Physical Therapist Education

pt-education-aptaA physical therapist is a person who helps patients to rehabilitate from injuries caused due to illness, injury or certain particular disabilities. Of course you had known that considering the fact that this article is titled “physical therapist education”, which means that you are obviously looking to becoming a physical therapist and you know what exactly one does. In case you didn’t know, a physical therapist earns a lot of money and works in clinics, rehabilitation centers, sports centers, hospitals, etc. You can even travel with athletes or sportsmen if you were hired to be the team physical therapist.

But before you do actually turn out to be a high paid and well trained physical therapist, you should know that you need to go about a lot of courses and write a couple of exams to be a certified physical therapist.

Undergraduate Education

This is probably the first step that you have to make on your journey to become a professional physical therapist. It is recommended that you take a Bachelor of Science degree in health sciences or clinical sciences, particularly Biology, Chemistry and Anatomy, but you must make sure that the curriculum involves a good amount of concentration on health and wellness related topics like exercise physiology, PE methods and other areas of physical therapy. Some schools also offer a course on physical therapy as a major in their health and physical education departments.

It is recommended that you gain some work experience in a clinic, hospital, sports facility or basically any place that requires a physical therapist as work experience is a major criteria for selection of a candidate for a master’s degree that will possibly be the final step for you to become a certified physical therapist.

Graduate Education

In the competitive world today, having an undergraduate course will not help. Aspirant future physical therapists require a graduate degree. There are two ways to go about it! You can either choose to do a Doctoral program (which btw. Is greater in supply and demand) or a master’s degree in physiotherapy. The master’s degree will be achieved in a period of 2 years whereas the doctoral program takes about 3 years to complete. However, the doctoral program is more recommended as the value of a doctoral program is higher than the master’s degree. Also, an added benefit is that you will be designated to a doctor if you do the doctoral degree. Transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy Degree allows those candidates who had done their bachelors and masters in physical therapy to earn a doctorate in the same field.

To get admitted to either of the programs is quite difficult as the admission process will be based on grade point average of your previous degree, test scores provided by the institution or a common test score, volunteer hours at any physical therapy department and several others.

Becoming a Licensed Physical Therapist

Certain states in the United States and other countries, it is required that after finishing your bachelors and master’s degree you must acquire a passing score on the National Physical Therapy Examination to become a licensed physical therapist. However, to remain licensed the physical therapists education must be continued and education standards need to be met.

Online Physical Therapy Degree Programs

distance-learning-degree-coursesYou can obtain the certification by studying online at any venue which is convenient to you. You may think that this idea is crazy and not reasonable. However, some people can work 40 hours a week and they still can manage a full time class schedule in physical therapy. How can it be done? Here are some effective ways that help to realize your dream.

First thing first, ask yourself whether you have sufficient financial aid that is able to support you to complete the whole program within a specific duration. If yes, then get the necessary tools for your e-learning. Find out the necessary system requirements on your computer so that you are able to download all the course materials smoothly.

Besides, make sure your internet connection is stable in order to support the online communication. At the same time, check the availability of your instructors to attend to your questions.

Find out the online medical journals which are provided by your institution. All these steps are essential to ensure that you can obtain the required information easily.

Next, you must be fully aware of the curriculum structure of this specific course. It consists of core subjects related to mathematics, biology, physics, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, etc. In order to pass the exam, you need to have detailed reading on all these subjects until you are well equipped with the knowledge framework. You may find it very challenging and hard during your first semester.

As a result, you are advised to set aside at least 3-4 hours a night for studying online. Make sure you pay strict attention on your course material and manage your study time in a disciplined manner. Read as many reference sites as possible to obtain related information.

Here is another important point that needs your serious consideration. You have to understand that your online study will not be effective without a mentor. You are advised to enroll yourself as a member of the American Physical Therapy Association. This association offers a mentorship program for its members.

As a new comer in this field with no hands-on experience, you should be guided by the experienced professional physical therapists during your training. The mentor is able to share with you the real world experience and the best practices in the industry. This valuable experience not only contributes a lot in your studies, but it prepares you for your career in the near future.

If you fail to get a mentor, it is suggested that you should gain experience through internship or volunteer opportunities in local hospital, therapy centers, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, etc.

To sum up, in order to become a licensed physical therapist through online study, you need a very proper study schedule. It is indeed important for you to manage your time very well and study systematically.

Besides studying at home, you must also expose yourself to the real world so that you can complete the study successfully.

Physical Therapist Training Program

training programThe main duty of the physical therapists is to assist the patients to recover from illnesses, diseases, injuries, accidents or surgeries. They play important role in helping the patients to regain strength and mobility through a variety of exercises and activities. A career in physical therapy provides high job stability, great job satisfaction and good rewards for people who join this line. In order to get involved in this field successfully, ones must pass the post graduate training.

Passing this particular training is not a hard task if you undergo it in a correct manner. Here are some important tips for your kind reference:

1. Personal character

You need to be very clear that this field requires substantial training and education. Hence, in order to go through this learning process, you should have strong determination and self discipline. You need to manage your time very well so that you have sufficient time to study as well as sharpen your clinical skills.

Besides, you must always be motivated and patient when you face any difficulty in your study. It is important that you should always have positive attitude in learning new information and techniques.

In addition, you should ask yourself whether you really have compassion in this field. Be frank, only those therapists who have sincere wish to help the patients will achieve great success.

2. Scientific Background

During the whole program, all the students need to study a number of scientific subjects such as anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, physics and pathology with emphasis on the musculoskeletal system. In order to pass the training successfully, no doubt having a scientific background is a must because you need to have full understanding on how the human body works.

If you are poor at science, you might not be able to go through the whole program easily.

3. Formal education

The whole education consists of the formal classes, coursework, clinical practice and the examination. Once you have enrolled in this course, you must get yourself prepared that you will be “burdened” with a rigorous academic load that covers both theoretical and practical information. You are required to learn about various treatment modalities, diagnosis and testing of specific types of conditions or disorders, etc.

After equipping yourself with necessary knowledge framework, you are then required to participate in internship to enhance clinical skills. Once you have completed the whole program, your final step will be sitting for the national licensing examination, i.e. the National Physical Therapist Examination.

You must complete 225 questions within 5 hours in order to obtain certification.

4. Hands-on experience

Many physical therapy programs have fixed clinical practice as part of their main requirements. Hence, if you would like to pass your training smoothly, you must gain as much physical practice and hands-on experience as possible. You must familiarize yourself with the real working environment so that you can perform well during the training.

5. Extra effort

You need to work smart in passing the training. You should put in extra effort in obtaining most updated information related to the latest innovations and advancements.

Last but not the least; there is no short cut for you to be a registered physical therapist. There are many factors that contribute to the success of this professional.

Take this step by step approach patiently and systematically to achieve great success.

How to Complete a Physical Therapy Graduate Program

pt degreeIn common, there are 2 types of graduate programs in United States. One leads to a master degree and another one leads to a doctorate in physical therapy. In order to become a physical therapist, you will need at least a master degree or a doctorate degree from an accredited educational institution. The duration of completing these graduate programs is about 4 years.

In order to make sure that you are able to complete the program successfully, here are some essential factors you need to bear in mind:

1. Basic Education

Before you can enroll yourself to a master degree, you are required to have a bachelor degree with a solid science background as well as an emphasis on human body, biomechanics, human growth, medical procedures, examination techniques, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

By having these necessary knowledge and information, you will have a better understanding in your study.

2. Practical experience

In order to complete the master degree easier, having clinical skills in the laboratory is not sufficient. You are advised to expose yourself to real world experience. It is suggested that you can gain practical experience by working voluntarily in health clinics, local hospitals, therapy centers, rehabilitation centers or joining any high school sports programs.

You can also try to get internship if possible. Gaining real experience will definitely help you to understand the theories faster. Besides getting the first hand knowledge of the field, you are also able to find out more about the job duties of a physical therapist.

By doing so, you can actually know whether this career field is really suitable for you or not.

3. Program coursework and research

You need to make sure that you complete your program coursework and research in a proper manner so that you can complete the graduate program successfully. In general, for a doctorate degree, one is required to complete both classroom and laboratory coursework in a wide range of subjects.

The students must also complete a supervised clinical experience in order to earn their doctorate degree.

4. Determine your specialized field

You are required to find out your strengths so that you know which area of specialization you should focus. Decide whether you would prefer to specialize in areas such as anatomy, orthopedics, kinesiology, neurology, pediatrics, sports medicine, etc.

Once you are clear about your direction, you are able to focus on it.

5. Personal interest

In order to complete your study in 4 years, having great interest in this field is definitely essential. Without passion and interest, it is hard to motivate yourself to study further. In addition, you need a strong determination to complete your mission.

Last but not the least; you have to bear in mind that unlike in high schools or colleges, study hard is not the key factor to obtain best grades. You need good clinical skills and real working experience to succeed.

You can actually earn the academic qualification easily and quickly if you really take the above-mentioned points into serious consideration.