Sunday, 15 April 2012

Becoming a Physical Therapist

ByMichael J McDade

To become a physical therapist a degree in physical therapy from an accredited school is required. The school or university should have what is called the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). This is the practice in all fifty states. The minimum degree for an individual to become a physical therapist is a Master's Degree. Courses in the physician therapy program include Chemistry, Anatomy, Physics, Biology and Human Growth and Development just to name a few. There is also classes and instruction to learn different examination techniques, therapies and diseases that affect the patients. The amount of schooling is usually four to six years.

After a physical therapy student completes all of the required studies and classroom work there may be a requirement to perform some volunteer work in a physical therapy setting. This volunteer work is usually performed in a hospital facility or a clinic. The educational institutions will have different requirements as to how many hours of volunteering are required for the student to graduate from the program.

When all schooling and volunteering requirements are completed the student must successfully pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) before starting to practice. This exam is administered through a computer testing system. The test involves five sections of fifty multiple choice questions. The scoring ranges from 200-800 points. A passing score for a physical therapist is a 600 points or above. Some states have the additional requirement of taking a state exam and passing successfully before going into practice.

Like a medical doctor who treats different types of illnesses which require certain specialties, the physical therapy field also includes different types of specialties. These specialties include Cardiovascular and Pulmonary, Geriatric, Clinical Electrophysiology, Neurology, Women's Health, Pediatrics, Orthopedics, and Sports Medicine. Each one of these different fields has different techniques and skills that are learned during the schooling process. It is the decision of the physical therapist student to decide what specialty to go into practice for during the studying process. In today's world if the physical therapist is looking to work in the most needed field he should consider Geriatrics as his specialty. The elderly population is growing and the need for therapists in this specialty is in high demand. It is a difficult field because the elderly are prone to chronic diseases that completely debilitate an individual and requires an extensive amount of therapy.

Seeing patients smile after regaining mobility lost due to an accident or disease, seeing children heal from broken bones, an elderly person working through the disability of arthritis or a person who has suffered from a heart attack and is going through Cardiovascular physical therapy are just a few examples of how a physical therapist can be rewarded throughout a typical work week. requires a tremendous amount of schooling and studying, passing the important tests to earn the license and finding employment. Once this is all accomplished this career can be very enjoyable and rewarding.

Michael McDade is a nursing student and freelance writer. He works three different jobs and still finds time to write. He is also an SEO and blogging expert, but new to EzineArticles.

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