The physical therapist is someone who works with a patient who has a physical disability, caused by a disease or an accident. The therapist works with medical professionals and with their combined efforts they try to create a program which will rehabilitate the patient in time. This type of program can take months in some cases, or years in others. The therapist’s goal is to allow the patient to recover and to restore the lost functions, to improve their mobility, to get rid or to lessen the pain, or it can be an attempt to prevent a physical disability from becoming permanent.
When they’re trying to develop that therapy program, therapists will look at the medical history of the patient, but they will also do some more tests, testing things like the balance, the coordination, strength, motion range, respiration, motor function, muscle performance or the posture. The patients are monitored as they do these exercises and their progress is documented. In most cases these therapists will be found in physical therapy clinics or in hospitals.
In order to become a physical therapist, one has to at least have a bachelor’s degree, but it’s much better if they have a master’s degree. There are many schools out there which offer this type of degree program that is accepted by APTA. At first, the preparation course for the NPTE exam covers basic things like physics, chemistry or biology, but it advances to human development and growth, biomechanics, therapeutic procedures and examination techniques, to name a few.
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The requirements for licensing are different for each state. In most cases, the therapists need both a degree and a state or national license exam which has to be passed. The name of the exam is NPTE and the one administering it is FSBPT. The exam is taken on a computer and it takes up to 5 hours.