How To Become A Physical Therapist
Those looking into the field of heath care as a career option may be interested in learning about how to become a physical therapist. Physical therapists deal with patients who need help reducing pain and increasing mobility and function. From hospitals and sports clinics to schools and nursing homes, the employment options are virtually endless. However, there are several requirements to satisfy before you can practice as a physical therapist.
- Get your bachelor's degree. Before taking any further steps in becoming a physical therapist, you must have a bachelor's degree. Without it, you cannot be accepted into a physical therapy program. Admission requirements for physical therapy programs vary, but are generally heavy on science and medical courses such as Biology, Chemistry and Human Anatomy.
- Enroll in an accredited physical therapy program. Programs to become a physical therapist are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). To qualify for participation in the licensure exam following completion of a physical therapy program, the student must have graduated from an accredited school. A list of these schools is available from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Additionally, give consideration to financial requirements; financial aid is available from several sources, but the US Department of Education is a good place to start.
- Sit for the physical therapy licensure examination. This is the last, but absolutely vital, step in order to become a physical therapist. This rigorous national exam must be passed before practice as a physical therapist can begin. Those who successfully pass this examination can then be licensed in their state of practice.
Learning how to become a physical therapist is the first step in the process. Education, examination and licensing requirements are demanding, but for the student with perseverance these steps can be systematically completed and he will soon be starting a career as a physical therapist.