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Physical Therapist Job Information

A physical therapist is tasked with helping people alleviate pain while improving their overall range of motion and strength. They are often part of a rehabilitation team that works with patients who have undergone treatment or suffered an injury.

Physical therapists most often work for hospitals, orthopedic centers, chiropractors, private offices, and sports teams.  They work closely with patients to maintain and promote a healthier lifestyle with proper fitness. People that need the assistance of a physical therapist are often those who have been in an auto accident, had an injury, or suffer from arthritis.

Responsibilities of a physical therapist:

  • Review patient history and doctor notes
  • Analyze and document patient movements and flexibility
  • Create a treatment plan and outline goals
  • Utilize exercises, stretches, therapy, and equipment to ease pain, increase mobility and build strength
  • Educate patients about health and treatment
  • Evaluate patient progress and determine their ability to return to normal activities

Nearly all physical therapy education programs offer a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. By the year 2015 any program accredited by the Commission of Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) must offer the DPT degree. Anyone who wishes to work as a physical therapy in the United States must earn a Physical Therapy degree from a CAPTE-accredited program. They also must pass a national licensure exam and meet any additional requirements for the state in which they practice.

Much of a physical therapist’s day is spent standing, crouching and moving in order to work with patients. A certain level of physical stamina is required. Physical therapists must also be able to show compassion and demonstrate interpersonal skills because of their constant interaction with patients.