A physical therapy career can be a very fulfilling job, especially for those who enjoy working with people, like to work with their hands and have great communication skills. Click here for the Physical Therapist Job Description.
Physical Therapy Career Overview
Physical Therapists are Doctors that work closely with patients who need rehabilitation or are suffering from birth related disabilities that impair their ability to move in a comfortable and normal manner. A Physical Therapy Career also involves working with patients who are suffering from other impairments such as injuries, disease, and those recovering from surgery, broken bones, or sprained muscles. Their goal is to restore and promote an overall condition of health, and a body that is fit, whole and well.
The Role Of Physical Therapists
The role of a Physical Therapist includes examining patients, evaluating, diagnosing, prognosticating, and designing rehabilitative routines to restore full movement and function to their patients. Many PTs also manage Physical Therapy Assistants (PTAs) who usually are doing much of the hands on part of the healing process.
Those who choose a Physical Therapy Career will be examining the medical history of their patient before testing and measuring strength levels and range of motion. Other tests will need to be conducted to measure and establish baselines for things like coordination, balance, muscle function, and posture.
Once initial examinations are complete, the Physical Therapist creates a program that will lay out the treatments needed, explain the reasons for the treatments, and what the projected results will look like. A determination will need to be made as to whether or not the patient will be able to regain independence and return to their job or physical activities.
The treatment of patients is another component of a physical therapy career and will include things like exercise, with the goal of regaining mobility and strength and endurance. Restoring flexibility, balance and range of motion so the patient can function normally on the job or in the home is also part of the work performed.
Electro stimulation machines, ultrasound equipment, heating pads and cold packs are also part of the toolbox used by Physical Therapists to manage pain and eliminate or cut down on swelling. It is also common for PTs to train people how to use and care for devices such as wheelchairs, crutches and prosthetic limbs.
Physical Therapy Career Specialties
There are very different types of jobs that can be explored for PTs entering the profession. Some choose to treat most any kind of patients, while others will want to specialize in just one area such as sports medicine, neurology, geriatrics, or pediatrics. There are also specialties available in orthopedics and cardiopulmonary physical therapy.
Future Physical Therapy Career Opportunities
There is a huge growth of job openings expected thru the year 2018 for Physical Therapists and Physical Therapy Assistants. In 2006 US News & World Report identified Physical Therapy as and “Excellent Career” and this still holds true today. Demand will continue to rise as a result of the rapidly growing population of the elderly and the growth in the count of people that have disabilities, injuries and surgeries.
Earnings Forecast For Physical Therapy Career
Click here for detailed information about a Physical Therapist Salary. Based on statistics quoted by the American Physical Therapy Association, the median annual income level for Physical Therapists in 2008 was $80,000 while experienced PTs can earn well over $100K per year. In 2008, the median earnings for a PT with 3 years or less experience was $61,000. PTs with over fifteen years experience was $87,000.
If a Physical Therapy Career sounds like an exciting occupation, you will not have trouble finding a position and a great income.
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