Also known as physiotherapy, it is a healthcare profession focused on assisting individuals in improving their physical functions, mobility, and quality of life. Physical therapists work with patients of all ages who suffer from injuries, illnesses, or disabilities that affect their movement and physical abilities.
To become a physical therapist:
You usually need to complete a professional degree program in physical therapy. In the United States, a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree is typically required, which usually takes three years to complete after obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Some countries also offer a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in physical therapy.
During your studies, you will learn about human anatomy, organ function, biomechanics, kinesiology, neuroscience, and other related sciences. You will also study various therapeutic techniques and interventions, such as manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, electrotherapy, and other methods used in the practice of physical therapy.
In addition to classroom coursework, physical therapy programs often include clinical training courses or internships. These provide practical experience in real healthcare settings under the supervision of licensed physical therapists. Clinical courses allow you to apply your knowledge, develop clinical skills, and gain practical experience working with patients.
Once you have completed your physical therapy degree, you may need to meet licensing requirements in your country or state before you can practice physical therapy. These requirements typically include passing a national or governmental licensing examination and may also involve completing a certain number of supervised clinical hours.
Work for physical therapists:
Physical therapists can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, private practices, sports facilities, schools, and home healthcare. They work closely with patients to assess their condition, develop personalized treatment plans, provide interventions to aid in restoring or improving movement, reducing pain, and enhancing physical function.
As a physical therapist, you will assess patients, set goals, and implement treatment plans using a range of manual techniques, therapeutic exercises, assistive devices, and patient education. You will monitor progress, make adjustments to the treatment plan as needed, and collaborate with other healthcare specialists to ensure comprehensive care for your patients.
Studying physical therapy requires a strong foundation in anatomy, organ function, and biomechanics, as well as excellent communication and interpersonal skills. It is a rewarding profession that allows you to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals recovering from injuries, managing chronic conditions, or seeking to improve their physical health.