You may have been required to see a physical therapist throughout your recovery if you have ever fallen and incurred a strain. Perhaps you were in a car accident or had surgery, and a physical therapist assisted you in your recovery. Physical therapists work with a wide range of clients, including children, seniors, stroke patients, professional athletes, etc.
Suppose you are thinking about becoming a physical therapist. In that case, you might be wondering how long it takes to get into the field—how long does it take to become a physical therapist? In this article, we will be learning about job roles, skills, salaries and how to become a physical therapist in detail.

Physical Therapists: Who Are They?

According to APTA or American Physical Therapy Association, physical therapists are basically movement experts who help improvise body movements through prescribed exercises, hand-on care and medical literature. Physical therapists known as physiotherapists, assist their patients in a variety of ways, the majority of which include bodily movement in the form of exercises.

What is the role of a physical therapist?

Rehabilitating patients or assisting them in doing things for the first time, enhancing performance, and preventing damage are all part of the job description of a physical therapist. Examining patients, evaluating their condition, screening and diagnosing injuries, estimating prognosis, developing care plans, managing documentation and care, and discharging patients after therapy are all everyday responsibilities of physical therapists.

Becoming a Physical Therapist: The time duration

Knowing how long it takes to become a physical therapist might assist you in taking a well- informed decision about your education and future profession. Becoming a physical therapist takes about six to eight years. Physical therapy graduation degree spans three years, compared to four years for undergraduate studies. If you choose an expedited physical therapy school, you can finish in as little as six years.

How to become a physical therapist?

How to Become a Physical Therapist It takes six to eight years to become a physical therapist, depending on how long it takes you to complete each phase, which includes your education, clinical hours, shadowing hours, and more. Although not everyone's path to becoming a physical therapist is the same, following are the fundamental steps to take.
●    Earn a Bachelor's Degree: Although few universities offer a bachelor's degree in physical therapy, it is one of the requirements for admission to a DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) program. Your bachelor's degree does not have to be in pre-physical therapy. Still, it must be in a health-related discipline.
●    Get the hands-on experience in Physical Therapy practice: Observing licenced physical therapists engage with their patients and taking on some of the responsibilities will help you develop technical and soft skills in physical therapy. You will also get the opportunity to work with patients from all backgrounds and situations.
●    Finish a Doctor of Physical Therapy Program: Physical therapy doctorates typically take three years to complete. However, CAPTE or Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education does not recognise all DPT programs across the nation therefore, it is critical to select a CAPTE-accredited programme so that you may sit for the physical therapy licensure exam following graduation and, subsequently, get a job in your field.
●    Complete the Physical Therapy License Requirements: Every state requires physical therapy licensure. However, the specific criteria differ by area. Check the requirements in the state where you want to work before you apply. All prospective physical therapists must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) to receive a license.
●    Attend a Physical Therapy Residency: A residency programme is required if you want to specialize in a particular field of physical therapy. You would need to record part or all of the clinical hours necessary to acquire certification through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties and gain the knowledge to work in a specialty field.

Essential skills to become a Physical Therapist

To guarantee that you perform your work to the best of your ability as a physical therapist, you will need certain skills. Some of these are:
●    Communication: This ability is used to communicate with patients, their families, and their medical team. It is critical to have good oral and written communication abilities and active listening skills as a physical therapist.
●    Detail Orientation: This ability is used to keep track of the progress of the patients. They have various detail-oriented responsibilities like monitoring their vital signs, for example.
●    Planning treatment: Physical therapists use their treatment planning abilities to conduct patient evaluations and physical therapy examinations and develop personalized treatment programs.

Salaries: How Much Do Physical Therapists Earn?

Many people believe that a physical therapist's salary is much more modest. In the middle of 2019, the median annual income for physical therapists in the United States was $89,440. However, the top 10 percent of physical therapists in the United States made more than $124,740. Physical therapists working in nursing and residential care facilities ($95,440); home health care services ($94,080); and state, local, and private hospitals ($91,260) earned median annual pay that was higher than the median yearly wage of the physical therapy professionals.

Different Career Paths for Physical Therapists

Physical therapists can work in a number of work environments. And this also plays a significant role in determining how much physical therapists make. Their work locations include:
●    Hospitals
●    Clinics or offices that offer outpatient care
●    Sports training facilities and fitness centres
●    Rehabilitation centres for inpatients
●    Skilled nursing, long-term care, or subacute care institutions
●    Centers for education or research
●    Schools
●    Industrial setting, or another occupational setting
●    Homes
●    Hospices

Conclusion

Physical therapists perform an essential and challenging profession that has a significant impact on patients' quality of life. To become a physical therapist, you will need a lot of schooling, training and most important dedication. Physical therapists have the freedom to choose from a variety of patients, settings, and specialties in their career path, all while making competitive compensation and knowing that what they do matters and has a stronghold in the medical field and society in general.

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How to Become a Physical Therapist?

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