Physical therapists are trained to look at the body as an integrated system. They know that pain in one part of the body may be a result of problems elsewhere, and they will evaluate your whole body to find the cause.
Some PTs choose to spend an extra year after completing their degree to specialize in a particular area. They are often employed in hospitals, rehabilitation centres, and home health agencies.
A physical therapist works to help patients manage pain and improve their mobility and quality of life. They develop treatment plans, implement therapy services, and educate patients about injury prevention. They also work closely with other healthcare professionals.
In addition to being an expert in anatomy and kinesiology, a physical therapist must have excellent interpersonal skills. They must be able to explain treatment programs clearly and motivate patients. They must be comfortable massaging patients and working with them in a one-on-one setting.
They also work with physical therapist assistants, who are educated and licensed practitioners who provide care under the supervision of a PT. Often, PTs choose to specialize in a specific area. These include clinical electrophysiology, wound management, or pain and movement disorders. These specializations allow them to focus on specific injuries and conditions, such as musculoskeletal diseases, arthritis, and osteoporosis. They also learn about new technologies, such as electrical stimulation and other interventions for reducing pain and swelling.
If you are interested in pursuing a career as a physical therapist, you will need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and a doctoral degree. A physical therapist will work with patients to provide care, often in an outpatient setting. Most programs are three years long and include coursework in anatomy, biomechanics, physiology, and kinesiology.
Students will also take courses that focus on the application of new scientific findings in practice. They will also complete clinical rotations to gain hands-on experience. Most schools offer a hybrid option, which allows students to complete coursework online and attend in-person clinics on weekdays.
The program also prepares students to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). After completing the exam, graduates must meet their state’s licensure requirements. These may include a background check, jurisprudence exam, and continuing education requirements. Many physical therapists also choose to complete clinical residency programs and become board-certified specialists. This typically requires another year of training and a passing score on an additional specialty exam.
Physical therapists can work in many different settings. The most common setting is an outpatient clinic, but PTs can also work in hospitals, home health agencies, schools, and even patient homes. In addition, PTs can choose to specialize in a particular area of practice.
Physical therapy is an extremely demanding profession. As a result, physical therapists need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and getting enough sleep. They should also wear a uniform to protect their patients from germs and bacteria.
PTs need to be comfortable in a busy environment with frequent interaction with patients and other healthcare professionals. Moreover, they are likely to work long shifts in a hospital setting, so it is important to find a flexible workplace. These factors can increase the risk of job strain and turnover. In turn, these effects can lead to poor healthcare quality and lower staff morale. Fortunately, Medesk helps you automate your medical billing and appointment reminders, so that you can avoid these problems.
Physical therapy jobs are in high demand, and salaries vary depending on location and years of experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a physical therapist is about $85,000. These professionals work in a variety of settings, including private offices and clinics, hospitals, patients’ homes, and nursing facilities. They are on their feet for much of the day and must use proper body mechanics to avoid injury.
The most common career path for a physical therapist is to complete a doctorate degree in Physical Therapy (DPT). A DPT program takes several years to complete and involves classroom lectures, course work, and clinical experience. During this time, students learn about physical therapy theory and practice and develop skills in treating patients with chronic conditions. They also have the opportunity to perform research in the field of physical therapy. These students must pass a national exam to become licensed.