Studies & Degrees in Physical Therapy
Choose where you would like to study Physical Therapy:ArgentinaIndiaPhilippinesRussiaThe United StatesUkraine
Physical Therapy Study Programs
It has been discovered that most of the physical treatments employed in modern physical therapy, as exercise and massage, were already used by early civilizations. Shortly after the field was formally established in the 19th century, Physical Therapy was found useful especially during and after the World War II.
The physical therapist is tasked to apply the scientific background gained from their years of study into procedures used to treat patients with certain disabilities (or on a more politically correct note, different abilities), ailments, or injury. These treatments are meant to help patients recover faster while ensuring, with the support of a professional, that patients still retrieve “functionality” in the correct manner. Physical therapists guarantee that the treatments they administer will accelerate the rehabilitation period for the patient, but make a mental note to lessen the remaining physical discomforts. Therapists also teach patients, as well as their families, to administer exercises for continuous and long-term patient care even outside the hospital.
Physical Therapy is commonly used interchangeably with Occupational Therapy, but the latter involves activities specifically designed techniques not only for physical health but also for mental, and for emotional. Some parts of the program are meant to aid the patient in maximizing the development and restoration of nervous and muscular coordination, and strengthening muscles within the limits of the patient's physical tolerance.
Regardless of whether the disability roots from physical handicap or mental illness, psychological rehabilitation of the patient is important. This is why students of the Physical Therapy program are also trained to focus on the use of planned, goal-oriented activities to provide successes, quantified in grades, to the patient. Such activities will be helpful in overcoming lack of self-confidence, low self-esteem, difficulty coping with stress, and in some cases, even depression.
Originally, the program was only regarded as a “past-time” for patients, owing to their extended period of stay to recuperate in the hospital. But now, it has become time for a specialized remedy program meant to shorten the patient’s period of recovery, among other functions.
Students of the Physical Therapy programs take courses in the basic sciences: those of the physical - including physics, chemistry, and mathematics; the health - counting human anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, psychology, and pathology. During the latter part of the course, the subjects are mostly under the clinical sciences, such as the principles and practice of physical therapy, clinical medicine, and surgery. Moreover, the program integrates subjects of the clinical arts, which include administration of therapeutic procedures to patients.
The physical therapist's work is based on the physician's statement of the patient's diagnosis, the objectives of the program, and the patient’s prospects, personality, as well as physical and emotional limitations. Some diagnostic tests performed by the physical therapist are manual muscle, perceptual, and sensory testing, measurement of joint range of motion, and electrical testing.
Physical Therapy also includes fundamental methods of massage, bandaging, strapping, and proper use and removal of splints and casts. The work of the physical therapist actually does not stop in the hospital unit. They are also tasked to instruct patients and their relatives in the use of prosthetic devices, such as artificial limbs, bracing devices, and techniques of exercise.
Graduates of the Physical Therapy program are commonly employed in rehabilitation centers, hospitals, special education schools, in homes for the elderly, and public health agencies. Some graduates of the program opt to be occupied in other relevant areas such as consultation, education, and research.
Job positions for Physical Therapy:
With your knowledge regarding the wide branches of kinesiology, you will be able to find a good job in no time. One of them is being a Recreational Counselor. There is great competition when it comes to applying for this job but if you are comfortable with the idea of working around ill persons along with your great education, you will be hired immediately.
A Recreational Counselor is also known as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. You should be able to provide some treatment services as well as recreational activities for those who are suffering from illnesses or disabilities. You can utilize the techniques that you have learned from kinesiology such as sports, games, crafts, dance, music and a lot of movements. As a counselor, you should be able to maintain a good relationship between your clients and yourself as well as a physical and mental well-being for them. This is because you should be able to reduce their stress levels, depression and anxiety. Additionally, you should give them the chance to boost up their own confidence so that they can socialize with other people effectively.
A Recreational Counselor can work in health care clinics, hospitals and centers for rehabilitation. They are responsible for treating and helping the patients recover from their physical disorders. Most of the time, they work with psychologists, nurses, social workers, occupational and physical therapists. They are different from the recreation workers who organize various types of activities for the sole purpose of enjoyment. They provide such activities for patients so that they can be healthier and more prepared so that their condition will improve for the better. It is their goal to maintain the general health of their clients so that they will no longer suffer from further medical illnesses and permanent complications in the future.
You will have to keep track of your patient’s development using the information that you have obtained based on your observations, assessments, medical records as well as those from the other members of the staff, the family and the clients themselves. Your therapeutic interventions should be consistent with the needs and the concerns of your patients. You should be able to persuade your clients even those who have been isolated from other people to play with the others so that they will be able to alleviate their stress.
A Recreational Counselor can either be a private or community based counselor. The latter refers to someone who is able to work in parks and other departments or programs in schools. You should influence your patient into developing some specific skills so that they will be able to put aside their worries and soon enough, their health problems will be gone from them. Generally, you will be working forty hours every week and there are times when you will have to work during weekends, holidays and even on evenings. Be prepared to face clients who get irritated at once so make sure that you are indeed forbearing and tough for the job.