The responsibility of physical therapists is to help physically disabled individuals to restore mobility, develop independence, and functional ability throughout their life. Such services are delivered in the situations where functioning and mobility are threatened by illness, injury, the aging process or other environmental factors. Physical therapists deal with accidental victims and with people suffering from conditions like cardiovascular disease, pain in their lower back, fractures, cerebral palsy, arthritis, etc. They work with individuals of all age groups.
Physical therapy is concerned with:
• Massage and manipulation therapy.
• Motivating patients to actively participate in the treatment and in rehabilitating themselves.
• Providing electro-therapies like laser and ultra sound treatments.
• Creating innovative programs and supervising them.
A physical therapist has to coordinate with doctors, nurses, family members, caregivers, social workers, health professionals and their colleagues in the field. The therapists first examine the medical history and current physical condition of the patients and then design the treatment plan that works best for their patients. Their treatment plans consist of therapeutic exercises that are concerned with enhancing movement, balance, coordination and strength. They encourage patients to improve their flexibility and mobility by using their muscles. Their main aim is to help their patients work effectively at their work place and at home. During the treatment, physical therapists have to see the patients on a one-to-one basis, conduct various examinations, record the progress, and modify the treatment plan if needed.
The work environment of physical therapy jobs includes hospitals and clinics where special equipments facility is available. As a part of the job, physical therapists visit homes, hospitals, and schools to treat their patients. They either work full-time or part-time during evening or weekends, but mostly the working hours depend on the requirement of the patients. The physical therapy jobs are physically demanding since it involves helping patients to stand, sit, turn, or walk and also move with heavy equipment.
To get physical therapy jobs, you need to first achieve a bachelor's or master's degree in physical therapy. Accredited physical therapy programs including science courses, human development, biomechanics, and therapeutic process should be undertaken. Since the field is highly competitive, you need to show excellent grades. After you get the degree, you must take national and state licensing examination and pass it with good grades.
To develop a good career as physical therapist, you should be:
• Friendly and cooperative
• Caring and sensitive to needs of the patients.
• Ready to assist patients at any time of the day, when necessary.
• Able to build a good rapport with patients, their families and other professionals in the field.
• Competent enough to work alone or with a staff.
• Physically healthy and fit so that you can effectively help your patient to move around.
• Good listener and adviser and should encourage the patients to recover from their present condition.
• Comfortable with the touch of the patients, no matter what physical problem the patient is facing.
• Good at solving problems and developing effective treatment plans.
A freshly graduated physical therapist may work as a trainee in various settings to gain experience and improve their interpersonal skills. After gaining experience, they can specialize in a specific field. Physical therapists can begin with assisting senior therapists and then become head of the department after acquiring skills and knowledge about the field.
In order to gain first hand experience, the new employee can work as a helper or as part time worker in the hospitals or physical therapy department. Such experience can be helpful for the candidates to progress within the field.
The career prospect of physical therapist is good in various settings, like hospitals, rehabilitation centers and orthopedic centers where patients are generally treated if they are a licensed professional. Experienced physical therapists with specialized knowledge have excellent career prospects. They can progress into teaching or becoming a self employed professional.
The salary of a physical therapist ranges from $60,000 to $80,000 annually, depending upon the area of specialization and the level of experience.
If you are interested in individuals and their health and well being, you can go for physical therapy jobs. With this profession you can help the people with various physical needs and assist them to meet those needs. With your helping hand, patients can regain a better life and work effectively.