The following sample essay on “Physical Therapists” talks about this much needed and in-demand specialty. It also answers the question of what it takes to become a physiotherapist.
Physical Therapists are health care professionals who study and treat people with health problems that are caused from injury or disease. A Physical Therapists assess joint motion, muscle strength and endurance, function of heart and lungs, and performance of activities required in daily living. Physical Therapists can specialize in a few different areas.
There is Rehabilitation, Community Health, Industry, Sports, Research, Education, and Administration.
In Rehabilitation, Physical Therapists practice closely with other health care personnel in hospitals or rehabilitation centers to determine patients’ goals. They evaluate and assess patients recovering from injury, surgery, or disease, develop and implement treatment programs. They teach patients to use artificial limbs and other assistive devices. They also provide instruction and home programs to patients and their families to continue the recovery process once the patient is out of the Physical Therapist’s direct care.
In Community Health, Physical Therapists deliver rehabilitative care in the home, teach prenatal and postnatal exercise classes, and screen, evaluate, and treat children in public schools. They also teach back-care classes to prevent back pain and injury. In Industry, Physical Therapists determine fitness requirements for specific jobs. They screen, evaluate, and assess employees’ conditions with respect to job-related physical needs. They identify potentially dangerous work sites, modify task performance to prevent job-related injuries, and provide treatment to injured workers.
In Sports, Physical Therapists assess athletes’ performance abilities, condition athletes to improve performance, recommend assistive or safety equipment to reduce injuries, and develop fitness programs for all segments of the general public.
In Research, Physical Therapists design, plan, conduct, and report studies in basic and clinical sciences that will lead to new knowledge, new technology, and increasingly more effective physical therapy patient care.
In Education, Physical Therapists Develop skills to prepare students for careers in physical therapy and teach entry-level and graduate-level physical therapy students and other health care personal. They design, plan, conduct, and report on scholarly activities that contribute to new knowledge in the science and art of physical therapy. They also Participate in a variety of service activities in the university and community setting. In Administration, Physical Therapists manage physical therapy departments and clinics and provide consultative services to colleagues and health care providers.
Many things must be done to become a physical therapist. In High school students should successfully complete courses in social sciences, biology, mathematics, physics, English, and chemistry. Students should learn the admissions requirements for accredited physical therapy programs and plan accordingly. They should volunteer or work in a local hospital or health care setting to strengthen interpersonal skills and develop an understanding of the needs and capabilities of patients and physical therapists.
In college students should contact physical therapist education programs to learn what prerequisites are necessary for admission to their programs and for advice on other programs requirements, financial aid, and other support services. They should continue volunteer work in a department of physical therapy; find a physical therapist mentor; become familiar with issues related to the profession. They should also attend American Physical Therapy Association district/chapter meetings and get acquainted with members and leaders in the field.
Students should take courses in psychology, biology, physics, statistics, chemistry, English, professional writing, and humanities. It is now required of students to pursue a postbaccalaureate degree in physical therapy which will take two more years in a physical therapy school. The starting salary in this career is approximately $55,000. There are really no advancement opportunities, but there are many different fields that someone can go into. Throughout the 75-year history of physical therapy in the US, there has been a shortage of qualified physical therapists.
According to a report by Vector Research, the shortage for physical therapists was reached in 1998. But, as a consequence of society’s increasing participation in sports and fitness activities, more physical therapists will be needed in the health care system to treat and help prevent knee, leg, back, shoulder, and other musculo-skeletal injuries. The need for physical therapists will continue to increase as new diagnostic and treatment equipment and methods are developed. I chose physical therapy for many different reasons. I do actually want to specialize in Sports physical therapy.
I want to help people, and still be involved in sports one way or another. I was thinking about something in the field of engineering, but I decided I would like to stay in a career that is related to sports in some way. If this doesn’t end up working out I guess I would be able to go back to college and figure out something else to do, but for now this is what I want to do. I have actually mentored with physical therapists and it seems like that is something I would be interested in. I want to help people and I would have fun trying to work with people who want to learn to do something again.