Physical therapist, also referred to as physical therapy, is among the allied healthcare professions that, by employing evidence-based modalities, medical practice, diagnosis, rehabilitation, kinesiology (use of physical movements, balance, and coordination) and electrical stimulation, can help improve the quality of life of patients suffering from various conditions. With so many forms of physical condition out there, physical therapy can help identify which one a patient has and what to do to help them recover.
Physical therapists are trained to help the patient regain mobility and function and can perform various forms of therapeutic exercises to order to help strengthen and increase range of motion. They can use various forms of traction, electric shocks, heat therapy and even massage to help treat certain conditions. Physical therapists can work with patients who have undergone joint replacement surgery or those who have had surgery for heart or lung conditions. Many people choose to seek treatment from a physical therapist to help restore some or all of their mobility.
The main goal of physical therapy is to help the patient recover strength and function as much as possible while also improving their daily habits and routines. Physical therapy programs generally include stretching, muscle training, balance and coordination exercises, and strength training to help reduce pain, improve flexibility, reduce muscle weakness and increase strength.
After the physical therapy program is completed, the physical therapist will take the patient to a doctor to get any other treatments necessary to improve their condition. Physical therapists may also be asked to provide additional tests to determine whether a patient should go on to undergo surgery or need to undergo rehabilitative therapies. Some physical therapy programs will allow patients to begin a program without going on to medical treatment, although these are considered less successful than programs that do require medical intervention.
The first step to becoming a physical therapist is to complete an accredited college, university, or vocational school course that is designed specifically for this type of career. Physical therapy schools generally train a full-time student with a two-year program or two part time courses. Once the program is complete, physical therapy graduates typically begin a practice in either an assisted living or outpatient facility where they will work under the supervision of licensed health care practitioners.
Physical therapy jobs can be found in a number of locations and sometimes work in a doctor’s office or in a rehabilitation center can also be found. In many cases, physical therapy jobs are also available for medical assistants in clinics, hospitals, or rehabilitation centers as well.
In order to find a physical therapy job, there are a number of ways to get started. For instance, schools that offer a physical therapy program can often list positions on their campus, and online job listings can be found on specialized websites that specialize in the field of physical therapy.
Another option is to look through local colleges or vocational schools that specialize in physical therapy and work through the local placement services that may be available. These types of jobs often pay a higher salary compared to regular jobs and often provide more job security as well. Online job listing services can often be a great resource if you have special needs in your search.
In some cases, you may need to travel to a distant city to get a physical therapist job, but you may still have some of the same advantages of a regular job in that you will not be restricted to working within the boundaries of the town or city you live in. For example, some physical therapy jobs are available in small communities or even in remote areas. These jobs are often located in the state and are more affordable compared to physical therapy jobs in big cities like Atlanta or New York City.
There are also physical therapy jobs available outside the United States, especially in smaller countries, although this type of employment is usually limited to those who speak English or those who live in a country that has English as its primary language. To be considered for one of these jobs, an applicant should be able to communicate effectively with patients using both formal and informal forms of communication.
Physical therapy jobs also can include working as an in-home physical therapist. This type of position requires working on a private patient’s home. Physical therapy jobs may also include assisting physicians in treating patients, but these positions usually involve a lot of traveling and require knowledge of medical terminology and techniques as well as extensive medical knowledge.