Physical therapy is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the United States. Is It Hard to Become a Physical Therapist? The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that over the recent years, the profession has grown by over 21%. This growth is relatively higher than what is witnessed in other occupations.
A physical therapist helps people who have suffered injuries to improve and regain movement and also to manage pain. Elderly people and people having physical disabilities and certain health conditions also require physical therapy.
You may be wondering, “What does it take to become a physical therapist? Is it hard to become a physical therapist?” Here’s a step-by-step guide through the process of becoming a physical therapist.
Get a Degree in a Health-related Field
Getting a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy can be challenging. However, with a bachelor’s degree in any health-related field of study, you can jumpstart your career in physical therapy. You can earn a basic degree in Biology, Pharmacology, Musculoskeletal science, anatomy, and many others to get you on your way to becoming a physical therapist.
Enroll for a Doctor in Physical Therapy Program
Your degree in a health-related field will earn you points to gain access to a doctor in a physical therapy program. Upon getting the basic degree, you should do some shadowing at a hospital or private practice. The experience will prepare you for the coursework.
Get physical therapy practicing license
For you to practice physical therapy in any state, you must get a license. Every state has some unique requirements for therapists who want to practice in that locality. You will have to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam, for you to be licensed.
Is it Hard to Become a Physical Therapist in a Particular Field?
Now that you have the papers, you are already a physical therapist. However, for you to specialize in a particular field, you will have to enroll in a residency program. During the residency period, you will need to accumulate a given number of hours for you to be certified as a specialist in that area.
Some physical therapists opt to enroll in a fellowship program instead of residency. A fellowship program is recommended for students who want to do further research in their area of choice after graduation. Whether undertaking a fellowship or residency, the physical therapist gains a lot of knowledge during the period, including how to operate most training room equipment.
At the end of the residency or fellowship, you can get a physical therapy job in a specialized area like a sports physical therapist. Physical therapists are employed at hospitals, schools, hospices, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, and other occupational environments. You may also decide to go out on your own and open a private practice.
Take up the Challenge Now
Is it hard to become a physical therapist? No, it is not. With hard work and persistence, you can achieve your goal. Today is a good day as any to take the first step towards achieving your dream. As statistics show, we will continue to need more physical therapists every year.
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