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How To Become a Physical Therapist

Becoming a physical therapist (PT) involves several steps, including completing an undergraduate degree, earning a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, and obtaining a license to practice.

Why choose a career in Physical Therapy?

Here are just a few:

Helping People: Physical therapy is a healthcare profession that focuses on helping people recover from injuries and illnesses and manage chronic conditions. As a physical therapist, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives.

Variety: Physical therapy offers a wide range of opportunities to work with different people, such as athletes, children, older adults, or people with disabilities. You may work in different settings, such as hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, or schools, and treat a variety of conditions, such as musculoskeletal injuries, neurological disorders, or cardiopulmonary problems.

Job Security: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for physical therapists is projected to grow by 17% from 2021-2031. This means there will be an increasing demand for physical therapists in the coming years, providing job security and opportunities for career advancement.

Work-Life Balance: Physical therapy offers flexible work schedules, with many opportunities for part-time or per diem work.

Job Satisfaction: Many physical therapists report high levels of job satisfaction, citing the rewarding nature of helping patients improve their physical function, the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with patients, and the intellectual challenge of diagnosing and treating complex conditions.

Overall, a career in physical therapy can be highly rewarding, offering the opportunity to help others, work in a variety of settings, and achieve a good work-life balance.

How long does it take to become a physical therapist?

It typically takes, on average, seven years to become a licensed physical therapist, including four years of undergraduate study and then three years of DPT program, and passing the licensing exam.

Here’s a breakdown of the typical timeline:

  • You will need to complete a four-year undergraduate degree, which is usually required for admission to a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program.
  • You will then need to complete a three-year DPT program, which includes both classroom instruction and clinical rotations.
  • Some physical therapy programs also offer the option of completing a clinical residency, which is an additional year of training that provides hands-on experience in a particular area of physical therapy.
  • After completing your DPT program, you will need to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE), which is required to obtain a license to practice physical therapy.

A Day In the Life Of A Physical Therapist

What does a typical day for a Physical Therapist look like?

Physical therapists will typically start their day by reviewing patient charts, which contain important information such as medical history, test results, and treatment plans. Physical therapists will often conduct assessments on their patients, which may include evaluating their range of motion, strength, balance, and overall physical function. They may also use specialized equipment and tests to help diagnose and treat conditions. Based on the patient’s assessment, physical therapists will develop treatment plans that are tailored to the patient’s specific needs and goals. This may include exercises, manual therapy, and other techniques to improve mobility, reduce pain, and promote healing. Physical therapists will typically spend a significant portion of their day providing hands-on treatment to their patients, which may include exercises, stretches, and other therapy techniques. They may also use other methods to help relieve pain and promote healing. Physical therapists are responsible for keeping detailed records of their patients’ progress, including changes in physical function, pain levels, and other metrics. This documentation is important for tracking progress and adjusting treatment plans as needed. Physical therapists may work closely with other healthcare professionals, such as physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, and speech therapists, to ensure a comprehensive approach to patient care. Physical therapists are required to maintain their professional license and often attend continuing education courses to stay up-to-date on the latest research and techniques in the field.

A Physical Therapist Career at Eisenhower Health

What to expect from a Physical Therapists career at Eisenhower Health?

This is a really special place to work. The commute is easy, we are located in an idyllic location with amazing culture, activities and we offer unmatched benefits. We have recently increased pay, we offer great benefits, up to a $15K sign-on bonus* and relocation incentives**. Physical Therapists have the opportunity to work with a team of people who genuinely love what they do and love working at Eisenhower Health.

Applying for Physical Therapy Jobs at Eisenhower Health

If you’re looking for the next step in your Therapy career, visit our careers site and apply for PT and Therapy roles today at Eisenhower Health. We offer a generous benefits package, up to a $15 sign on bonus*, a healthy work-life balance, as well as everything the Coachella Valley has available, including world-class dining, shopping, wellness amenities, easy commuting and outdoor activities.

Originally posted on 3/4/2023

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