Physical Therapist (PT)

Work Activities/Work Locations

  • Physical Therapists (PTs) are licensed health care professionals who diagnose and oversee the management of patients in order to improve the physical and functional abilities of a patient. They help individuals maintain optimal health and fitness, and prevent onset or progression of impairments, functional limitations and disabilities related to disease, disorders, and other conditions.
  • They teach patients proper exercises and use a variety of equipment and activities to help patients strengthen muscles and improve mobility, restore function and relieve pain.
  • Physical Therapists are trained to test and measure a patient’s motor abilities, strength, coordination, and respiratory and circulatory efficiency.
  • Physical Therapists review a physician’s recommendations and the patient’s medical record to determine most appropriate physical therapy treatment.
  • Although a large number of Physical Therapists work in hospitals, now more than 70 per cent can be found in private physical therapy offices, rehabilitation centers, community health centers, nursing homes, home health agencies, corporate or industrial health centers, sports facilities, research institutions, schools, pediatric centers, and colleges and universities.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Admission to Physical Therapy programs is competitive. Schools consider a minimum 3.0 GPA, GRE score, hours of experience in the field, letters of recommendation, and a personal interview.
  • Physical Therapy is a profession for those who enjoy science.
  • Physical Therapists have the opportunity to improve the lives of people from birth to elder and from athletes to those with disabilities.
  • Their work includes lifting, bending, standing, and other mobile activities while working closely with patients.
  • Physical Therapists may work in two or more different places or locations at the same time or travel to the patient.

 

Getting Started

Career Outlook