How to Become a Physiotherapist: If you like helping people overcome adversity and watching them make progress then you should become a Physiotherapist. Physical therapy is a wide and growing field that helps people restore function and live their lives to their full potential. It can be a very rewarding career for those that have the patience.
How to Become a Physiotherapist
Step 1 – Learn
Modern science and medicine have figured out a lot about the human body, but new findings occur almost daily. It’s important for Physiotherapists to be knowledgeable on all parts of the body, and how they’re interconnected. This is truly a field where learning is never done.
To start off with, you’ll need an undergraduate degree. If you haven’t obtained that yet then you may want to load your semesters with lots of medical, science, and health-related courses. The more you know in this area the better you’ll be able to perform your tasks in your future career.
Once you’ve finished your undergraduate work you can apply to a graduate program so that you can get your Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. There are a few schools out there that still offer a master’s degree in PT but it is recommended to take a doctorate program as this is the standard.
A Physiotherapist tends to a patient.
Become a Physiotherapist: Step 2 – Apply What You’ve Learned
While you’re in your PT program you’ll be getting your clinical training as well. This is a fantastic time to take what you’re learning in the classroom and apply it to situations much like those that you’ll be dealing with on the job. This part also gives you the practical experience necessary so that you’ll be able to secure a job right after graduating and getting licensed.
Step 3 – Get Your Certification
You won’t be able to work as a Physiotherapist until you’ve taken and passed the National Physical Therapy Examination. After you’ve passed this test you’ll be able to get licensed in your respective state. Then you’ll be ready to work as a fully-fledged Physical Therapist.
Step 4 – Begin Work and Specialize
Now that you’ve completed the first three steps you’ll be able to begin your career as a PT. Choose carefully when deciding where to work because it will have a big influence on how much you enjoy your job. There are so many ways to help people in this field that you should never feel unhappy with the work that you’re doing. Once you find a happy place that you enjoy it’s time to start thinking about specializing.
One of the best and easiest ways to increase your income and advance in the field of Physical Therapy is to gain specialized knowledge in an area of your choosing. You can work with matters of the heart in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary, or the skeletal and musical system with Clinical Electrophysiology. You can help aging baby boomers by becoming an expert in Geriatrics or helping people with burns and other skin issues as an Integumentary PT.
Help patients overcome their mental disorders as a Neurological Physiotherapist or assist them in recovering from surgery as an Orthopedic Physical Therapist. Working with patients suffering from vestibular conditions is another area available. If you’re good with kids you should be considering working in Pediatrics. If you’re a sports fan it may be fun to focus in that area, helping athletes recover from injury and perform at their peak. And there’s an entire field of women’s health, specifically helping women function at their best.
Becoming a PT truly offers many paths to satisfy a variety of personalities and interests.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Physiotherapists? What do Physiotherapists do?
Physical Therapists do so many different things with so many different types of patients that it’s hard to say exactly what their typical day involves. Their main duty is to help a patient either recover from an injury or event or help a client get and maintain full function in their body. Two examples include helping a car accident victim learn to walk again, or a stroke sufferer tries to restore function to the other half of their body. There are so many ways to specialize, and patients and clients can be of any age and in any level of physical fitness and ability.
How much do Physical Therapists make?
The national average salary for Physiotherapists is around $77,000. This number represents both experienced and newly licensed PTs and should only be used as an estimate. It is normal to start off at a lower number than this, and also normal to reach a level substantially higher than this when you specialize and become an expert in your field. You can also start your own practice and your income would then be determined by your own efforts and ambition.
A Rewarding Career Path
If you’ve got the smarts to learn the academic portion, and the people skills to get patients motivated and to push through pain, you may want to become a Physiotherapist. For the right person, it can be a very rewarding career and will allow you to make a positive difference in the lives of those that you help.
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