What does a Physical Therapist do?What does a Physical Therapist do?

Become a Physical Therapist

A physical therapist (also called PTs), specialize in physiotherapy, also known as physical therapy. A physical therapist helps people of all ages to rehabilitate injuries focused on the musculoskeletal system.

★ Find a College

How to become a Physical Therapist

To become a physical therapist, you must graduate with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. The DPT degree is the most accepted qualification for a professional to become a physical therapist. Not every physical therapist is a doctor; the doctorate degree requirement to practice is fairly new; some physical therapists may still practice with a master's degree. The assistant to a physical therapist may also be referred to as a therapist - but by definition, he or she would be an assistant or an associate.

Some health care centers accept people with other degrees in medical science to become an associate or an assistant to a physical therapist. However, no other degree than one in physical therapy would be acknowledged for anyone to become a physical therapist.

Job Description of a Physical Therapist

The job profile of a physical therapist includes diagnosis, treatment, and holistic care of patients who have physical or physiological problems. The conditions can range from impairments, deformities, physical ailments, disabilities to emergency needs which are purely physical in nature.

Usually, a physical therapist would deal with musculoskeletal problems but not those that have correlated venous problems or conditions of the nerves. Physical problems such as skeletal injury, muscular cramps, physical impairments (including all types of physiological disabilities), and all kinds of diagnosis, treatment, and care pertaining to these conditions fall within the purview of a physical therapist.

A physical therapist may recommend appropriate medications and offer emergency and long term therapies. A physical therapist may also offer his or her expertise to other doctors in complicated cases that involve surgery or intensive operations. A physical therapist may also have his or her own practice, work for a healthcare center, or at public or private hospital. A physical therapist may also cater to sportspersons and athletes.