Professions in the health sector are developing fast and demand for qualified professionals is on the rise. Physical therapists are some of the health professionals whose demand is on the rise. These health professionals diagnose and treat patients with health related problems which limit the patient’s motor ability. They work with patients of all ages and hence the popularity of this profession. If you are thinking of taking up physical therapy as a career, you are probably wondering how long it will take for you to become a practicing physical therapist. Read on to learn more.To be considered a qualified physical therapist, the professional needs to have achieved a masters or Doctorate Degree in physical therapy from an accredited physical therapy program. A Masters Degree in physical therapy lasts between 2 years and 2.5 years. A doctorate degree on the other hand lasts about 3 years. Before enrolling for either degree program, it is important that you ensure that the issuing institution is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education.Before studying for your masters or doctorate degree, you must have completed or worked towards 3 years of a baccalaureate degree. To get the best chances at succeeding in this field, the undergraduate degree should be related to physical therapy. Therefore, it will take a total of between 5 to 7 years of undergraduate and post-baccalaureate study to become a practicing physical therapist.The practice of physical therapy is controlled by the state. Therefore, the time period it takes as well as the requirements you will need to meet in order to become a licensed physical therapist will largely depend on the state in which you want to practice. Besides the academic qualifications, you will need to pass national examinations and state examinations to become licensed. The state administered examinations are set by the state board to determine whether you are qualified to practice as a physical therapist in the particular state.Once you are fully licensed, it is recommended you undergo continuing education in physical therapy by attending seminars and workshops. In some states, it is a mandatory requirement in order to remain licensed.Now that you know how much time it will take you to become a licensed physical therapist, let’s look at the places you can study and some of the course requirements. As mentioned, the curriculum is usually controlled by the state. However, here is a general picture of what is needed.Physical therapist courses are offered both online and offline. It is considered best to study the course in an offline educational institution. However, if you need a flexible study timetable, online study can work best.The courses cover classroom and lab instruction as well as supervised clinical experience. The main problem with online study is that the student doesn’t have direct access to lab and clinical facilities which play a major role in the final examinations and state assessments. It is therefore important that you find medical institutions where you can practice physical therapy if you intent to study online.
Accident Victims, Elderly, Athletes or anyone experiencing problems with mobility require the help of a Physical Therapy Assistant, making this one of the most popular jobs in the world today. Ensuring that patients who are currently undergoing treatment, comply with given advice and do as recommended, is a duty of the Therapy Assistant. All Physical Therapy Assistants are required to work under the supervision of a Physical Therapist. The salary earned by the Physical Therapist Assistant will vary from state to state and will be dependent on a number of factors, such as work location, educational background and working experience. The rate of salary is dependent on the high demand for this service in a particular area. A high school diploma with good grades in science and maths is the minimum requirement to qualify for this course. Online Physical Therapist Assistant Courses are offered for a period of two years, and six months training programs are offered by some. Once you have obtained this qualification you may apply for your Physical Therapist Assistant license. With almost every Physical Therapist Assistant job, requiring you to be licensed, you will need to be quite competitive to acquire the higher salaried positions. Only once you have completed Physical Therapist Assistant Training, at a school accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association Commission, can you apply for a license. Do not join a school that is not accredited.You will be taught how to perform Physical Therapist Assistant tasks and duties during your training course. Only after you have graduated from the Physical Therapy Assistant course can you take the licensure examination or the National Physical Therapy Examination. After passing these you will be a licensed Physical Therapy Assistant. A huge aspect of your training will be to do an internship in the workplace, where you can gain hands on experience. You will also need to have people skills and excellent communication skills. Patients who are in a lot of physical and emotional pain due to their inability to move around, as they did before, can be extremely difficult and will at times require tremendous patience and understanding. Because the work you do can be strenuous and will require lifting of patients, while assisting them with different types of physical exercise, you need to be physically fit. Standing can also cause the body a lot of stress. You will find that reaching out and assisting others with their needs a most rewarding experience. You will also need to have excellent organizational skills, attention to detail and loads of compassion.The American Physical Therapy Association has designated eight different specialties that you can focus on, should you want to be involved in a particular field. These will include Women’s Health, dealing with prenatal and postpartum depression as well as urinary incontinence and osteoarthritis. Sports Physical Therapy, which includes the management of sports injuries, injury prevention, and assisting athletes in the achievement of optimum performance. Pediatrics, mainly assisting those with spina bifida and cerebral palsy. Cardiopulmonary Therapy deals with those who undergo lung or heart operations. Neurology, which assists those with balance and paralysis. Orthopedics-injuries of the musculoskeletal system. Geriatrics, where elderly suffer from various diseases. Clinical Electrophysiology, where electrodes are used for trauma sufferers. Alternatively, teaching and training of others in this discipline is also an option worth considering.