How To Become A Physical Therapist

female physical therapist with patient

Physical therapy can be a highly rewarding and satisfying occupation; however, there are various considerations that need to be made before beginning a journey into the position. While it is interesting and challenging, the road to become a physical therapist can be a daunting one with many obstacles. This article will provide information on the basic steps to become a physical therapist in neurology.

1. Understand The Position

The basic responsibility of a physical therapist is to assist patients who have suffered injuries or have disabilities to regain use of their bodies; however, this is only the basic role. When reviewing the role of a physical therapist in neurology, it is important to take into account the various tasks and difficulties one may face. The therapists in this field deal with patients suffering from severe medical conditions requiring difficult treatment, such as victims of brain and spinal cord injuries or those with Parkinson’s disease. To handle these patients, it is necessary to have the ability to deal with the various aspects of the difficult treatment on a large term basis.

2. Obtain A University Education

While it is possible to become a physical therapy assistant and progress from this position using a Bachelor’s degree, it is recommended that one obtain a postgraduate degree in a medical field. A solid educational foundation is essential, particularly in neurology, to have knowledge of the conditions and how to treat them.

3. Gain Relevant Experience

One of the most important steps to become a physical therapist is to gain experience in the field. It is necessary to complete a postgraduate residency after graduating; however, it is recommended that one seek out voluntary work in rehabilitation centers during undergraduate study. This will assist in gaining physical experience of therapy, particularly when finding centers focusing on neurological rehabilitation, and the hours of voluntary work can contribute to the graduate residency.

4. Find A Mentor

When entering physical therapy graduate school it is highly advised that one find a mentor in the neurological department. Mentors can be beneficial as they will provide knowledge regarding the field and offer advice on various aspects of the physical therapy position.

5. Achieving State Certification As A Physical Therapist

One of the final steps to become a physical therapist in neurology is to gain state certification. In each state one will be required to complete licensing exams for certified physical therapy associations before being able to practice. In fact, one can only practice as a licensed therapist once certified in at least two separate states. This can seem highly challenging but the satisfaction of the position will make the studying worthwhile.

Final Words On The Matter

Becoming a physical therapist in the neurological field can be a challenging task; however, the rewards for helping these impaired individuals can be great. By using the information above you can make informed decisions regarding the path to become a highly effective, hard working certified physical therapist in neurology.