Physical therapists review a patient’s medical history, test and measure his/her physical condition (measured by things like range of motion, balance, strength, flexibility), and then develop a treatment plan to meet physical goals.
What, specifically, do Physical Therapists do?
Well, a physical therapist could…
Teach proper exercises to a patient after her elbow surgery so she can strengthen the muscles in her arm.
Help a patient become used to using his hand and fingers after a surgery
Help a patient learn to walk again after a hip injury, so he can remain independent at home.
Encourage and train a patient with an amputation to return to her normal activities with a prosthetic limb.
What do I need to become a Physical Therapist?
To be a physical therapist, you must be compassionate and patient, have great interpersonal skills, and a desire to help those who are less fortunate.
As for education and schooling, a physical therapist has received a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy, a doctorate in physical therapy (DPT), and has completed a residency program at a school of medicine.
Where do Physical Therapists work?
Physical therapists practice in clinics, hospitals, and private offices with special facilities. They can also treat patients in hospital rooms, homes, or even schools. This means that a physical therapist can live almost anywhere and find work!
Physical therapists can even work in specialized places like:
Dr. Judy Seto is the physical therapist for the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA, and travels across the country with them.
Major Angela Diebal was the physical therapist assigned to the 1st Support Battalion in a US Army camp in Egypt.