There are many different paths to becoming a physical therapist. You can earn a Bachelor’s degree, complete a clinical residency, or obtain CAPTE accreditation. This article will provide you with information on how to become a physical therapist, including how to get started, what to expect in a career, and what you need to know to get started.
Earning a Bachelor’s degree in physical therapy will help you develop listening skills and interpersonal skills that will help you deal with patients. In addition, you will also learn how to motivate patients and make them want to improve their physical condition. You can work in the field for a variety of reasons, including to treat injuries and to help people stay healthy.
In addition to a Bachelor’s degree, you can continue your education by earning a Doctorate degree in physical therapy. This degree program consists of a minimum of 30 graduate-level credits. In addition, previous graduate-level education may count towards these credits. Typically, this program takes two to three years to complete. However, the duration can be customized depending on your work schedule and other personal factors.
Graduates of this program are prepared to sit for the physical therapy licensing exam. This examination is required in all 50 states. Some states also require physical therapists to pass a criminal background check and pass a law exam. Currently, there are 222 accredited Doctor of Physical Therapy programs in the United States. Students who complete this program can continue their training in a residency or fellowship program. A residency program takes nine to thirty months, while a fellowship may take six to 36 months.
The clinical residency for physical therapists program is a year-long experience that involves the completion of coursework and clinical practice. During this time, residents will maintain a patient load of 28 hours per week, participate in four hours of collaborative care per week with a mentor, and complete eight hours of coursework each week. This coursework is composed of didactic and laboratory sessions. Residents will be supervised by accomplished clinical instructors.
In most cases, physical therapists who complete a residency program are qualified to sit for the APTA Specialization Certification examination. This certification exam has a higher pass rate for residents than for those who haven’t completed a residency. In addition, residents can qualify for discounts and membership benefits for the APTA. Additionally, APTA offers federal student loan forgiveness to physical therapists who have completed a residency. You can learn more about forbearance for physical therapy at the Department of Education.
In addition to providing hands-on training and gaining hands-on experience, residents will participate in numerous elective activities that develop their professional skills and help them prepare for future leadership positions. Residents may also choose to specialize in an educational, research, administrative, or service area. Residents will engage in didactic education, participate in research, and receive mentored teaching opportunities.
The Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) is an agency recognized by the US Department of Education that grants accreditation to physical therapy education programs. It applies standards for quality and continuous improvement in education and research. The organization is based in Alexandria, Virginia. It accredits more than 250 schools and programs of physical therapy education in the US and Scotland.
The accreditation process includes an on-site visit. In the United States, physical therapy schools must be accredited by CAPTE before graduates can practice. During the site visit, CAPTE evaluates the physical therapy education program and its self-study report to ensure that it meets the standards for excellence.
A physical therapy education program that is CAPTE-accredited will satisfy state educational requirements for both PTs and assistants. It will qualify graduates to take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) and to apply for licensure in most states.
The future job outlook for physical therapists is a positive one. The growing aging population and an increase in chronic ailments is driving demand for physical therapy professionals. The growing obesity problem is also driving growth in the field. The BLS projects a growth of more than 18 percent in the next ten years, which is faster than the average for other occupations.
Job opportunities for physical therapists are expected to remain strong throughout the next decade, as the demand for their services continues to rise. Advances in medical technology and geriatric health will result in more outpatient surgeries, increasing demand for physical therapy services. In addition, continuing medical advancements will result in more people surviving trauma, premature births, and new medical procedures, creating a higher need for rehab services. Also, changes in healthcare plans will increase the number of people who need these services.
While the pay of physical therapists may not be as high as that of other professions, the job outlook is still good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of physical therapists will increase by 22% by 2028.