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:
More than a helping hand!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
Physical Therapy Career Overview from the Mayo School of Health Sciences: Bureau of Labor Statistics: American Physical Therapy Association: