Physical Therapist

A Physical Therapist helps in rehabilitating patients, accident victims and those individuals with disabling conditions like arthritis, low-back pains, fractures, heart disease, cerebral palsy, and head injuries. These professionals provide the services that help in restoring the function and improving the mobility of the patient, relieves their pain, and limits or prevents permanent physical disabilities. They help to maintain, restore and promote overall health and fitness.

Physical Therapist Education Requirements

To become a physical therapist, they must first complete the physical therapist education requirements. This includes the completion of a physical therapist required education program that culminates with a masteral or doctorate degree.

In order to practice the profession, graduates from these physical therapist programs should pass the national and state licensure exams. To retain the license, several states require these professionals to pursue their physical therapist continuing education classes and to attend workshops.

What courses count towards Physical Therapist

The common courses taken to complete a physical therapist degree are physics, biology, chemistry, psychology, statistics, professional writing, English, humanities, biomechanics, human development and growth, neuroanatomy, therapeutic procedures, examination techniques and manifestations of disease.

What levels of degrees are available for Physical Therapist

A Bachelor’s degree in no specific degree major will be required to begin your physical therapist requirements. Courses related to math or science such as anatomy, biology, physics and chemistry will provide relevant training. The students can benefit from volunteering at physical therapy units of clinics and hospitals. First hand training experience will be required for the admission into the graduate programs for physical therapy.

A Master’s degree that is approved by APTA (American Physical Therapy Association) will be required from the candidate. These programs can be completed in 2 to 2 and a half years. The currricula includes classroom lectures and lab instructions in anatomy, physiology, biology, medical screening, behavioral science and diagnostics.

The Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (tDPT) Degree is a program that is designed for the licensed practitioners who had the traditional physical therapy required education that is below the doctorate level. The program builds the skills, experience and knowledge of the practicing clinicians and awards the graduates with the title of Doctor of Physical Therapy. This is a doctoral degree that is post-professional, a credential that is similar to the MD or OD or DPM. It will not signify a specialization or advacned preparation but instead will reflect the completion of the comprehensive program and fulfillment of highest standards in clinical performance in the professional practice.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program is accomplished in 3 years and qualifies you to take the state licensure exam. The program is a combination of classroom teaching, research and application. The courses taken in the program are biomechanics, therapeutic exercise and pharmacology. Students are also taught basics of human motor control, pahtology and musculoskeletal operations. There are electives that you can focus on like areas like orthopedic, geriatric or pedicatric physical therapy. Candidates are required to complete extensive internships.

What are the financial requirements to become a Physical Therapist

The cost of completing a physical therapy degree will vary depending on the degree being taken up, the school chosen to enrol in, the state and location, the residency of the student and on the costs added to the tuition of the degree.

A three year program taken in an Alabama university may cost the out-of-state residents over $42,000 in tuition. In California, Northridge the in-state residents pay only $13,000. Other fees like the cost of books, liability insurance and lab fees can add up to several thousands of dollars to the educational costs. In a university in Ohio, the cost of book alone totals to $2,000. While in Northern Arizona University, the related costs for the additional coursework of this degree is roughly at $5,000.

What the continuing education requirements for Physical Therapist

After completion of graduate school most physical therapists will prepare for their profession by completing their residencies. These programs are usually composed of 9 to 36 months of clinical physical therapy accomplished in 1500 hours. Residencies allows the graduates to diagnose and examine patients under the licensed physical therapists supervision while they are training for their specialty. The residents can also contribute to educating the patients on the prevention of illness, doing medical research and in supservising other healthcare professionals.

All physical therapists must obtain their licenses in the state where they intend to practice. Each state has their own licensing requirements and will require the candidates to have a graduate degree from the accredited physical therapy programs. They should also pass National Physical Therapy Examinations rendered by Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. This demonstrates their competency in practice, theory and consultation. To renew the licenses, most states require Pts to earn credits from continuing education.

Professionals may choose a field of specialization by taking their physical therapist certification and certificates thru the ABPTS (American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties). The specialities you can choose from are geriatrics, sports and orthopedics, and neurology. To receive the ABPTS certification, licensed physical therapists must have 2,000 hours of practise rendered for their chosen specialization. They should also pass the 200 question, certification exam for specialists which measures their skills and knowledge of physical therapy related to their specialization. The certificate expires every 10 years and should be renewed by the completion of the continuing education classes.

What are the skills necessary to become a Physical Therapist

The physical therapist qualifications one must possess to be truly effective in their career are the following:

  • Must be emphatetic and compassionate
  • Must be able to communicate well with their patients and staff
  • Must have good problem-solving skills
  • Must have extreme patience when dealing with patients
  • Must be physically fit and intelligent
  • Must have the ability to teach others

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