About Physical Therapy
Is the DPT Right for You?
The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program attracts students who enjoy science – especially the study of movement – and working with people from every walk of life. Physical Therapists (also known as PTs) might work with infants, only days old, or older adults; they might spend their time working with professional athletes, or patients who have sustained permanent disabilities. One thing remains constant – no matter whom they’re working with, PTs help people live better lives, whether it’s in reaching peak athletic performance or returning to a normal range of movement and ability.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical Therapists use their education, and their knowledge of anatomy and the sciences, to help patients and clients recover from injuries and achieve improved function and movement.
They are hands-on healthcare professionals.
They assess a patient’s biomechanical functioning and provide appropriate therapies. They work though specialized stretches and exercises to help the patient overcome pain and reduced ranges of motion. Moreover, Physical Therapists are teachers; they teach their clients how to take charge of their health and to work with the right exercises to achieve a better quality of life. PTs are counselors, too, providing clients with the perspective and motivation they need to keep working toward improved health.
PTs work in a variety of settings, from hospitals to home care. They work in rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, fitness centers, corporate and industrial work places, hospices, public schools, research centers, universities, emergency rooms, and sports training centers. There is virtually no limit to the direction a PT can take his or her career.
Moreover, PTs work in a dynamic, continuously evolving healthcare environment.
PTs work with closely with other healthcare professionals to improve the client’s complete health and functioning. They integrate their expertise and collaborate with occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, nurses, physicians, prosthetists, and orthotists. They also provide guidance and therapy in collaboration with school teachers, social workers, and family members.
A Growing Profession
New opportunities for physical therapists emerge every day. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the demand for physical therapists to grow much faster than average through 2014. (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos080.htm#outlook)
For more information on the profession of physical therapy and accredited education programs, contact the American Physical Therapy Association at (800) 999-APTA, or visit online at www.apta.org.