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Physical Therapy

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					Physical Therapy
   What physical therapists do
 They are experts in movement and function
  of the body
 They provide services that help restore
  function, improve mobility, relieve pain,
  and prevent or limit permanent physical
  disabilities associated with injury and
  disease
 They also determine a patient’s ability to
  reintegrate into the workforce or
  community following an illness or injury
 They help design a plan of care that
  includes short- and long-term
  functional goals and interventions
  such as exercise, traction,
  mobilization/manual therapy,
  ultrasound and/or electrotherapy,
  vestibular training, motor learning,
  and development, and patient and
  family education
Where do physical therapists work?
   Hospitals
   Clinics
   Private physical therapy office
   Home health agencies
   Skilled nursing facilities
   Rehabilitation centers
   School systems
   Sports medicine clinics
   Industrial settings
 About 2/3 of licensed physical therapists
  work in private outpatient offices or group
  practices
 There are specialities within physical
  therapy in which you can be certified:
     Cardiovascular and pulmonary
     Clinical electrophysiology
     Geriatrics
     Neurology
     Orthopedics
     Pediatrics
     Sports physical therapy
Requirements
 Must graduate from an accredited physical
  therapist educational program
 Must pass a national licensure exam
 In 2004, there were 209 accredited and
  developing PT programs in the US
 Because the degree is a doctorate,
  applicants must possess a baccalaureate
  degree
Course Requirements
 In addition to a biology or chemistry
  degree, the requirements include:
   Pre-calculus algebra with trigonometry (MA 115)
    or Pre-calculus trigonometry (MA 113)
   Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II (BI 141
    and 142)
   Elementary Statistics (MA 147)
   General Physics I and II with lab (PH 241, 242)
   General Chemistry I and II with lab (CH 111,
    112)
   Psychology (9 hours)
Other requirements:
 Minimum GRE score of 1100 (550 verbal
  and 550 quantitative)
 Complete GRE writing assessment
 Minimum 3.0 GPA overall and in the last 60
  hours of coursework
 Minimum grade of “C” in all required
  prerequisite coursework, but
 A 3.0 average in biology, physical sciences,
  and English composition courses
 Documented experience in at least one, if
  not more, physical therapy settings
Other good preparatory courses:
   Kinesiology
   Exercise physiology
   Upper-level anatomy
   Abnormal psychology
   Physiological psychology
   Developmental psychology
Other tidbits to know:
 UAB’s program starts in the spring of
  each year; USA starts in the fall
 There are some small differences in
  pre-requisites for each; check their
  websites
 There are other schools besides UAB
  and USA
 Entry into PT programs is competitive
Websites of Interest
 American Physical Therapy Association
  (APTA): www.apta.org
 University of South Alabama, Department
  of Physical Therapy:
  http://www.southalabama.edu/alliedhealth/
  pt/index.html
 University of Alabama-Birmingham,
  Department of Physical Therapy:
  http://main.uab.edu/shrp/default.aspx?pid
  =77127

				
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posted:8/25/2011
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