Empathy. Hard work. Job satisfaction. All descriptors that encompass the profession of the physical therapist. If these words also describe you, a career in physical therapy may be right for you. Learn more about what the job entails, average salaries, and the long-term outlook for a career in physical therapy.
What Are the Responsibilities of a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists, also known as PTs, are responsible for helping acutely or chronically ill and injured people to manage pain and improve range of movement. This involves:
- Learning the patient’s medical history
- Reviewing existing medical notes
- Discussing the patient’s goals and desired outcomes
- Developing a treatment plan for the patient
- Using exercises, massage, and PT equipment effectively
- Evaluating and recording the patient’s progress
- Adapting and altering treatment plans if necessary
- Educating the patient on how to cope with challenges
- Showing the patient how to use mobility aids if needed
- Teaching the patient’s family about the condition and what to do
Who Do Physical Therapists Work With?
Physical therapists work with anyone in need of their specific care, and conditions may include:
- Spinal cord injury
- Cystic fibrosis
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Cerebral palsy
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Carpal tunnel
- Developmental delays in children
Where Do Physical Therapists Work?
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, many PTs work in hospital settings, treating patients who are in for short-term conditions like accidents, surgery, or illness. However, the majority work elsewhere in therapy clinics, home healthcare situations for children, handicapped, and elderly patients, nursing and residential care facilities, and doctors’ offices.
Some sports facilities, such training arenas or schools, employ physical therapists to work with athletes. Physical rehabilitation clinics for military personnel who have been injured on duty have a great need for PTs, and this can be a rewarding although challenging vocation.
City location is also a factor to consider. Jobs are on offer throughout the nation, but these 10 cities are definitely places to look at. Other things to consider if you’re planning to relocate to a different place from where you grew up or trained is cost of living, accommodation, and commuting times.
Average Salaries for Physical Therapists…
Author: Katy Willis
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