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More than a helping hand!.  Physical Therapists (PTs) diagnose and treat medical problems (e.g. caused by stroke or cerebral palsy) that hinder physical.

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Presentation on theme: "More than a helping hand!.  Physical Therapists (PTs) diagnose and treat medical problems (e.g. caused by stroke or cerebral palsy) that hinder physical."— Presentation transcript:

1 More than a helping hand!

2  Physical Therapists (PTs) diagnose and treat medical problems (e.g. caused by stroke or cerebral palsy) that hinder physical mobility.  They treat patients of all ages and can work alongside many different types of healthcare professionals, but also educators and social workers.  PTs use interventions such as therapeutic exercise or adaptive devices to aid patients.

3  Have a strong background in the sciences during undergraduate studies. Courses in exercise physiology or biomechanics are also helpful.  Most PT schools require extensive work/observational experience in the field. Nurse aide and physical therapy aide count towards this.

4  Most PT schools in the US offer a doctorate in physical therapy which takes 3 years to complete.  There are several master’s degree programs as well. These take only 2 years.  The PT school curriculum focuses on human biology and clinical skills. Some of the courses include neuroscience, exercise physiology, and evidence-based practice.

5  The cost of the education varies: ◦ Public schools range from $18,000 to $92,000 depending on state and residency status. ◦ Private schools run between $55,000 and $150,000.  A PT can expect to make anywhere from under $50,000 a year to upwards of $104,000. Median wage for PTs in 2008 was $72,790.

6  PTs are expected to be more and more in demand when taking into account the aging baby boomer population.  Job prospects are promising in rural areas because they often have a shortage of PTs and other medical personnel.  PTs can specialize in a field they find most engaging, such as geriatrics or sports medicine.

7  PTs first evaluate their patient. This includes: ◦ Taking a medical history ◦ Testing the patient’s current physical abilities and limitations ◦ Assessing whether or to what extent the patient will be able to recover  PTs develop a treatment plan based on this information. Treatment may be: ◦ Special exercises suited to accommodate the patient’s injury ◦ Use of crutches, wheel chairs, and other assistive devices ◦ Lots and lots of encouragement!

8  If you were to specialize as a PT, what would you choose?  What do you think it would be like to work as a PT in a rural area?  Is the cost of education worth it? Why or why not? What are your criteria when deciding on a job like this?  Would it be fun?

9  Physical Therapy Career Overview from the Mayo School of Health Sciences:  Bureau of Labor Statistics:  American Physical Therapy Association:


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