Physical Therapy/Therapist

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About the Physical Therapy/Therapist Major

As human beings, we're constantly on the move with daily exercise, sports, walking, sitting down, getting up, and even standing. It's only natural that our bodies will eventually (or immediately!) need help from rehabilitative experts.

Physical Therapists are health care professionals who help restore, relieve, and improve the physical heath of patients of all ages. They work closely with patients to prevent illness and injury and help people with disabilities overcome barriers. Injured athletes, senior citizens dealing with arthritis, and developmentally disabled individuals are all examples of people that might receive help from a physical therapist to improve their flexibility, strength, or range of motion.

Physical therapists practice in outpatient clinics, hospitals, health centers, nursing homes, schools, fitness centers, sports training facilities, and rehabilitation centers.   

A major in Physical Therapy encompasses studies in life sciences, mathematics, and psychology. In addition, students are encouraged to take classes that will develop their interpersonal skills so they'll be prepared to communicate effectively with patients.

To become a Physical Therapist, students have to receive a graduate degree from an accredited physical therapy program and take the national and state licensure exams. Students aren't required to select a certain undergraduate major to be eligible for admission to a graduate physical therapy program, but course work in kinesiology, exercise science, and social sciences are helpful preparation. Graduate programs are three to four years in length and include advanced classes in clinical and applied science, patient management, and clinical residencies. Most physical therapy programs have transitioned from a Master's of Physical Therapy to a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree program.

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