Other Careers Physical Therapy Students May Find Interesting

August 9th, 2012 by admin

Physical therapists are responsible for helping patients to regain their independent functioning following an illness or injury. Working as a physical therapist offers a person the opportunity to help others while working within a medical environment. While physical therapy is a rewarding career, there are many reasons why someone may decide that it is time for a change. Some people may wish to advance in their career by pursuing a new field, while others may simply want a change of pace. Because of the unique skills learned in Physical Therapy College, they are eligible for a variety of different careers both in and out of the health care field.

Medical Writer
Physical therapists have a strong grasp of medical concepts and terminology. They also know about common injuries as well as the best treatments for first aid and long term recovery. For this reason, they make ideal medical writers who can find work in a variety of companies. In addition to writing, they can also conduct research regarding the prevention of injuries in the workplace.

Physical Education or Health Teacher
Physical therapy students have a background in both education and healthcare. As a physical education or health teacher, they can combine their love for helping others with an opportunity to share their knowledge in the classroom. This position can often be useful for someone who would like a fresh start in a new field while utilizing the skills they have learned as a physical therapist.

Medical Office Management
Doctor offices and clinics require staff with a strong understanding of medical concepts. For this reason, medical offices often recruit management staff from other related fields. A physical therapy student who has also obtained some office experience is ideal for this type of position. Working as a medical office manager also offers opportunities for advancement to higher levels of management.

Personal Trainer
Sometimes, a physical therapist student may still wish to participate in the hands-on aspects of their job. If this is the case, then working as a personal trainer can be an excellent option. Personal trainers work with groups and individuals to help them to develop a fitness plan that is based upon dietary and exercise guidelines. Some personal trainers are self-employed while others work for a gym or wellness center. This offers flexibility for anyone who might be considering this career.

Health Product Sales
Physical therapy students enjoy working with others and often have personal experience with using various health products. Therefore, their past experience can be put to use by selling health care products. This position is ideal for anyone who enjoys public speaking. Because health product sales staff frequently sells products out of town at conventions, this can be an additional perk for those who like to travel.

Selecting an alternative career path is very easy for physical therapy students as they enter the workforce equipped with a variety of transferrable skills. Ideally, physical therapy students will find careers that utilize their combined understanding of health care and their love for helping others in order to find a rewarding new career.

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Area of Specialization for Physical Therapists

August 8th, 2012 by admin

If you are considering a career in physical therapy, you’ll find that beyond simply getting your degree and your certification in the subject, you will need to pick a specialty. Your specialty will determine what kind of work you do and who you will do it with, so consider some of these common specialties. The more you know about the different kind of specialties, the more educated your choice will be. Knowing these specialties will help you develop your skills when you attend one of the many Physical Therapy Schools in the nation.

A physical therapist who specializes in geriatric is one who works with older people. They may deal with patients who have reduced mobility due to osteoporosis, cancer or arthritis, or who have injured themselves and require help with restoring balance and strength. In some cases, chronic conditions like incontinence can be aided through the use of certain physical therapy exercises. In many cases, a physical therapist working in geriatrics will be helping people regain mobility that they have lost.

A pediatric physical therapist is one who works with adolescents, young children and even with infants. Depending on the patient, this type of physical therapy may involve helping the patient fine motor control or improving their sensory perception. Some conditions that a pediatric physical therapist my work with include cerebral palsy and torticollis. A pediatric physical therapist might also work with a child with developmental delays, who needs more instruction and more aid when it comes to mastering some motor functions.

A neurological physical therapist is knowledgeable regarding disorders that affect the brain and the spinal column. People who have experienced traumas like brain injuries and strokes may need to reteach their bodies to perform certain basic tasks, though the need for a neurological physical therapist may also be caused by diseases like Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. Physical therapy in this field might also be used to treat vision problems and even paralysis.

An orthopedic physical therapist focuses on the muscles, joints, tendons and bones. They are commonly the individuals that people think about when they think about physical therapists, and their specialty covers a wide range of treatments. People who require an orthopedic physical therapist may have just had orthopedic surgery, or they may have been in an accident that has impaired their movement. Some of the techniques used in orthopedic physical surgery include flexibility exercises and hot and cold packs.

Women’s Health
A physical therapist who specializes in women’s health treats women who have mobility issues with regards to childbirth and postpartum activities. Some of the issues that a woman might face after pregnancy include osteoporosis, pelvic pain and urinary incontinence. All of these issues can be reduced in intensity through physical therapy, and this therapy can take place both in the prenatal and postpartum stages.

An integumental physical therapist deals with patients who have issues or diseases relating to the skin. This is type of physical therapy is not as well known as some of the other forms, but it is an essential part of the healing process for people who have suffered from severe burns and traumatic injuries. The skin must be able to respire, and it must also be flexible to allow movement. Many integumental physical therapists work with patients who have very recently dealt with painful problems, and they help the patient during the healing process by ensuring that the skin does not heal too tightly.

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4 Courses Everyone Takes In Physical Therapy College

June 25th, 2012 by admin

TSImage-89709973As is the case with any other specialty in the medical field, educational programs for physical therapy schools are highly regulated and closely monitored. This is to ensure that all students who attend physical therapy schools receive an equivalent education, including classroom courses, labs, and hands-on training opportunities, like weekly practicums and extended internships.

The organization responsible for reviewing and approving physical therapy training programs is the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Because accreditation by CAPTE requires a specific curriculum is offered by each physical therapy school in the nation, there are certain courses everyone takes when attending physical therapy colleges. Here are four of the main disciplines covered by physical therapy programs.

Health and Physical Sciences

The majority of student’s coursework while attending physical therapy school is focused on learning about the human body, including the inner workings of body systems and how they interact with one another. Courses in the health sciences include general biology, chemistry, human anatomy and physiology. Additionally, students must complete courses in physics in order to understand the manner in which the natural laws of science affect human and mechanical movement.

Every program specifies its own semester hour requirements for each of the previously mentioned subjects. The majority of physical therapy schools require students to complete 4 credits each in general biology, anatomy and physiology, and 8 credits each in physics and chemistry. Most of the health and physical science courses have accompanying labs required as well, though labs usually factor into the overall semester hours requirement and count as 1 credit hour of the total for each course.


Statistics is the primary course related to mathematics that’s required by most physical therapy schools, though mathematical and scientific calculations are a component of courses in the health and physical sciences as well, including chemistry and physics. The ability to understand statistical analysis and probability is crucial in any medical career, including physical therapy, which is the reason statistics is part of the core curriculum.

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Physical therapy students are usually required to take 6 credits in social and behavioral sciences in both sociology and psychology. A minimum of 3 credit hours in psychology is typical in physical therapy programs, and another 3 semester hours in sociology is also a common requirement. Some programs however do allow students to choose from elective courses in either sociology or psychology for satisfying the 3 additional social and behavioral science credit hours.

Clinicals and Internships

Because physical therapy is a hands-on field in which practitioners work directly with patients, hands-on training opportunities are a central part of any physical therapy school’s curriculum. Most schools offer students some amount of clinical training either during or immediately after completion of the second semester of study.

Additionally, all physical therapy schools require multiple clinicals or internships of their students, usually including at least two shorter rotations of four to six weeks, and minimum one longer internship of at least eight to twelve weeks. Again, every program has its own standards for number, duration and type of internships required for graduation, but all physical therapy students must complete extensive hands-on training in the clinical environment.


Types of Physical Therapy Jobs Available

June 20th, 2012 by admin

TSimage-89693822Physical therapists can specialize in many different areas, though their primary goal for the therapy they offer remains the same: to help patients deal with pain and improve mobility so that the patients can live normal and active lives. Physical therapists work with patients of all ages and physical conditions and they tailor their treatment to meet the needs and goals of each individual patient. This can mean helping an athlete become more mobile in order to improve his performance or teaching an older patient how to use his body while doing a basic task like getting out of the shower. While there are many areas of specialization, following are the most common areas of specialization for physical therapists.  Those working in this profession attend one of the many Physical Therapy Schools in the country.

Geriatric Physical Therapy
As the population continues to get older, physical therapists are needed to help the aging population meet the challenges brought on by the changes the body undergoes. PTs working in this field treat older patients suffering from osteoporosis, arthritis, incontinence, Alzheimer’s and other health issues. They help patients remain or become more active and mobile, lessen pain and generally provide techniques to improve overall fitness. Geriatric physical therapists usually work in nursing homes and in outpatient clinical facilities. They can also work through home health agencies, visiting patients’ homes to provide therapy. The therapy can be offered in both individual and group settings.

Orthopedic Physical Therapy
Orthopedic physical therapists focus on treating musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. These therapists work with athletes and patients recovering from amputations and other orthopedic surgeries. The treatments offered by orthopedic physical therapists include strength training, mobilization of the joints and the use of hot and cold packs. Therapists who specialize in this field can build a career in sports medicine treating both professionals and regular active people. The therapy offered by these professionals can be focused on enhancing performance or on increasing mobility. Therapists normally work in outpatient clinical facilities but others work for health clubs and other sports facilities.

Pediatric Physical Therapy
Physical therapists specializing in pediatrics work with infants, children and adolescents to diagnose and treat muscle, joint and bone problems due to diseases, disorders or injuries. The focus of pediatric physical therapy treatment is the improvement of fine and gross motor skills as well as increasing strength and improving balance and coordination. Pediatric physical therapists also work with young people to improve and develop cognitive and sensory skills. Some of the patients who benefit from physical therapy are children who have developmental delays, spina bifida and cerebral palsy. Pediatric physical therapists can work in the school system to assist disabled students as well as in outpatient clinics and through home health agencies visiting patients’ homes.

Neurological Physical Therapy
Physical therapists specializing in the neurological area work with patients who suffer from disorders or injuries to the neurological system such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and injuries to the spinal cord. Therapists work with patients to improve problems such as paralysis and difficulty with balance and walking. Neurological physical therapists work in hospital settings, outpatient clinics and even through home health agencies to provide patients with treatment.

Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
This area of specialization means that therapists work with patients who have cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders or surgery such as cardiac or pulmonary surgery. Therapists in this area focus on helping patients gain functional independence, gain strength and increase endurance through exercises and heat or water massages. Physical therapists who specialize in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers and nursing homes.

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