Physical therapy means treatment with physical agents. Physical therapy provides services that help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent disabilities of patients that suffer from injuries or disease. Therapists restore, maintain, and promote overall fitness and health. Their patients consist of accident victims and people with disabling conditions such as low back pain, arthritis, heart disease, fractures, and head injuries. Physical therapy is often called the cornerstone of rehabilitation because the long road back from injury or disease begins with physical therapy treatments to relieve pain and restore function. Being a physical therapist is a hard job to partake, but with enough effort one can accomplish anything.
Physical Therapists practice in hospitals, clinics, and private offices that have special facilities. They can also treat patients in hospital rooms, homes, or schools. Most physical therapists work 40 hours a week with some evenings and weekends. Therapists strive to improve their own coordination, and their sense of rhythm, movement, and balance since the job involves helping patients with impaired functions. Most therapists also have strong hands, endurance, stamina, and a high energy level. The job also requires a lot of kneeling, crouching, and standing for a long period of time. Therapists also have to move heavy equipment, lift patients, or help them turn, stand, or walk. Dealing with people demands good vocabulary, and the ability to speak and write clearly. A therapist has to direct patients, teach families, instruct nursing school classes, and most of all report on a patients progress to doctors. A life of a therapist is usually busy to the point of being hectic and decision making is a constant and ongoing responsibility.
Over years the number of physical therapists have increases and more graduates have moved into the labor force. Physical therapy is expected to one of the fastest growing occupations through the year 2006, as the demand for physical therapy services grow. A vast number of employers are using physical therapists to evaluate worksites, develop exercise programs, and teach safe work habits to employees in the hope of reducing injuries. The employment of physical therapy would grow even faster if it werent for continued emphasis on controlling health care costs by limiting the use of therapeutic services.
Physical therapy demands good grades in high school and college, especially in science. This job requires a minimum G.P.A. ranging from a 2.5-3.5 (out of a 4.0) depending on the university. Before entering the physical therapy education program, you must volunteer at a hospital or a clinic. Also, all states require physical therapists to pass an exam after graduating from physical therapists education program before they can start practicing. By 2001 all therapy programs will be at the masters degree level and above. Bachelors degree curriculum start with basic science courses such as: biology, chemistry, physics, and the special courses are biomechanics, neuroanatomy, human growth and development, manifestations of disease, examination techniques, and therapeutic procedures. If you would like a four year degree in another field, but you still want to be a physical therapist, you should enroll in a masters or doctoral level of physical therapist education program. Most physical therapists have above-average intelligence and are happy, athletic, and optimistic people.
Since physical therapists have to take a liberal arts course, which includes: English composition and literature, foreign language, philosophy, psychology, speech, history, sociology, anthropology, biology, zoology, bacteriology, chemistry, physics, and math. Psychology is a science concerned with individual behavior and feelings. Physical therapists always need to know how their patients are feeling physically and mentally. History helps us learn from our past experiences. It is not just something that happened to other people far away and long ago. History is happening here and now. Physical therapists need to know the history of their patients injury and also history of the family to see if it hereditary.
Every since I was 10 years old, and my sister had to go to physical therapy for an injury, Ive always wanted to be a physical therapist. After researching, nothing has changed my dream. Although, there are some things that could slow my dream down. Physical therapists need to do very well in science courses. Unfortunately, science is one of my weak subjects. I know if I work harder, can make science one of my stronger subjects. If I really want to be a physical therapist I will make it happen. I do think I will excel at this career because I know that I want it bad enough. With an optimistic attitude I will achieve my dream!