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Physical Therapists Help Recovery

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The main part of a physical therapist’s (PT) job is to help their patients return to full activity. Most of the time they work with patients who are recovering from surgery, which can be both athletes and nonathletes. They help the patients relearn how to walk and run if they had surgery on their leg, or to write if they have surgery on their hand or arm. PTs work closely with surgeons for rehabilitation both before and after to strengthen muscles and regain full movement. They examine and determine each patient’s needs and set goals for the patient. The PT monitors the patient’s progress throughout their recovery and changes the patient’s plan if necessary.
PTs have many different treatments that they use on their patients. Massaging and whirlpool baths to loosen and relax muscles are just two of the many treatments PTs perform daily. They also use ice or cold water baths to reduce swelling and heat to relieve pain. One form of strength training that is common for PTs to use is water therapy in exercise pools if the patient cannot walk yet. After a patient’s surgery, their PT will massage the scar tissue to keep it from hardening and making the scar bigger. A PT will work with athletes after an injury so they can regain coordination, strength, endurance, range of motion, and flexibility.
PTs can work in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, or fitness centers, but they often work in weight facilities so their patients can do their strength training. Occasionally PTs will go to the patient’s home if they are unable to leave due to their injury. Most PTs work a normal 40 hour work week but some will work from ten in the morning to seven at night so patients can come after work. A PT’s salary can range from $55,000 to...

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... PT field, and I will be required to complete a “creative component” before graduating. In graduate school, I will obtain a Master of Science (M.S.) in Kinesiology. I can do many things once I have my M.S., either entering a doctoral program or further PT school.
I must become a licensed PT before practicing in the United States. I can become licensed by graduating from a college with an approved physical therapy program and then passing a state licensing exam. When I am practicing physical therapy, I will be required to continue my professional development by taking education courses and attending workshops. If I work in a hospital setting, I may have the opportunity to advance to a supervising position. After getting work experience, I may decide to specialize in an area such as sports medicine or geriatrics, depending on where I want to end up working.
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