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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Physical Therapy Jobs & Career Pathways

Choosing a major to pursue in college is all well and good, but are you sure that you’ve chosen a career that may be stable for many years to come? Thanks to the recent economic upheaval, many people who thought that they had job security in their chosen professions had to learn the hard way that not every industry is going to keep growing indefinitely. That’s why it’s important to choose a career in a field that is expected to experience growth and room for advancements well into the future. Experts have predicted that health care and medical service is one such industry, and if you’re considering a career as a physical therapist, you should know that government reports call for much faster than average growth i.e. 39% in this field for the next five to ten years, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010 Data. This means that the number of available jobs may be increasing, making room for new professionals and opportunities for advancement of senior practitioners.

Many people have a very limited idea of what physical therapy is, and which sorts of companies and organizations are likely to find themselves in need of well educated physical therapists. In case you’re just starting your research in this field, you should know that physical therapists are medical professionals that are responsible for examining, diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating those with physical limitations and disabilities, whether due to a birth defect, illness or injury. Therapists in this field are required not only to have a strong working knowledge of the latest medical and technological advances in the field of rehabilitation, but also to have strong communication skills and compassion for the patients that they are treating.

Physical therapy is different than most popular disciplines in that it requires more than just an undergraduate degree to be able to practice legally.

Positions and work environments in this industry may include home hospice services that cater to the elderly, sports rehabilitation clinics, nursing homes, military hospitals and the armed forces, schools, adult day care programs and also private practice. In some cases, accomplished physical therapists may also obtain teaching positions at universities and technical colleges.

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