Physical therapy is one of the leading healthcare professions that helps an individual to restore, improve, and maintain physical as well as physiological wellness. Each patient, regardless of age, is assessed by the physical therapist to formulate the most appropriate plan of treatment for the patient to perform daily tasks without pain and difficulties. Today, the demand for physical therapist is increasing due to the number of people seeking professional help.
But, how do you become a physical therapist? First, you need to have an Associate or Bachelor Degree in physical or social science. Bachelor Degree may include physics, biology, anatomy and physiology, mathematics, sociology, and chemistry. If possible, you may volunteer in any physical therapy offices so that you familiarize yourself with what physical therapists do. In addition, it will enhance your communication skills. Remember, physical therapist must have good communication skills because they interact with patients having disabilities and deformities.
After having a Bachelor Degree, you must pursue a Master Degree. You must enroll in a physical therapy program. However, the school you will attend to must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical therapy Education or CAPTE. You can search through the internet schools and colleges that are accredited and acknowledged by CAPTE. Master Degree usually takes 2 to 2 ½ years of study. This program includes clinical supervision, classroom lecture, and laboratory instructions.
After completing the Master Degree, you may apply for a licensure examination, commonly known as the National Physical Therapy Examination set by the State you want to practice. Bear in mind that you must have a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy before you can apply for a licensure examination. Furthermore, you must prove that you have completed the required clinical experience supervised by a licensed physical therapist.
You may continue your study through Doctorate in Physical Therapy. This typically takes three years of studying. Moreover, you might want to have a specialization in physical therapy such as in pediatrics, geriatrics, neurology, orthopedics, and cardiovascular physical therapy. Trainings and seminars are also needed to enhance your knowledge about modern equipment and devices used in treating patients.
The most important requirement to become a physical therapist is the traits of being one. You must have the patience, perseverance and determination to finish and work with patients with disabilities. People who are suffering from physical ailments and disabilities have the tendency for mood swings. In order for the patient to participate during therapy, you must have high skills in communication and patience to teach and assist patients during therapeutic sessions.