Do you have an interest in helping people recuperating from an injury? Do you see yourself drawn towards helping athletes, children, adults, and the aged alike who need to improve their health? If this describes you, then considering getting a job as a physical therapist will most definitely satisfy your quest.
Given the very demanding roles physical therapists play, it definitely involves more than just having a passion for treating injured patients. Formal training is required to acquire the skills needed to become a physical therapist.
Such training involves completing a medical degree and building a career in physical therapy. Physical therapists indulge in the evaluation, rehabilitation, and treatment of patients with chronic illnesses or conditions. You can’t do these by instincts alone.
What do you need to do to be the leading physical therapist in your locality? Read on.
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
To get started as a physical therapist, you will need to start by earning a degree in a health-related field from an accredited university. The degree you obtain is the prerequisite for entering into Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. More than the academic achievement, a bachelor’s degree should drill you sufficiently, reasonably equipping you with the skills needed for physical therapy in modern society.
Earn a Doctorate of Physical Therapy Degree
Earning a doctorate in physical therapy runs about three years. This covers a curriculum that embraces different areas, which include: Biology, physiology, cellular history, biomechanics, sociology, and communication, amidst others.
Due to the professional nature of physical therapy, one has to choose wisely on what school to attend. You need to participate in a CAPTE-accredited physical therapist professional education program. Schools that offer DPT’s programs involving 80% classroom and lab study with a 20% clinical education are your best bet in getting trained.
State PT License
If you plan to practice your PT in the US, then you must ensure you get a state’s license. All 50 states are licensed to issue PT. However, the requirement of each state may vary with regards to the laws that govern the state.
A PT license ensures that you meet and maintain already laid down standards of the regulatory board. This measure helps maintain acute standards in both the public and in the PT career.
Complete a Physical Therapist Residency
On getting your license, the next thing is to get your physical therapist residency. The residency would often take one year, and it’s a process in which your knowledge is enhanced through practice.
You would have to do clinical residency and clinical fellowship as you complete the steps on becoming a PT. However, not all states require a physical therapist resident, which is why you should enquire before proceeding.
The process may seem pretty long, but it’s really not complicated.
Again the steps include earning a bachelor’s degree, doctorate of physical therapy, obtain a state PT license, complete your residency, find the right physical therapist job, continue your education, choose a specialty, and then get a PT board of certification.
With all of these, you are on your way to lead in your chosen career.