Physical therapists work with patients to bring them back from some type of disability or physical or mental challenge to a better functioning state of being. The patients may be recovering from an accident, or surgery, or have been born with developmental disability. The physical therapist works closely with the patient and their physician, and also perhaps with a physical therapy assistant, to plan and implement a program to improve their overall physical well being.
Physical therapist careers begin upon successful completion of an undergraduate degree from an accredited college and a Master’s degree in physical therapy. There are a number of online programs, however, hands on training is also required. Courses include physiology, anatomy, psychology, biology, chemistry, and other courses related to patient assessment, testing, examination, and therapy techniques. Some physical therapists have their own offices, or work directly in the hospital, clinic, or care home setting. In most states they must pass state and national licensing examinations before they can practice.
How to Become a Physical Therapist
Those that choose physical therapy careers need to have an excellent understanding of the human body as well as people skills. They can specialize in many areas including surgery, geriatrics, or pediatrics. The work is strenuous and may involve some physical tasks such as lifting, turning and stretching patients. They help patients adjust to using crutches, wheelchairs, and other physical aids as well. Patients may have pain, arthritis, heart disease, head injuries, cerebral palsy or other debilitating ailments so patience and understanding is a must. The physical therapist job is to give patients a hopeful look, by restoring, maintaining, and promoting fitness and health despite any afflictions.
How Much Does a Physical Therapist Make - Physical Therapist Salaries
The job outlook for physical therapist careers remains very good. There is a high demand for qualified physical therapists, and salary averages $65,000 annually. Job openings are expected to remain plentiful through the next several years.