Physical Therapy Careers - Video

Physical therapy is a popular health care profession. People who work in physical therapy help patients who have mobility problems that are a result of an injury or illness.

Physical Therapy Overview

People who suffer from broken bones, back pain, heart problems, neurological conditions and other illnesses or injuries can sometimes experience problems with mobility and body function. When this happens, doctors often refer these people to physical therapy professionals.

Physical therapy professionals provide treatment to patients who need to develop or restore mobility. Treatment may include exercises, massage, hot and cold compresses, electrical stimulation and ultrasound technology. Physical therapy professionals work side-by-side with patients until function and mobility either improves or is completely restored.

Careers in Physical Therapy

Most students who study physical therapy eventually go on to work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, fitness facilities and private practices as physical therapists, physical therapist assistants or physical therapist aides.

Physical therapists have the most training and are typically responsible for examining patients, recommending treatments and monitoring patient progress. These professionals often work directly with doctors and other health care professionals.

Physical therapist assistants and aides help therapists provide treatment to patients. Assistants always work under the direct supervision of physical therapists. Specific job duties may include providing massages, electrical stimulation and other aspects of patient treatment.

Aides can take direction from both physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. Unlike assistants, aides cannot perform clinical work. Instead, they concentrate on clerical work and moving patients from one area to another. Aides may also be responsible for preparing and cleaning treatment areas.

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