We may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.
Within the medical field, there are various roles and specialties to explore. Whether your interest lies in becoming a registered nurse, dentist, paramedic, or even a veterinarian, all these positions are part of this category. Regardless of the state of the economy, people and animals get sick, ensuring that there are always jobs in the medical world that need to be filled to assist those in need.
Physical therapy is a highly rewarding field that offers immense satisfaction by helping others regain mobility and overcome pain. This profession is experiencing growth at a rate faster than many other occupations. The demand for physical therapists is driven by an aging population, increased awareness of health and wellness, and a growing need for rehabilitation from injuries. As a result, physical therapy presents not only a fulfilling career choice but also one with great potential for job stability and advancement.Interested in a fulfilling and growing field? Discover why a career in Physical Therapy is more than just a job – it's a chance to change lives and enjoy a prosperous professional journey. Join us to learn how to get started! #PhysicalTherapyCareerClick To Tweet
What is a Physical therapist?
A physical therapist is a licensed medical professional who assists patients in restoring and maintaining mobility, as well as reducing pain after surgery, injury, or illness. For instance, a patient recovering from knee surgery might consult a physical therapist to strengthen and restore mobility to the knee joint, alleviating pain and stiffness. Similarly, someone who has experienced a traumatic brain injury would work with a physical therapist to relearn how to walk. A patient suffering from a degenerative nerve disease could collaborate with a physical therapist to preserve mobility in their arms and legs and adapt to the limitations of the illness.
Where They Work
Physical therapists work in a variety of environments, including rehab centers and nursing homes, physical therapy clinics, hospitals, and patient homes. Where the therapist works depends on the primary focus of her practice. A physical therapist who specializes in providing post-injury care would be more likely to work in a rehab setting, while a therapist who focuses on caring for patients with neurological diseases might focus more on a hospital or nursing home setting.
Physical therapists must complete a graduate program from an accredited university’s physical therapy program, and the length of this program depends on the student’s prior education. If you possess recent medical training, especially a strong background in Anatomy & Physiology, Biology, and Exercise Science, you might be eligible to enter a graduate program immediately after passing the application process. Those without prior medical or biology training will need to fulfill certain prerequisites before applying.
In addition to the standard coursework, physical therapy students must undertake a clinical rotation, during which they will gain hands-on training by working with real patients in a genuine physical therapy environment. The application for the program will provide details on the school’s admission requirements and specify the items you must include with your application. Such comprehensive preparation ensures that students are well-equipped with both theoretical knowledge and practical experience, laying the foundation for a successful career in physical therapy.
The cost of obtaining a physical therapy degree can vary widely, depending on factors such as the school you choose, the length of the program, and whether you need to take extra classes to fulfill prerequisites.
Generally, graduate-level courses tend to be more expensive than undergraduate ones, though the program’s length is usually shorter. An undergraduate degree program might take four years or more to complete, while a graduate program could be finished in two or three years.
For those concerned about the financial aspect, numerous agencies offer support for graduate students, including loans, grants, scholarships, and other forms of funding. These resources can be instrumental in easing the financial burden and making the pursuit of a physical therapy career more accessible.
The career outlook for physical therapists is very good. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for physical therapists is $92,920 per year and the hourly rate is $44.28 per hour. The BLS indicates that the expected growth for the physical therapy profession is 21 percent in the next ten years, which is much faster than average. Physical therapists have an extremely low unemployment rate, 0.3 percent, versus other professions.
Additionally, as the general population continues to age, there will be an even greater demand for physical therapy professionals in nursing homes and other residential care settings.
If you are looking for a career that combines elements of medicine, massage therapy, and athletic training with hands-on patient care, consider a career in physical therapy.
*Introduction to Physical Therapy* by Michael A. Pagliarulo is an essential textbook designed to guide students in the physical therapy field. It offers an in-depth look into the profession’s history, various roles, and responsibilities across different healthcare settings, and delves into practice areas like orthopedics, pediatrics, and neurology. The book also emphasizes ethical considerations, patient-centered care, and evidence-based practice while outlining educational requirements, licensing processes, and professional development. With practical insights, real-world examples, and study aids like key terms and review questions, it serves as a comprehensive and engaging resource for anyone embarking on a physical therapy career.
This comprehensive text offers an insightful and thorough overview of both the profession and the practice of physical therapy, including the latest topics and trends surrounding the industry.
Orthopedic Physical Therapy Secrets by Jeffrey D. Placzek and David A. Boyce
This book is a part of the “Secrets” series and serves as a comprehensive guide to the field of orthopedic physical therapy. It covers a wide array of topics related to musculoskeletal disorders, therapeutic techniques, and rehabilitation protocols in a concise question-and-answer format. This book offers practical clinical tips and expert insights, making it a valuable reference for both practicing physical therapists and students looking to deepen their expertise in orthopedics. Its user-friendly structure allows quick access to specific information, enhancing understanding and critical thinking within the field.
This book, by Kenneth S. White, is a comprehensive guide to the profession of physical therapy. The book covers everything from the requirements for becoming a physical therapist to the different career options available. The book begins by discussing the different types of physical therapy. There are many different specializations within physical therapy, each with its own focus.
Read about the pros and cons of a physical therapy career, including earning potential.
Learn how to research and vet physical therapy education programs to help decide which physical therapy programs you wish to apply. Learn about requirements for application to physical therapy school, in order to get a head start on your preparation.