Since physical therapy is a medical and healthcare profession, this career requires intensive education and training before someone can be licensed and recognized as a physical therapist. The requirements you need to comply in order to become a licensed physical therapist are undergraduate degree, graduate degree, preferably a doctorate degree and a license for certified physical therapists. All in all, these requirements will take years of study and training to be accomplished. It is important to properly plan your career path early on and determine your goals in order to attain on time.
While in high school, it would be beneficial to decide the career to take so you can already plan your educational and career options later on. If you want to become a physical therapist, it would be beneficial to think ahead while still in high school and look for accredited universities or colleges that offer the undergraduate degrees prerequisite to physical therapy career.
Choose the college degree that will provide you the necessary units and courses needed in your graduate degree program. Basic courses that are usually required in undergraduate programs for aspiring physical therapists are science and health courses, physical education, and physiology. To qualify for the licensure examination, an aspiring physical therapist must first finish their master’s or graduate program. Aside from the degree program, candidates aspiring to have their license as a physical therapist must also finish some coursework or practical training mostly 1 to 2 years.
Aside from the education requirements, attitude and qualities are also very important in order to become a good physical therapist. Since you are pursuing a career that directly helps people with various health problems, the most important quality an aspiring physical therapist should have is the compassion to help other people. Being intelligent and well skilled on your chosen field may be a good thing but you can be more effective as a healthcare professional if you have the compassion to help others and not just because it is your profession.
Patience is also an essential quality every physical therapist should have. It is common for healthcare professionals to encounter patients that are hard to handle especially those who are suffering from physical defects and mental problems. To provide the necessary services and care, you should have wide patients and understanding especially when dealing with uncooperative patients. Good communication skill is also essential in order to create a clear and good relationship not only with the patient but also to his or her family and support group.