Job Description of a Physical Therapist
Skill-Set of The Physical Therapist Job Description
The physical therapist job description entails primarily entails strong interpersonal skills, because creating a rapport with the patient is key to healing the patient itself. As trust develops between the patient and the therapist, the process of reconditioning the body and spirit becomes a lot easier.
Secondly, the therapist needs to have a lot of patience and compassion. A lot of times patients don’t pick instructions rapidly, and that can be a cause of frustration for the therapist. However, since the patient is already in a predicament, it is important to put up with the patient’s inability.
Duties and Responsibilities of Physical Therapists
Overview of the Job Position of Health Care Specialist
- Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat patients of all ages, from newborns to senior citizens, who have medical conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limit their abilities to move and perform functions.
- Part of the physical therapist job description is examining each individual and developing a plan, using treatment techniques to enhance the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability.
- Additionally, physical therapists also perform preventive work by working with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs, usually by developing fitness programs leading to healthier and more active lifestyles.
Required Technical Skills and Trainings
Physical therapy care and services are provided by physical therapists or therapy assistants who work under the direction and supervision of a senior therapist. They evaluate and diagnose the causes of movement dysfunction, and use interventions to solve the immobility issue.
Interventions such as therapeutic exercise, functional training, manual therapy techniques, assistive and adaptive devices and equipment, and physical agents and electrotherapeutic modalities etc.
Most typically, the patients treated by physical therapists include patients with back and neck injuries, sprains/strains and fractures, arthritis, burns, amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, conditions such as cerebral palsy, and injuries related to work and sports etc.
Physical therapists often consult and co-practice with a variety of other medical professionals, such as physicians, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, audiologists etc.
How Do You Become A Physical Therapist?
Since this is a proper niche within the medical profession, aspirants need a proper physical therapist education such as a post-baccalaureate degree from an accredited physical therapy institute.
Additionally, in most countries, there are accreditation bodies that regulate the physical therapist requirements, such as the American Physical Therapy Association’s accrediting body, called the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), in the United States.
Traditional Course Requirements
Typically, physical therapist education includes foundational science courses such as biology, anatomy, physiology, cellular histology, exercise physiology, neuroscience, biomechanics, pharmacology, pathology, and radiology/imaging, as well as behavioral science courses, such as evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning.
Some of the clinically-based courses include medical screening, examination tests and measures, diagnostic process, therapeutic interventions, outcomes assessment, and practice management. In addition to classroom and laboratory instruction, students receive supervised clinical experience, the physical therapist equivalent of the medical profession’s “house-job”.
Job Prospects for Physical Therapists
Physical therapy can be somewhat of a lucrative profession, because in addition to a hospital job, one can run a private practice without an office by simply dealing with patients who require care in their home.
Overall, physical therapists find work in hospitals or in other health practitioner clinics. Other jobs include the home healthcare services industry, nursing care facilities, outpatient care centers, and offices of physicians.
Some physical therapists choose to serve in rehabilitation centers, nursing care facilities, home healthcare agencies, adult day care programs, and schools. Moreover, physical therapists also teach in academic institutions and conduct research for enhancing the profession.