POSTED: 29/06/2021 at 6:58am  BY: Edward Attwell Comments (0) Comment on Post

Continuing Education Requirements for Physical Therapy Degrees

An overview of education requirements and common specialty areas are provided for those interested in continuing their education to become a physical therapist.
Physical therapists practice in a variety of clinical settings. Although a hospital is the most common setting, physical therapists practice their profession in outpatient clinics, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, physical therapy clinics, rehabilitation centers, home care, universities, adult daycare, and more.

Physical therapists usually work in teams comprised of occupational, speech, and recreational therapists for complete patient care. Physical therapists employed by school systems often provide services to disabled students and those students enrolled in special education classes.

To become a practicing physical therapist, a master’s or doctorate degree is required in physical therapy. Around 2000, the bachelor’s degree in physical therapy was eliminated and replaced with new higher continuing education requirements.

Continuing Education Degrees in Physical Therapy

There are four primary methods of earning a physical therapy continuing education degree. These methods are:

Direct Entry Master’s in Physical Therapy Degree – this degree is for those who have completed a bachelor’s degree in another field and want to become a physical therapist. These programs are typically two years in length, with the first being focused on classroom experiences learning physical therapy concepts. The second year is spent in an internship or externship clinical experiential setting.
Transitional Master’s in Physical Therapy Degree – this degree is for those who previously earned a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy prior to change in continuing education requirements. Bachelor degree holders can continue their education experience and meet today’s education requirements.
Direct Entry Doctorate in Physical Therapy Degree – this degree is typically one year longer than the direct master’s in physical therapy degree. A person completing this degree earns a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT), which allows the graduate to earn greater income and hold the title of doctor.
Transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy Degree – this degree allows those who earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in physical therapy to earn a doctorate in physical therapy degree.
Prior to enrolling in a physical therapy program, visit How to Control Career Option through Education and Creating a Continuing Education Action Plan for additional ideas and suggestions for success.

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Physical Therapy Specialty Areas

The five most common specialty areas in physical therapy are:

  • Orthopedic – physical therapists diagnose, manage, and treat patients with musculoskeletal injuries and provide rehabilitation services for patients who have undergone orthopedic surgery. Orthopedic physical therapists specialize in joint, acute sports injuries, arthritis, amputations, and more.
  • Geriatric – physical therapists in this specialty area focus primarily on older adults. Geriatric physical therapists specialize in arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, hip and joint replacement, and more.
  • Neurological – physical therapists in this specialty specialize in treating patient’s with Alzheimer’s disease, brain injuries, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and more.
  • Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation – physical therapists in this specialty focus on patients with heart disease, coronary bypass surgery, pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis, and more.
  • Pediatric – physical therapists in this specialty treat children, adolescents, and infants with congenital, developmental, neuromuscular, skeletal, and other disorders. They also treat children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and more.

Becoming a Physical Therapist

Continuing education opportunities for those who want to become a physical therapist are provided by most public and private colleges and universities with health programs. Their programs provide a variety of continuing education opportunities for physical therapy concept learning experiences through traditional classroom and distant learning settings. However, internships and externships require hands-on clinical experience with a licensed physical therapists.

Written by Edward Attwell - Author who write essays for money


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