Physical Therapist Career Requirements

All You Need To Know About Physical Therapist Career Requirements

Physical therapists are important contributors to the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities and severe injuries. By using physical therapy, patients with these medical problems are able to regain bodily strength and feel an increase in everyday well-being. Looking at the responsibilities of a physical therapist, it is needless to say that this occupation can be a very rewarding and satisfying one; however, entering the industry can be challenging. To become a physical therapist requires certain attributes, qualifications and training. This article will discuss the different physical therapist career requirements.

What Is A Physical Therapist?

As is mentioned above, a physical therapist is an individual who assists with the rehabilitation of patients suffering from various conditions, such as sport injuries, arthritis, fractures and cerebral palsy. The primary focus of the therapy is to help the patient regain physical function of their body. To achieve this goal, it is necessary for the physical therapist to complete an individualized treatment plan for the patient beginning with an assessment of their medical history. This assessment is essential to help determine which rehabilitation exercises can be used and which cannot.

In addition to working on an individual basis with the patient, it is important to remember that the physical therapist is part of a healthcare team providing services with physical therapy assistants and specialists. The therapist also acts as a family liaison during treatment as constant communication with family members can contribute to speedy recovery.

What Attributes Are Required?

Certain physical and psychological attributes are required in order to become an effective physical therapist; without these characteristics one may not be able to handle the stresses of the job.

1. Physical Attributes

Physical therapy can be a tiring occupation and physical stamina is essential as you will be spending many hours lifting patients, standing and moving about. It is also important to have strength in your hands and be comfortable touching other individuals’ bodies. You will be required to move patients and massage their limbs; therefore, you must have the strength to do so.

2. Psychological Attributes

To be an effective physical therapist it is essential that you have a compassionate and caring nature with a desire to help people in need. Many patients will be experiencing physical pain and it is important you are able to empathize with these individuals. Attention to detail is another important attribute as you will be providing tailored treatment plans. Even the slightest error can cause a setback in the therapy and break in recovery.

What Training And Qualifications Are Needed?

To qualify as a physical therapist it is necessary to hold a postgraduate degree in a relevant medical or health science field. The individual will also need to complete a residency program of at least one year after graduation in order to gain experience with patients. Finally, to practice as a physical therapist one must be certified by a state licensing board and this requires the individual to pass a licensing exam. It is important to note that each state in the USA has a separate association and one will need to pass a separate exam to practice in the specific state.