Physical therapy is one among the many medical professions that one can practice. It can also be referred to as physiotherapy. It involves a physical therapist, someone who has studied physical therapy, helping people to reduce pain or recover from illnesses or injuries that resulted in a limited mobility or function of body parts.
During the training, one is taught a variety of courses which include anatomy, human biology, physics, and kinesiology among others. Before we look at the pros and cons of being a physical therapist, we shall look at what it takes to become one and what the job entails.
Requirements for one to be a physical therapist
In the USA, for one to be a physical therapist they need to have successfully completed a graduate degree in physical therapy from an accredited university or college. In addition, in order for one to be allowed to practice they will need to take a national exam after which they will be given a license. Only then can one practice physical therapy.
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What does the job of a physical therapist entail?
After one completes the training in physical therapy, they will be able to examine a patient, arrive at a conclusion and diagnosis of where the problem is then come up with a treatment plan. The treatment of patients usually varies from one individual to the other depending on the type of disease or injury and its severity.
Pros and Cons of being a therapist
Like any other career in the world, there are advantages and disadvantages that come with having physical therapy as a profession.
Advantages of being a physical therapist
1. A good salary
When getting ready to choose a career, many people look at how well-paying the career is. This is because we all wish to live a decent life and be able to financially provide for ourselves and those who depend on us. Being a physical therapist is one of the jobs that come with a good salary. According to Salary.com the median annual salary of a physical therapist is $81, 932 as of September 01 2017.
However, the exact amount one is paid will vary depending on the level of education, specialization, years of experience and the state where one practice from.
In addition, people who have studied physical therapy can take part-time jobs so that they supplement the income they get from their main job. They have reasonable schedules which allow for this.
2. Increase in job opportunities
It is a fact that there is a high rate of unemployment and replacement of human labor by technology. By choosing to be a physical therapist you are assured of getting a secure job. There has been a growing demand for physical therapists. More numbers are needed as there has been an increase of patients who need physiotherapy because of diseases that affect mobility such as diabetes.
3. Variety of places where one can work
A physical therapist can work anywhere between hospitals, rehabilitation centers, clinics, schools, fitness centers or nursing homes. It does not limit people to work at one setting. Therefore, one can choose to work where they consider convenient for them. In addition, they get to interact with different kinds of patients from adults and children to people who are suffering from various conditions. This exposure can help one to become better at what they do.
4. Gain knowledge on science and health
A physical therapist is one of the most educated people. They have vast knowledge on health, how the human body moves and functions and science among many others. That knowledge is very beneficial not only to the clients but also to the physical therapist. This is why it is a respected career.
5. You can start your own practice
People who have studied physical therapy can opt to start their own practice if they have capital. They do not necessarily have to be employed by under someone else or an institution. A large number of physical therapist has been able to run their own practices successfully.
Disadvantages of being a physical therapist
1. Long time in school
People who decide to take studies in this field usually take a long time in school. Whereas the average undergraduate school can take between 3 to 4 years, additional studies are required. After completing the undergraduate degree, one might have to spend time at a physical therapy school so that they can become professionals.
2. Being a physical therapy is demanding
The job is very demanding on both your time and physical capabilities. One will have to stay fit so that they comfortably go about the duties of this job. For that reason, one will have to ensure that they are getting enough rest and are maintaining a balanced diet.
3. Renewal of license
As stated above, for one to practice, they need have obtained a license that allows them to. However, this license has to be renewed every two years so that one can continue practicing. People who are renewing their licenses have to ensure that they are aware of the new treatment procedures and new regulations. They might have to attend a training before going to renew their license. If one does not renew the license, they will not be allowed to practice.
4. Cost of education
Attaining an undergraduate degree is expensive in physical therapy. One might be forced to take a student loan if they are not able to cover all the tuition fee by themselves. In addition, making the choice to specialize will require advanced training thus one will have to face more expenses.
5. Difficulty in dealing with patients
As one practice, they will meet with all kinds of patients. It might not be easy dealing with them as they might be suffering from trauma in the case of those who suffered a grievous injury. One might easily become overwhelmed with the job especially if the client is difficult or is responding slowly to the treatment.
To conclude, there are many pros and cons of being a physical therapist. If you are looking to decide on whether or not you want to become one, you should carefully consider all that comes with it. You can also interact with professionals in this field so that they can give an insight on what they think of it as a career. However, physical therapists are highly respected for the great work that they put into helping their patients. In return, they also feel honored when they make a positive difference in someone’s life.