere in the country, what comes next? The truth is that the exact requirements for continued education may vary from state to state. The license you receive will be valid nationwide, however, to maintain your licensure and practice in a certain state you may have to meet other standards.

Besides maintaining your licensure through continuing education courses, certificates or programs every so often, there are more opportunities to continue your education, while allowing you to progress farther in the field as well. These come in the form of clinical residencies and clinical fellowships, which typically follow residencies.

A residency is a planned program with both clinical and classroom components, offering supervision and mentoring, and providing care in a specific clinical area or practice. A fellowship is similar but is designed for a professional who already demonstrates clinical expertise in the area related to the fellowship, which is why it typically follows a residency.

In addition to these, physical therapists can also become board-certified clinical specialists with the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, ABPTS. At this time, there are 8 different specialties in total, including cardiovascular and pulmonary, clinical electrophysiology, geriatrics, neurology, orthopedics, pediatrics, sports physical therapy, and women’s health. Certification is not necessary for physical therapists, however, it can provide a great foundation, as well as a source of recognition, if you plan on opening a specialized practice, for example.
As you can see, there are a number of options for continued education for physical therapists. From maintaining licensure with, board-certified specializations continued learning credits to clinical residencies and fellowships,  PTs who want to continue to learning and growing will have no shortage of getting around.

Do Physical Therapists Like Their Jobs?

5 Steps to Becoming a Physical Therapist

One of the most important factors for any career or job should be the satisfaction of those who practice their profession there. At least that should be the case, because what’s really the point if you’re miserable in the job that you do each and every day of your life? Therefore, before you begin your journey towards becoming a physical therapist, you need to know whether or not it’s a job that sees a high level of satisfaction. The quick and simple answer to the question is that yes, physical therapists do like their jobs. A survey was conducted just a few short years ago in 2018 by the National Opinion Research Center, and it found that over 75% of physical therapists reported being “very satisfied” with their jobs. That’s an amazingly high number, and it means that well more often than not if you’re in physical therapy, you’ll be enjoying the job that you do.

The three-quarters of physical therapists who are very satisfied with their jobs and careers make physical therapy the number 2 career of any kind, in any industry. The only higher rate of satisfaction comes from clergy, and there are no other health care professions in the top 5 of the satisfaction survey.
In fact, U.S. News & World Report added physical therapy to the list of the best careers in 2018, and on CNNMoney.com, physical therapists ranked in the number #15 position for the 100 Best Jobs, and #10 in top healthcare jobs in us, featured in November of 2018. Few would have predicted the rise of physical therapy to these lofty positions, but the numbers don’t lie. There are many different reasons for all of the great opinions on physical therapy these days. For most practitioners, it all starts with how rewarding it is to be helping so many people each day and to really be improving their life. This makes any job more than just a 9 to 5, but a really positive and worthwhile experience, where you’re making a different hands-on.

But in addition to that, physical therapists also bring in very high salaries, which makes the positions financially rewarding as well. Job opportunities are plentiful right now, and many physical therapists end up as their own bosses, working for themselves. Don’t discount the varied collection of responsibilities and day to day makeup of the position. Having a dynamic environment and setting like this will keep you on your toes and will prevent you from getting too bored or bogged down. The bottom line is that physical therapists do indeed like their jobs very much. The numbers show that more than 75% of physical therapists not only like their jobs, but are very satisfied with them, and that’s a rare level that few other careers can even come close to matching. From the intrinsic rewards of helping individuals and improving their levels, to high levels of compensation, diverse and dynamic work experience and more, physical therapy can and does make almost everyone very happy.