According to LMC Pre-Physical Therapy program advisor Jill Claeys, physical therapy is a satisfying and rewarding field. It is a profession for those who are "people oriented" and are willing to focus on dedicated study.
The five to six years of diligent study and clinical practice spent in post-secondary physical therapy education will provide you with the knowledge and professional skills for a rewarding and secure career.
To be successful in physical therapy, you need to
- have a strong science and math background
- be motivated and have good work ethics
- have good written and verbal communication skills
- have the knowledge to administer treatments to improve patient's lifestyles
- understand the needs and goals of patients
In a profession where patients are vulnerable, it is critical to be able to read verbal and non-verbal cues, communicate clearly, exercise patience, and make your patient feel comfortable. It is important to remember that you are not just working with the patient, but you are working in conjunction with the patient's family, physician, and other medical teams. Because of this, good interpersonal skills are essential.
Upon graduation from an accredited physical therapy program, students are required to pass a licensure exam before they can practice as a therapist. Some states also require continuing education for licensure maintenance.