Decided on career in physical therapy? Great choice, no doubt! If you have a strong passion for medical sciences and want to help people you are on the right way! So what should you do to fulfill your dream? Where to start from? Find out how to become a physical therapist right here!
1. Evaluate Your Skills
Are you sure you will be able to become a really good physical therapist? To know the answer you have to evaluate your skills. Are you interested in biology, chemistry and physics? One more thing, you must be very a patient and sympathetic person! Physical therapists fulfill challenging tasks dealing with ill and injured people. You will have to make your patients do painful and difficult exercises! Will you be able to motivate them? Are you ready to face people's anger and frustration? It's not easy, is it? If you think you can face all the challenges then let's move on further!
2. Gather Information
Do you know everything about daily duties of physical therapists? Some tasks of these professionals may differ according to the state of practicing. So the next step in our guide on how to become a physical therapist is gathering information. In addition to all the duties and tasks of physical therapist you must find out about different fields of therapy. Maybe, one of them will be appealing for you? So you can choose majoring in:
• Sports Physical Therapy
• Degenerative Diseases
Try to find as many facts about each of these areas as it is possible. This will help you to make the right choice. You can also visit American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) for most up-to-date information on how to become a physical therapist
in a specific field.
3. Choose Undergraduate Physical Therapy School
These days Master's degree is a minimum requirement for becoming a physical therapist. So it actually doesn't matter in what field you choose to pursue your Bachelor's degree. However, biology, anatomy, physics, chemistry and math must be included into your undergraduate school curriculum. All in all Bachelor's degree program will take you 4 years to complete.
4. Proceed with Master's Degree in Physical Therapy
It is the most important stage in our guide on how to become a physical therapist. During your studying in the graduate physical therapy school you will have both theoretical and practical classes. Be ready to study subjects such as cardiopulmonary physical therapy, neurological physical therapy, physical therapy and psychosocial issues, musculoskeletal disorders and physical therapy research. And during your clinical hours you will gain a priceless practical experience and master your skills under the guidance of the experienced therapist.
5. Get a State License
State licensing is your final step to becoming a physical therapist. Main requirements for this are graduation from accredited physical therapy school and successful passing of the National Physical Therapy Examination. However, remember that your physical therapist license must be renewed every two years! To be eligible for further practicing you will have to take a number of continuing education courses.