How to Become a Physical Therapist: A Basic Guide
There are over 300,000 licensed physical therapists in the US. Physical therapy is often an untalked-about specialty. Due to its patience and routine methods, not everyone is up to the challenge.
However, if you’re interested, you may be wondering, what is required to become a physical therapist? Don’t worry, with this guide you can find out! From earning a bachelor’s degree to gaining experience, you can learn how to become a physical therapist today.
Now, are you ready to get started? Here’s a quick look at working as a physical therapist:
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
First things first, you’ll want to earn a bachelor’s degree in either pre-physical therapy or another health-related field. That way, you can learn the fundamental skills and knowledge that are needed for the field, such as:
- Exercise science
- Musculoskeletal science
However, you’ll also want to take a few classes pertaining to communication, management services, clinical reasoning, and ethics. These classes will help you understand how to work with patients; that way, you can help treat patients according to their needs and health goals. Plus, you can learn how to communicate tips clearly, concisely so each patient understands what to do before their next appointment.
Once you’ve earned you’re bachelor’s degree; you’ll want to gain hands-on experience by shadowing other therapists or volunteering. This experience will help you not only further your technical expertise but help you interact with patients.
Through shadowing or volunteering, you’ll take on some tasks on your own, like patient questioning and movement. You’ll even work with patients from all different backgrounds with various conditions and symptoms.
These opportunities can be found in any environment where a physical therapist is needed, like a hospital or a research center. You may even find yourself working across a variety of practices such as:
- Acute care
- Home health
- Women’s Health
Exposure to different areas will help you determine which physical therapy jobs you like and which ones you don’t. It can help you choose where you want to work and in what position you want to be.
Acquire a Physical Therapy License
Wait, there’s more; before you can be a physical therapist, you need to acquire your license. Now, licensing requirements vary by state; however, all those that want to work as physical therapists must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination or NPTE.
The test has 250 questions that are comprised of true or false, multiple-choice, and short answer questions. Plus, its content covers the body systems such as the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system, as well as non-body systems like therapeutic modalities.
Since this test is difficult, you’ll certainly want to study the NPTE PTA practice questions. It will not only help you pass the test but be ready for anything.
How to Become a Physical Therapist Simplified!
Working as a physical therapist is rewarding and fulling but getting to that point takes a lot of hard work. After all, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree, gain experience, and acquire a physical therapy license. So now that you know how to become a physical therapist, we’re not going to lie, the journey will be long, but it’s well worth it.
So what are you waiting for? Start your journey to becoming a physical therapist today!
Now, if you’d like to learn more about careers and education, keep tabs on our blog!
Alan Roodey is a professional Author and contributor to many sites. He loves to write on various topics.