Career Choice: Physical Therapy
I would like to pursue the prospective career path of physical therapist, and I am committed to transformational processes of learning for fulfilling the requirements of the respective career path, along with education and practical training experience. ‘Physical Therapy’ is one of the professions from healthcare sector, and also known as physiotherapy. They perform rehabilitation, health promotion, disease prevention, physical intervention, prognosis, patient education, and physical examination diagnosis with the objective of maintaining, promoting, and restoring health. Physical therapist can choose a career in education, consultation, health administration, and research. Personally, much interested in primary care treatment, physical therapy is also provided in supplementary manner with other healthcare services. Primary care is about immediately healing the wounded, or at least enabling the immediate needed care. It makes them equivalent to the healers in ancient times, and there is feeling of fulfilment in that. Providing primary health care in the form of physical therapy is an opportunity for me to live a life of content. Working with patients of diversified age group, gender, culture and faith will feed compassion in my soul, and allow me to live a decent living as physical therapist. They create treatment plans, prevent patients from getting injured, and rehabilitate them from injuries.
MAS Medical Staffing states three fundamental skills of physical therapist, that is, passion for helping others, commitment to rehabilitate, and assisting in maintenance and development of patient’s health in best possible manner. However, the knowledge-based physical therapist skills needed to become physical therapist fall into three sets of categories, that is, basic, transferable, and workplace. The basic skills include communication (listening), reading comprehension, while transferable skills into other professions includes operating medical diagnostic equipment, giving health care instructions, planning health care treatments, and operating medical diagnostic equipment. Additionally, workplace skills are complex and includes strength and coordination because it involves physical, emotional, and psychological involvement of physical therapist for multiple hours a day. In order to be movement experts that aim at improving quality of life through patient education, hands-on care, and exercise. It is an opportunity to work as facilitator for wide array of settings, including workplaces, hospitals, people’s homes, sports and fitness facilitates, nursing homes, workplaces, schools, and outpatient clinics. Apart from a decent income (median) salary of 85,000 U.S. dollar per annum, a student has to earn a doctor degree of physical therapy, coupled pass an exam for state licensure.
The career-based physical therapist skills involve continuous learning process for keeping oneself updated. A constant learning habit assists physical therapist, like any other profession, in staying updated of the existing knowledge and skill in the field. Additionally, self-directed learning at workplace results in career growth. Investing in education is an ongoing process, and after getting a doctorate degree learning becomes an ongoing process at work. Supplementing the practical experience with self-directed learning allows thought processes to extend boundaries of helping others, and enabling patients with best possible care. Soft skills also plays a critical role because it is recognized as the most common concern of employers. However, physical therapists reliance on interpersonal skills is extensive and due to constant interaction with patients, health care center, family and friends of family members, and physically doing whatever they could possibly do to heal the wounded, or someone who needs any sort of health service. They are usually first in the line of defense against providing relief to the patients suffering from any sort of disease or illness. The important of physical therapist skills and expertise is due to the direct impact on the health care services received by the patient in whatsoever healthcare setting.
The years of therapeutic education and training in human physiology allows physical therapist to specialize in interdisciplinary areas of anatomy, kinesiology, physical fitness, and biology. In order to better understand the psychological needs of patients, many physical therapists receive extensive education and training in psychology, which enables physical therapists to help patients cope with the associated emotional challenges and physical aliment. At basics level, physical therapy courses provide insight into the sufferance caused by patient due to serious illnesses and injuries, which subsequently effects pain management and movement difficulty. The recovery of such patients depend on the physical therapists. Physical therapists serve the purpose of working as an agency of recovery for the patient through individual attention and focused exercise plans. The professionals in physical therapy assists patient in restoring build strength, range of motion, manage pain as the patient recuperate, and improve flexibility. On the other hand, at an in-depth level, physical therapists work in hospitals, private offices, hospitals, homes, and nursing clinics. The scheduling of physical therapists at an in-depth level takes place during normal business hours of the work, and sometimes scheduled for weekend or evening.
Hands-on therapy in practice is required when working as part of a rehabilitation team, which are aimed at providing stretching maneuvers and exercises to patients that are going through chronic illness. Additionally, hands-on therapy as part of rehabilitation team provides assistance for serious injuries through easing pain, and facilitation in the case of wellness and health. As per the WebPT blog dedicated for physical therapy, the areas for soft skills are critical to profession of physical therapist. The skills like interpersonal communication, writing, Sales Savvy and Marketing techniques, time management, and leadership know how, has a critical role in effective service delivery to the patients. At least a seven year commitment, including undergraduate program, allows physical therapists to gain skills and education to adequately provide primary care to the patients while earning 70 thousands U.S. Dollars on average per annum. After gaining a degree in health related field for bachelor’s program, aspiring physical therapist from chemistry, physics, biomedical, physiology, and engineering, apply for doctoral degree program in Physical Therapy (DPT). Within three to four years, depending on the selected courses of program, a Physical Therapist becomes doctor in the field with sufficient understanding of the disciplines at coursework that includes rehabilitation science, anatomy, physiology, orthotics, pathology, pharmacology, and prosthetics.
The interest in doctoral program of Physical Therapy over the years will decide my specialization, and wide array of options include neurology, pediatrics, and orthopedics, which provide them edge over other candidates for employment. The years after education are for becoming licensed physical therapists, and the major milestone to clear is National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), which is aimed to test practical and theoretical understand of physical therapy knowledge. Additional exams also exists, and a typical residency program provides detailed insight into the available stream of specialization to further explore at professional work. After gaining hands-on experience with senior physical therapists at work for three to four years where physical therapist are offered areas for practice, such as neurological physical therapy, geriatric therapy, and pediatric therapy. The dedicated effort required for the discipline of physical therapy is also supplemented with hands-on experience for a reasonable period before actually gaining the licensed to treat patient without legal constraints. The long journey is certainly exhaustive, but the reward in financial and emotional terms justifies the effort of nearly ten years. Last, but not the least, physical therapists have the opportunity to live a meaningful life through serving humanity at different places.
Hughes, M. (2020, March 5). 5 Nonclinical Skills Every PT Should Have. WebPT. https://www.webpt.com/blog/5-nonclinical-skills-every-pt-should-have/
Physical Therapist Career Path – How to Become a Physical Therapist | Glassdoor. (2013). Glassdoor Blog. https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/guide/physical-therapist-careers/
Physical Therapist Skills: What You Need to Succeed Now. (2018, February 27). MAS Medical Staffing. https://www.masmedicalstaffing.com/2018/02/27/physical-therapist-skills-needed/