How to Become a Physical Therapist – Tips To Become a Physical Therapist

Physical Therapy is a medical profession in which you are expected to help patients with bone fractures and muscles related medical conditions. You will be associated with sports personals to advice and assist during their injuries that are caused by sport activities. The main focus of work is to ease pain and develop mobility. Physical therapists may work at hospitals, personal therapists to sportsmen and physicians offices.

The below listed are the essential requirements to become a Physical Therapist.

Tips To Become a Physical Therapist

Academic Requirements

Sciences Undergraduate Degree

A Sciences undergraduate degree in Pre Physical Therapy (pre PT) is the first academic step to becoming a Physical Therapist. Here you will learn about the basic physical anatomy of a human body, bone structure and much more related to the human physical make.

You can choose any major of your choice. You will also be exposed to working closely with healthcare professionals on your therapy projects.

Degree Program in Physical Therapy

After your pre PT, you must complete an MPT which is Masters of Physical Therapy. This degree will enable you to qualify to get your licensure in physical therapy. However, The APTA, American Physical Therapy Association, has issued a statement recently that all schools will be providing its graduate degree as DPT or Doctor of Physical Therapy by 2017. DPT will thus become the standard of professionalism in physical therapy. The subjects covered in DPT or MPT will be centered on psychology, basics in anatomy, biology, statistics, physiology, chemistry and physics, and applied health sciences. Other major subjects taught will be kinesiology, path physiology, exercise physiology, abnormal psychology, biomechanics, research methodology and therapeutic techniques. During your master’s program you are expected to perform therapies in various clinical environments.

Physical Therapist Licensure or Certification

The Licensure or certification procedure for a physical therapist may vary from state to state or country to country. In most cases, you are expected to appear for an examination conducted by the Board of Physical Therapists. In the US, this examination is called as NPTE or the National Physical Therapy Exam.

The NPTE is conducted by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. You are expected to pass this examination in order to receive your work permit to be employed as professional Physical therapist.

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Aptitude and Attitude Requirements

In order to become a physical therapist, apart from the academic requirements, you are expected to have certain personal qualities too. They are namely good interpersonal attitude, professional communication and a good reasoning ability. Being a compassionate and understanding individual is also important.

Skill Requirements

The key skills needed to become a physical therapist include treatments evaluation skill, ailments observation skill and usage of physical therapy instruments such as muscle testers, reflex hammers and balance beams. Computer proficiency in basic medical soft ware and accounting software are added values.

In case your degree program does not provide these, you can always opt to learn on extra software coaching of MediGraph, Clinicient Insight and TheraWriter PT. A physical therapist’s job involves standing long durations during the therapy sessions. Hence there is a physical requirement of good stamina and strength.

Extra Qualification: Residency Program

Following your graduation, you can decide on further preparation by doing residencies. In the residency program, you are expected to do 1500 hours of practice in clinical therapy. This duration can be covered in 9 months up to 3 years. The program permits you to examine patients while being trained under licensed therapists.

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