This paper addresses the issues of a career in physical therapy. It deals with the day-to-day tasks of a physical therapist, the qualifications and training involved in becoming a physical therapist, the working conditions and rewards, both financial and personal, of a career spent helping people recover from injury or illness, and the conditions under which physical therapists work.
Physical therapy can be a very rewarding career because the therapist deals daily with people who are permanently or temporarily disabled. A physical therapist has the opportunity to make a positive difference in the quality of peoples' lives, in many cases restoring their independence and their ability to return to work, or at least lead a productive and satisfying life ("A Hands-on", 1998; "The Physical Therapist", 1992). The physical therapist assists in the recovery process - making the patients stronger, relieving their pain, and helping them to regain use of an affected limb, or to relearn activities of daily living such as walking, dressing, or bathing. Physical therapy takes a personal and direct approach to meeting an individual's health needs and wants, whether it is walking independently or triumphing in sports.
Therapists work in such places as clinics, hospitals, schools for the handicapped, private offices, home health agencies, and nursing homes. They may be self-employed in private practices, either providing services to individual patients or they may contract to provide services to hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home health agencies, adult daycare programs, and schools. The may be in a solo practice or be part of a consulting group. Physical therapists are expected to be among the fastest growing occupations through the year 2006 as the demand for physical therapy services grows (Cosca, 1998).
Physiatry is a branch of medicine that employs physical therapy rehabilitation to help patients rec...