There are many physical therapist education requirements which must be taken into account for those who wish to work in the field. One of the most important of these is the level of education necessary to legally practice. Certain jobs in the field of healthcare can be obtained by enrolling in simple training programs; however, to become a therapist one must attend an accredited medical school. The following are some essential facts regarding the level of education necessary for those who wish to pursue physical therapy as an occupation.
Physical Therapist Education Requirements
Current regulations mandate that a therapists must possess a Master's degree from an accredited college or university. There is a wide array of courses required in order to obtain such a degree, and these will differ slightly depending on the program in which one enrols in. However, the following is an example of the type of curriculum associated with almost all physical therapy degree programs:
Coursework typically begins with foundational sciences, such as biology, anatomy and physiology. One will also be required to take credits in clinical histology and biomechanics. These are all typically completed within the first two years of one's education.
Through the next several years, a student will be required to complete courses in radiology and pharmacology. The latter may or may not include classes in chemistry, depending on the learning institution at which one is enrolled.
Coursework in neuroscience, exercise physiology, and behavioral science will tour out the curriculum.
Clinical Experience and Classroom Lectures
Physical therapist education requirements include a combination of classroom lectures and clinical experiences. During the first two years of one's education, classroom lectures are the predominant venue through which one will learn vital information to his or her prospective career as a physical therapist.
During the last four years of the student's education, he or she will spend a significant amount of time acquiring clinical experience under the direct supervision of an experienced physical therapist or other licensed medical professional.
Through the last year or two of school, students will have little bedroom time, with most of the time spent obtaining hands-on experience.
Those who wish to pursue a physical therapy degree should also possess a high level of interpersonal and communication skills. One will find that these are essential hits which determine one's success in the field.
Each state requires that physical therapists obtain the appropriate license. Eligibility, however, will vary significantly from one state to another. General requirements that must be met in every state include: possession of a physical therapy degree, and that one receive a passing grade on the National Physical Therapy Examination. Additionally, all states require some type of continuing education in order for one to keep his or her license. The APTA can offer more information concerning state specific requirements.
Regardless of the area in which one chooses to seek employment, most individuals would agree that fulfilling the physical therapist education requirements needed to legally practice in the field is a worthy endeavor.