Their job as a physical therapist is to help take away pain, re-establish use of certain parts of the body, increase mobility and help lessen a patient’s long-term disability.
Before a therapist can help the patient, he or she must study the medical history of the patient, observe how the patient is breathing-struggling or moderately struggling, observe the patient’s posture, the patient’s coordination and balance.
Once all of this is done, then plans are drawn up to treat the patient’s conditions. In addition, therapist also assesses the patient’s independence in his or her workplace and community.
The main focus in physical therapy is exercise. Exercise is done to help increase flexibility, endurance and strength. In addition to what the physical therapy does to help the patient at a clinic or hospital environment, he or she also teaches their patients exercises that can be done at home; exercises that will help to speed up the healing process.
Physical therapy usually specialize in certain areas or treat a wide range of patient conditions. Health practitioners or hospitals usually offer the majority of physical therapy help. Doctor’s offices, home healthcare services and nursing care facilities are other areas where physical therapists work.
In order to work as a physical therapist, one must have a license. In order to obtain a license to become a physical therapist, one must attend an accredited physical therapy program and then pass the exam.
There are specific studies that must be completed while in the therapist program such as: biomechanics, examination techniques, manifestations of disease, human development, therapeutic procedures, and traditional studies such as biology, physics, and chemistry. So that a student can graduate, they must complete a supervised clinical experience. It is expected of the student who wants a license in physical therapy, to have at least a master’s degree from an accredited physical therapy program.
As a therapist it is a personal asset to like and appreciate people, practice with patience and show compassion, for when helping another with therapy, there are often times of frustration and despair.
Career opportunities as a therapist are good and are expected to increase in the years to come, due to our ever-increasing population and those with disabilities, needing the help of a competent and caring physical therapist.
The average salary for a therapist runs around $57,000; with the average for this position ranging from around $40,000 to $86,000. Statistics show that employment in this field is expected to increase at a fast pace. The areas of growth expected to increase the most will most likely be good in acute hospital settings, orthopedic settings and in rehabilitation. And, it is a fact that 6 out of 10 physical therapists work in office of physical therapy or in a hospital.
So, if you desire to become a physical therapist, you will enter a much needed and wanted profession, with a salary and benefits, most attractive.