The use of physical therapy to relieve pain is an ancient science, rightly put into tradition by the earlier masseuses who provided their services to help people relieve their physical disabilities and pain. However, latest breakthrough in medical science has inspired a more detailed study of human anatomy and the science of physical movements that has, in turn, helped physical therapy emerge as one of the most lucrative professions today. Not only is it esteemed as one of the better career choices by the experts, it is also treated as one of the most reputed forms of medical profession today. To become a physical therapist, you need to have at least a master’s degree on the subject. However, just a degree on the subject would not qualify you as a physical therapist. You need to be patient, considerate and accommodating towards your patients to get the right results. If you are interested in taking up a career as a physical therapist, but do not know where to start, reading this article will help. For more on this, read on.
Know How To Become A Physical Therapist
- First of all, to excel as a physical therapist, you need to have a penchant for the profession. All the degrees are good as long as you are aware of your propensity for it. It takes lots of patience, great interpersonal skills and loads of physical stamina to pull off the job of a physical therapist successfully. As a physical therapist, you are expected to help your patients deal with their bodies, to alleviate their physical pain, boost flexibility and improve body motion. So, before you head on for the job, know if it is an ideal bet for you.
- Like most other professions, you can lay grounds for a future career as a physical therapist, right from the high school. It would pay off to have an inclination towards mathematics and science. Having knack for subjects like algebra, trigonometry, geometry, chemistry, biology and computer will indeed give an edge. If you have a choice, it would do good to go with electives related to health or medical science. Also, take out some time and join with your school fitness instructor or better volunteer for a physical therapist to gain a close know-how on the subject.
- To pursue a career in physical therapy, you can either consider getting a traditional bachelor’s degree first followed by a masters or doctoral degree in physical therapy or enroll into a combined undergraduate/graduate program to get a doctoral degree at the end of six to seven years.
- It would pay to have a graduate degree in physical therapy. Many universities offer both degrees in physical therapy and master degrees in the same. Although a post graduation program will help you take up this profession, a basic degree in physical therapy is most sought after now. A basic physical degree program would include classroom and lab studies in courses like chemistry, calculus, statistics, biomechanics, biology, nutrition, human growth and development, physics, and psychology. It would also include clinical experience supervised by licensed physical therapists.
- An additional qualification is likely to give you an edge over the profession. You can go for specialized degrees to add more fortes to your degree. You can opt to specialize in cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy, clinical electrophysiologic physical therapy, women’s health, pediatric physical therapy, orthopedic physical therapy, sports medicine and more.
- The next big thing is to find a job. Physical therapists can make themselves useful in a number of clinical settings. You can either go for a job in a hospital or choose to practice as a private physical therapist. You can also offer to serve at nursing homes, home health practices, rehabilitation facilities and schools. Some physical therapists dedicate their lives on research or education on the benefits and possibilities of physical therapy.