If you are interested in a profession in the medical industry that is very hands on, but does not involve doing surgery or working in an office all day, a physical therapy degree might be just right.Especially geared toward individuals who enjoy physical fitness, sports medicine and helping patients one on one, PT jobs are a great in-between that can be very fun, very rewarding, and make a real difference in other people’s lives.While all doctors and medical personnel help people, a physical therapist is frequently the last specialist to work with patients after surgical procedures or illness, and through sometimes very long treatment processes, so they get to experience not only the hard work and the pain of therapy, but the joys of helping people get well again.For a real people-person, going to school to become a physical therapist could be a wonderful career choice.Physical Therapy RequirementsThe educational requirements for someone to get a PT degree includes first obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree (which is required for entry into any physical therapy programs), and then completing a graduate program at any one of a number of accredited physical therapy schools.A few graduate programs offer early guaranteed admissions programs for some students as well, where the students gain guaranteed future acceptance into the PT program while they are still high school students, and as long as they complete a required set of undergraduate college courses first.In either case, it is of great importance that students make sure to choose only Commission on Accreditation in PT Education (CAPTE) accredited courses so that they fulfill the necessary educational requirements, both as undergraduate and graduate students or they will not be permitted to sit for their licensing examination.Once enrolled in a program, there are two different degrees that a PT can earn, either a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT), or a Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) or Master of Science in Physical Therapy (MSPT). DPT programs are professional entry-level degrees that all physical therapists must complete.MPT or MSPT programs are continued education, specialty programs that can be taken after a physical therapist has earned their DPT. The DTP physical therapy degree program typically takes three years to complete. Upon obtaining their degree, physical therapists may then take their board licensure examination so they can become employed in their field.In the UK, degree qualifications differ slightly in that schooling requirements to become a PT are currently that of a Bachelor’s Degree in Physiotherapy, only, with the DPT degree considered to be post-professional, continued education. However, this is supposed to change within the next few years, to where UK PTs will all be required to earn a DPT degree as well.Physical Therapy JobsIn order to hold a job as a physical therapist, professionals must have passed their state licensure exam so they may practice in their state. If they relocate to another area, a PT must take the licensing exam for that state in order to be allowed to get a new job.In the US alone, there are close to 200,000 physical therapists licensed to practice at many different types of facilities, with many more individuals working as physical therapists in other countries.PTs are employed by both inpatient and outpatient hospital facilities, physical therapy clinics, fitness centers, skilled nursing centers, extended care facilities, schools, hospices, educational and research facilities, private workplaces and sports medicine practices all over the world.Main duties include assessing patient initial condition, implementing prescribed physical therapy requests by referring physicians, teaching proper use of physical therapy equipment, tailoring therapy to each patient’s ability and progression, and carefully monitoring that progress and reporting it back to the referring physician.Physical Therapy SalaryEntry-level salary for a PT in the US is around $80,000 annually as of 2011, according to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). In the UK, starting salary according to the National Health Service (NHS) is £21,176 – £27,534 (band 5).In both cases, PT salary rates rises substantially with experience and years on the job, and can increase up to as much as $100,000 or more in the US and up to band 7 (£40,157) in the UK (or higher in the private sector). Naturally, PTs who specialize will make slightly more than the base salary brackets.Interested individuals who would like to learn more about physical therapy schools and program accreditation should contact their country’s professional association for physical therapists, which will be able to point prospective students in the right direction.
As the healthcare industry on a whole has increased in recent years, and continues to do so today, there are more employment opportunities than ever before.One of the only industries that has seen this continued growth despite uncertain economic times, there is no better time than now to make any dreams of becoming a physical therapist a reality.Students preparing to leave high school and considering which colleges to apply to should consider the many physical therapy schools out there if they are interested in a medical career that does not involve actual medicine and surgery itself, but are after a more hands-on position, such as that of a physical therapist or rehabilitation specialist.Educational Requirements for Physical TherapistsBecoming a physical therapist involves extensive training, as well as completion of a postgraduate degree.In order for someone to earn their DPT (doctorate in physical therapy), students must first complete a bachelor’s degree with emphasis on becoming a physical therapist, and then be accepted to – and graduate – a specialized postgraduate program for physical therapists.A few schools still award an MPT (Master of Physical Therapy) or MSPT (Master of Science in Physical Therapy) degree, but those degrees are currently being phased out in many countries including the US, Canada and the UK, so that all physical therapists will then earn the same degree, the DPT.Postgraduate physical therapy programs usually last three years and include professional externships and clinical rotations in order for students to gain actual, on the job experience in the field before they are finished their schooling.In total, students who have completed all necessary courses that have been geared toward becoming a physical therapist (such as taking appropriate sciences during undergraduate study) can expect to spend 7 years gaining their education in most cases. Once having graduated, students may then take licensing examinations anywhere they are required for employment.Choosing the Right Physical Therapy SchoolsThe main concern that any prospective physical therapy students should have when choosing physical therapy schools is that the school is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) in the US, by the Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC) in Canada, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in the UK or their country’s specific accreditation board in order to assure they are getting the best possible education and training.It has become almost unheard of at this point for any physical therapy schools to not be accredited, but students should be sure before enrolling, since earning their degree, obtaining licensure, and future employment will likely be affected if the school attended is not accredited by one of these organizations.Students with questions about a school’s accreditation are recommended to contact their local accreditation board to inquire about the program, and determine whether it is an acceptable one in order for them to achieve their professional goals of becoming a physical therapist.Other than determining the appropriate accreditation when considering the different physical therapy schools, there are other questions students will want to ask if they are particularly motivated to get their education finished as quickly as possible so that they may commence employment.Some schools will accept certain science and health courses that are taken as undergraduates, crediting them toward their postgraduate degree rather than having the student take the same course again.Also, it is sometimes possible to take externship training while still finishing classroom courses, or there are even some schools that will graduate students before their externship, although they may not sit for their licensing exams before they have completed their on the job training.Admission To SchoolsAnother consideration for high school students who are particularly advanced and already know they are going to pursue a career in physical therapy is applying for early admission to a number of physical therapy schools who offer it.Early admission to these programs guarantees a student admission to their physical therapy school once they have completed undergraduate study, with the added benefit that they can have the extra guidance as to which undergraduate courses to take in order to finish their postgraduate study faster than those students accepted through regular admissions.The good news is that there are hundreds of quality, accredited physical therapy schools available where interested students can enroll and get their degree.Becoming a licensed physical therapist will take hard work and dedication, but the profession enjoys one of the highest rates of job satisfaction of any profession, as well as a very competitive salary, making it all worthwhile.
Getting a physical therapy degree takes time, hard work and dedication. It requires 7 to 8 years of college education and clinical experience learning for those wishing to become degreed, licensed professionals who are eligible for employment as a physical therapist.Physical therapy programs or `PT Programs` are a demanding course of study, but the good news is it is also one of the professions that provide the highest amounts of personal satisfaction to those in the field.Not only do PTs enjoy the benefits of ease of finding employment due to an increasing demand, as well as a highly competitive salary, these professionals report the highest levels of satisfaction and self worth in that they have made a difference in other people’s lives, a feeling that is invaluable.Educational Requirements for a Physical Therapy DegreeStudents interested in becoming a PT must first complete four years of undergraduate learning at an accredited college or university.It is recommended to know ahead of time which PT program the student will likely apply to, and understand their prerequisite requirements in order to make the most efficient use of undergraduate time, enrolling in the courses that will help the student gain acceptance into their program of choice.In most cases, prerequisite classes include English classes, maths and sciences, providing the essential base education on which the more specialized sciences and other classes in their physical therapy major will build on.In order to receive a PT degree, students must first earn their Bachelor’s degree, and then graduate a physical therapy postgraduate program to receive their degree of DPT, Doctor of Physical Therapy.Postgradute learning is largely done in the clinical setting, although there are some classroom courses as well. Working externships are a required part of obtaining their degree as well. Then, once graduated, students can take their licensing examination in order to be eligible for employment as a licensed physical therapist.Transitional Physical Therapy DegreeRecently, there have been some changes made to the degree earned by physical therapists, requiring some professionals to update their degree from what has been termed a “transitional” DPT degree to the now accepted professional DPT degree.In the past, there were two degrees offered depending on the physical therapy school, either the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), or the Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) or Master of Science in Physical Therapy (MSPT).With how the profession has grown in the past 10 years or so, and the desire to standardize educational and professional requirements to obtain degrees, most countries now recognize the DPT as the main degree, and most schools have updated their curriculum’s so that they now offer this degree as well.These changes, and this necessity to update degrees, stems from the public perception of the degree of “doctor” as opposed to “master”, and the need to continually update the education of those practitioners who have been in the field for a while, as therapies have gone through great change in recent years.Updates On MSPT DegreesIt has been stated by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) that by the year 2020, all clinicians graduating from physical therapy programs will earn the degree of Doctor of Physical Therapy, and the MPT or MSPT degrees will no longer be recognized. Physical therapy schools are required to offer only a DPT degree by 2015.Those PTs holding a degree of MPT or MSTP, or even DPT degrees which for some reason do not carry the same educational and clinical experience requirements as most others, are being encouraged to take the necessary transitional courses to receive their upgraded, professional DPT degree.As the main governing professional organizations like the APTA in the US and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) in the UK begin to finalize the standardization of degree requirements, it is likely any PTs holding an MPT, MSPT or a t-DPT (transitional DPT, for graduates of programs currently being changed to fit created standards) will be required to take continuing education courses to elevate their transitional degrees to the new, accepted professional DPT.PT School RecommendationsRecommendations for those interested in enrolling in school to become a PT is to find a program that is accredited by their country’s professional accreditation organization, ensure that the degree offered is the professional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), and then find out which courses should be taken during undergraduate education to increase the chance of acceptance into the program of choice.Most PT degree programs do not have open enrollment, meaning they accept only the best students who are prepared for the demanding clinical work ahead in order to earn their degree.With the right preparation, and making sure to apply to the right schools, a student will have the best chance of success in gaining the best education and then getting the best position as a qualified physical therapist.
Today there is an increased demand for physical therapists, one of the fastest growing segments of the medical and healthcare industry.It has been estimated that through the year 2020, general demand for medical professionals will continue to rise about 14% each year, but according to recent data by the US Department of Labor demand for physical therapists will increase as much as 39%.This means that there has never been a better time for attending one of the 211 accredited physical therapy colleges in the US, as well as the many others in Canada, the UK and other countries.With so much opportunity ahead, the physical therapy field is growing in leaps and bounds, providing an exciting professional landscape for students entering this field.Accreditation is Everything with Physical Therapy CollegesThe profession of physical therapy has become a highly competitive one in recent years considering the many, newer therapies being developed and used today, health insurance companies changing outlook on these therapies, and increased demand for licensed PTs to perform them.For this reason, students looking to enter the field should know ahead of time that while there are a vast number of new positions opening up every year, it is still important to attend the best program possible.Employers will be looking for the cream of the crop each year, which will of course graduate from better, accredited physical therapy colleges.The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) are the main professional organizations in the US that involve themselves with ensuring the quality of approved physical therapy program offerings.In the UK, it is the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy overseeing educational courses, and in Canada, the Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC).Physical Therapy Colleges and PT LicensesThrough these organizations, educational programs for the physical therapist are monitored to ensure they continue to deliver the highest quality of education to their students, that which is necessary in order to successfully pass the board-issued licensing examination (in the US) and to have success in the field.Accreditation by these institutes allows students to be confident they will have access to the best education and training possible.Prospective students are cautioned to verify accreditation of their school of choice by checking with the above-mentioned organizations in order to have the best professional opportunity once they have graduated college.Failure to graduate an accredited physical therapy program will cause students to be ineligible to sit for their state licensing examination (in the US), which is required for employment as a PT, and may make them ineligible for certain employment opportunities depending on each country’s employment requirements.Acceptance to Physical Therapy Colleges is Hard Work… but Worth ItGiven how competitive and selective the profession of physical therapy is today, getting accepted to an accredited program is not easy, either, but putting in the necessary effort is well worth it in the long run.Physical therapists earn a respectable median salary of around $76,000 annually, but beyond that, they also tend to have some of the highest personal satisfaction levels with their job, which equates to a great way for people to spend their day.If loving your job and being happy to go to work is a priority, becoming a physical therapist is one of the professions that will give you that, apparently.Since not everyone is going to succeed in their college career in becoming a PT, it is important that prospective students be as prepared as possible for the challenges that lie ahead of them.The application process for most accredited schools can be lengthy, with many requirements such as having a certificate in CPR, passing a background check and having previous clinical observation or volunteer experience at a PT facility.Additionally, most schools require at least one, if not more than one, letters of recommendation from a physical therapy practitioner stating that the student is a good candidate for a PT program.Be PreparedAcademically, the requirements are steep. Many more people apply to physical therapy colleges each year than are accepted, and many times the reason is because of lack of preparation on the student’s part.Most PT schools recommend that students who may already have it in mind that they might consider a career as a physical therapist start early by taking higher level English, math and science classes in high school, and continue the same in their undergraduate schooling.PT programs can usually provide a recommended curriculum for undergraduate students so they can complete as many required classes as possible before actually applying to the program, which will both increase their chance of acceptance and give the student more time to focus on technical courses if accepted.Naturally, the students with the best grades and college preparatory exam scores (SAT, ACT, etc) overall will receive more consideration, too.Those applying to an accredited physical therapy college need to be exemplary students in order for consideration, and even then there will still be a lot of competition. Preparation is the key to earning the best chance at acceptance, and that should start in the senior year of high school.Those who work hard and make the cut, then graduate their PT programs, will be rewarded with a great career helping people, and the financial and personal successes that go along with it.
Becoming a physical therapist involves between 6 and 7 years of advanced education and numerous clinical experience segments.While online education can be helpful to some in helping them to obtain their degree, there are a number of majors – physical therapy being one of them – in which hands-on education is critical to the student.Because of this, there are no fully online physical therapy programs, although it may be possible for students to take some of their education online, especially prerequisite classes.Educational Requirements for Physical TherapistsIn order for an individual to gain their Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, they must fulfill a number of educational requirements. An undergraduate 4 year Bachelor’s degree is the first of these necessities.It can usually be taken from any school, although top schools do recommend concentrating on a study course that includes any prerequisite classes in order to gain easier acceptance into a PT program.These are usually English courses, maths, sciences and some sociology and social science classes. A list of prerequisite courses is generally available from the different physical therapy programs, and getting those classes taken care of earlier in a student’s educational career can be extremely helpful, leaving the student more time for their technical courses and clinical experiences.After completing their Bachelor’s degree, students who are accepted to a physical therapy program – and who have presumably completed the necessary prerequisites and general education classes – students move on to the technical portion of their education.This will involve lab classes where techniques are practiced on each other, more technical and difficult science and medical classes, and most importantly, numerous segments of clinical experience education. After completing all of these specialized requirements, students then graduate with their degree of Doctor of Physical Therapy.Online Education going ForwardSince the second portion of their training is so technical and intensive, most schools do not offer online programs. Most of the experience that students will gain is based on hands on learning and practice, which is something that cannot be duplicated in an online environment.Other than some of the more basic required courses, students should be wary of programs offering technical courses working toward a degree in physical therapy in an online format.For those seeking the ability to study online, a recommendation is to look into Bachelor’s programs geared toward medical and physical therapy post-graduate education that sometimes offer a good portion of their classes online.Since these are usually very general classes, and are not necessarily technical courses for the physical therapy major, many schools do offer them online. So, while it is not exactly the same thing as taking an online physical therapy program, it can at least offer the flexibility of distance learning through the first four years.A Note About AccreditationAnyone studying to become a physical therapist should take note that when applying to programs, accreditation is essential. In order for students to gain their DPT and be eligible to take their licensing examination, they must have graduated from a physical therapy program that is accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).Failure to do so means that graduating students will likely end up in a position where they still need to fulfill certain educational requirements at an accredited institution, which will only slow down their process of becoming a licensed DPT.According to the APTA, of all their currently accredited physical therapy educational courses, there are only two that offer a considerable amount of the classroom coursework via online programs formats, those being Nova Southeastern University and University of St Augustine for Health Sciences, both of which are in Florida. Although they offer a considerable portion of their classwork through distance learning, students are still required to complete all necessary clinical experiences in order to earn their degrees.While it may be disappointing to some to know that they may not be able to take an online program, this should be looked at as a means of judging whether or not this type of degree is really right.Educational requirements are intense, so students who are unable to devote the time to the learning process may not do as well in these programs. Not just that, but once they have their degree, the job itself is just as intense, being very busy professionals in an ever-increasing portion of the medical industry.On the other hand, those students who manage to put aside the time to get their degree even though they cannot enroll in online physical therapy programs usually end up in a highly rewarding, pleasurable “dream job” of sorts. This is a career that has been estimated to be one of the best, from peers and professionals actually doing the job.
A physical therapy assistant degree is required to work as an assistant in the physical therapy healthcare field. A graduate of a physical therapy assistant program earns an Associate in Applied Science Degree. The curriculum has to meet all of the accreditation requirements of the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. There are more than two hundred programs across the United States.Most two year programs are full time. Some schools offer their programs with only five regular semesters, and one summer term which is held right after the first year. Some schools offer a few of their courses online but accredited schools are not allowed to offer all of their classes online.That is because, hands-on training is required and this is done in person in a lab or clinical environment. The two year program typically consists of sixty-nine credits. To graduate, most schools require that students have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher.This healthcare program will prepare students for a career as a physical therapist assistant who works under the guidance of physical therapists, and will know how to performs many functions as a member of the team. This healthcare field continues to expand and the employment opportunities remain good for working in hospitals, out patient facilities, clinics, and home care.Standard Course WorkThe required classes for a degree usually include abnormal psychology, neuroanatomy and physiology, medical terminology, kinesiology and instrumentation for physical therapy, as well as advanced techniques.General education classes are also required such as English, psychology, biology, algebra, and speech. In combination with the above classes, students also receive hands-on training through clinical practice at local area health-care facilities.Other Skills That Are TaughtPhysical therapy assistants learn many types of exercises that will increase strength, coordination, endurance, as well as range of motion for clients. Additionally, they learn how to use different therapy treatments that use electricity, sound, water, cold and heat methods to alleviate pain and also to stimulate muscle activity.Students are taught how to use assistive devices like crutches, walkers, and wheel chairs. A significant part of the program consists of on-site clinical training where students practice their skills while they are being supervised by a licensed physical therapist.Students learn how to work under the direct supervision of physical therapists in a legal, ethical, and professional manner. They will know how to execute comprehensive treatment plans that have been developed by physical therapists.Also, students will be taught how to identify the outcomes for clients in a number of settings. Effective oral, non-verbal and written communications skills are also taught in this healthcare program.Enrolling In A Physical Therapy Assistant ProgramAcceptance into a physical therapy assistant program usually requires a very high grade point average in high school, especially in science courses, such as biology and chemistry. Applicants are expected to have some experience in community involvement such as volunteer work in the healthcare field. Some programs require a licensed physical therapist’s letter of recommendation as part of the application process.After Receiving A Physical Therapy Assistant DegreeAfter graduation, in order to work as a physical therapy assistant, most states require graduates to pass the National Physical Therapy Assistant Licensing examination. The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy regulates the National Physical Therapy Assistant Examination.Licensure ExaminationAll accredited programs will prepare students for their licensure exam. This preparatory course will be somewhat different from the actual exam. The real exam has about two hundred questions, and it might or might not be, entirely computer-based.There are multiple choice questions and the scoring system is on a scale from two hundred to eight hundred, where six hundred is the minimal passing score. The licensing exam is administered in all states every year and individuals have four hours to complete it. The subject areas that are generally covered in the exam are standards of care, intervention, ethics and codes.Employment OpportunitiesAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for this career are estimated to increase by forty-six percent from 2010 – 2020, and this is faster than most other occupations. Physical therapy assistant job levels are expected to improve because of the increasing healthcare needs of the growing senior population.
Find Physical Therapy Programs in the United States and Canada. There is a vast assortment of physical therapy programs from which to choose. For instance, if you have already attained a certain level of education from one of over 200 accredited physical therapy programs in the United States, you will find that that a number of schools and universities provide extended career training in Masters Degree in Physical Therapy, post-graduate Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs, as well as Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs.Depending on which physical therapy program in which you enroll, there are several specialized areas of study that are currently available. Various colleges and universities provide practical training in orthopedic physical therapy, geriatric physical therapy, neurological physical therapy, occupational physical therapy, cardiovascular/pulmonary rehabilitation, and pediatric physical therapy, among others.If you are more interested in becoming a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or physical therapy aide, there are also numerous physical therapy programs primarily designed for the future PTA in mind. Candidates learn how to work under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist after they have successfully graduated from an accredited Associate degree program.Associates in Physical Therapy programs often take approximately two years to complete and are the educational stepping stone for physical therapy assistants. Upon completion, graduates can go onto attaining their Bachelors, Masters or Doctorates and earn the right to become licensed physical therapists. Depending on the degree course, students can anticipate a curriculum in anatomy, CPR and first aid, physiology, biology, chemistry, and physics; and practical training in therapeutic modalities (including massage techniques, manual and mechanical therapies, etc.). While not all physical therapy schools offer the exact same curriculum, accredited physical therapy programs (by the American Physical Therapy Association APTA) must meet common, and basic educational standards; so while many may differ in specialized training, the academic foundations are very similar.Once training has been successfully completed in one of countless physical therapy programs, graduates can earn from $24k – $88k annually.* (Depending on level of education, experience and training.)If you (or someone you know) are interested in finding physical therapy programs, let professional training within fast-growing industries like massage therapy, cosmetology, acupuncture, oriental medicine, Reiki, and others get you started! Explore career school programs near you.*Salary Source: BLS (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)Physical Therapy Programs: Courses of Study© Copyright 2007The CollegeBound NetworkAll Rights ReservedNOTICE: Article(s) may be republished free of charge to relevant websites, as long as Copyright and Author Resource Box are included; and ALL Hyperlinks REMAIN intact and active.
Find Physical Therapy Education in the United States and Canada. Some of the many career paths that individuals can take once they’ve attained the appropriate level of physical therapy education include professions as of course, therapists, administrators, clinicians, consultants, educators, and researchers, among others. Depending on the direction which you take through your physical therapy education, you can expect to work in clinics, hospitals, nursing homes and private homes, rehabilitation centers and other medical healthcare facilities.With over 200 accredited physical therapy education programs from which to choose, prospective students can opt to participate in both Master Degree programs as well as Doctoral Degree programs. Once enrolled in a physical therapy education course, students learn about anatomy, biology, biomechanics, chemistry, human growth (and development), pathology, neuroanatomy and hands-on training in a variety of therapeutic methods. Additionally, physical therapy education students are often required to complete an internship or clinical training to successfully fulfill educational requirements. Upon degree achievement, graduates must gain licensure to practice in the United States. And, to maintain licensure, practicing physical therapists must take continuing physical therapy education.Before you enroll in a physical therapy education program, it is important to note that the career field often requires individuals to be in top physical condition; as physical therapists do a lot of bending, kneeling, stooping, crouching and other physical repetitions throughout the course of the workday. However, the benefits of this service job far outweigh the physical aspects of the occupation: Career outlook for physical therapists is “expected to grow much faster than average” than other occupations through the coming years. As well, median annual earnings range between $60,000 and $88,000+. (Incomes commensurate with level of experience and physical therapy education.)In addition to full-time physical therapist positions, physical therapy education programs are often offered to students with a desire to become occupational therapist assistants, physical therapist aides or assistants. These career-training programs include studies in anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology and CPR and first aid, among other relative subject matter. Students who successfully complete one of over 200 accredited physical therapist assistant programs in the United States, will earn an Associate’s Degree, and will have gained certification in both CPR and first aid. Physical therapy education for aides and assistants doesn’t stop at the school level; a matter of fact, on-the-job training is frequently provided by most employers. In addition, physical therapy aides and assistants have a potential earnings’ range from $24,000 to $52,000 annually.Furthermore, the scope of physical therapy education is not limited to conventional medicine. For example, continuing education is commonly offered in a variety of mind-body-spirit medicines like massage therapy, energy healing therapies, as well as holistic nutritional counseling.If you (or someone you know) are interested in finding physical therapy education, let professional training within fast-growing industries like massage therapy, cosmetology, acupuncture, oriental medicine, Reiki, and others get you started! Explore career school programs near you.Physical Therapy Education: Professional Careers in the Field© Copyright 2007The CollegeBound NetworkAll Rights ReservedNOTICE: Article(s) may be republished free of charge to relevant websites, as long as Copyright and Author Resource Box are included; and ALL Hyperlinks REMAIN intact and active.
Find Physical Therapy Universities in the United States and Canada. Become an expert in the field of physically therapy by attending one of several physical therapy universities where you can participate in various degree programs. Commonly, physical therapy universities provide 4-year programs in physiotherapy, which may lead to a Doctor of Physical Therapy, or a Masters in Physical therapy.Prospective students must complete a minimum of an undergraduate program in physiotherapy or related sciences prior to entry into physical therapy universities. In some cases, physical therapy universities do extend undergraduate studies so students can complete necessary academics for acceptance into one of these graduate/post-graduate courses.Currently there are over 200 accredited physical therapy programs at physical therapy universities, colleges and schools throughout the United States. Accreditation is important as graduates must attain this formal education in order to earn eligibility to take the national licensing examination. (Licensure is required by all States in the U.S.)Depending on which course of study you choose to pursue, there are at least 31 accredited Master of Physical Therapy programs, as well as over 170 Doctor of Physical Therapy degree programs available through physical therapy universities and colleges today, which makes earning a degree both convenient and readily accessible.The curricula at physical therapy universities includes studies in biology, biomechanics, chemistry, diagnostics, human growth and development, kinesiology, neuroanatomy, pathology and physical therapeutics. Studies are course-intensive and require a fair amount of dedication and willingness to strive for academic excellence. In addition, if you’re currently in high school and are aiming for a degree in physical therapy, it is wise to take associated science courses related to the field like sports medicine; or volunteering as an athletics trainer for the local football or baseball team. Furthermore, some physical therapy universities do provide Associate Degree programs to students pursuing a career as a physical therapist assistant or physiotherapy aide.Once you’ve enrolled in one of a number of physical therapy universities, and you’ve earned your professional degree, you can continue to grow professionally by not only taking required continuing education courses, but opting to attain board certification in several specialized areas of focus, like cardio-pulmonary physiotherapy, geriatric physical therapy, occupational therapy, and orthopedic physical therapy, among others.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, career outlook in both professional fields (physical therapist and physical therapist assistant) are expected to grow over the coming years.If you (or someone you know) are interested in finding physical therapy universities, let professional training within fast-growing industries like massage therapy, cosmetology, acupuncture, oriental medicine, Reiki, and others get you started! Explore career school programs near you.Physical Therapy Universities: Earn Your Degree
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Physical therapy is the treatment of functional limitations to prevent the onset or to retard the progression of physical impairments following illness or injury. Medicare pays for physical therapy in at least two contexts:I. Through the Part A hospital insurance benefit, Medicare pays for physical therapy as a component of skilled nursing care, in either the acute care setting or in a post-hospital skilled nursing facility. In order to qualify for reimbursement, such therapy must meet the criteria for skilled nursing care under 42 U.S.C. – 1495i. In order to qualify, a patient otherwise appropriate for Medicare must show a qualifying hospital stay of three or more days within the 30 days prior to entering the skilled nursing facility. A physician must order procedures for the patient that are appropriate to be performed only in a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF), such as rehabilitative therapy, and must certify that the patient’s condition is such that he or she can practically be cared for only in a SNF. In so certifying, the physician must determine that the patient’s condition should improve or achieve stability in response to curative care. The SNF medical staff is required to write a plan of care for each skilled nursing patient based upon the individual’s needs and circumstances. Upon satisfaction of those requirements, Medicare will pay for 100 days of skilled nursing care per-patient per-illness period – though after the first 20 days a co-payment of 20% is required of the patient. Once a patient qualifies, Medicare bears all expenses of the skilled nursing facility, including the patient’s custodial care and room and board (custodial care is not otherwise covered by Medicare). Typically, an SNF receives approximately $650 per day from Medicare for a qualifying skilled nursing patient.II. Additionally, through Part B supplemental insurance, Medicare reimburses for physical therapy under limited circumstances. In order to qualify for reimbursement, outpatient physical therapy services must: (1) be reasonable and medically necessary; (2) be furnished to a Medicare beneficiary under the care of a physician; (3) be furnished under a plan of care periodically recertified by a physician; and (4) be furnished by or under the direct supervision of qualified personnel.Medicare regulations require that physical therapy services be performed either (1) by a State-licensed physical therapist or (2) by or “incident to” the services of a physician or other medical professional licensed to perform such services under State law pursuant to 42 C.F.R. § 410.60. Under the “incident to” rule, a physician may bill for physical therapy services performed by non-physician personnel so long as those services are (a) commonly furnished in a physician’s office and integral to a physician’s covered services; (b) included in a treatment plan designed by the physician and in which the physician is actively involved; and (c) furnished under the physician’s direct supervision.In order to bill directly – rather than through a physician – a physical therapist must be State-licensed. Physical therapy services performed incident to a physician’s services may be performed by personnel without a license – however, such personnel must otherwise meet all qualifications of a licensed physical therapist including graduation from an approved physical therapy education program.Regardless of who performs physical therapy services to be billed to Medicare or Medicaid, such services must be furnished in accordance with a sufficient plan of care established by a physician or by the licensed physical therapist who performs the services. Under 42 C.F.R. § 410.60, the plan must “prescribe the type, amount, frequency, and duration of the physical therapy… to be furnished to the individual, and indicate the diagnosis and anticipated goals.”Abuse of the Therapy Medicare BenefitUnfortunately, fraud in physical therapy is rampant. In 1994, the Office of Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services published a report finding that 78% of physical therapy billed by physicians did not constitute true physical therapy. In 2006, OIG published another report, stating that a staggering 91% of physician physical therapy bills submitted in the first half of 2002 were deficient in at least one regard. Through intense investigation and research, we have identified and uncovered the following types of physical therapy fraud:(a) billing for therapy services performed by unqualified personnel;
(b) billing for therapy services that were never performed or only partially performed;
(c) billing for therapy services when, in fact, the service performed was unskilled, or amounted to maintenance therapy, or both, and did not constitute physical therapy;
(d) billing for therapy services performed under a deficient plan of care;
(e) billing under individual therapy codes for group therapy services.Under the federal and some state false claims acts, whistleblowers can file suit against fraudulent therapy and skilled nursing companies under seal and may share in as much as 25% (and in some circumstances 30%) of the award. Blowing the whistle on corporate fraud takes courage, however, and the law rewards that courage with certain protections. The False Claims Act provides for a whistleblower’s case to be filed under seal and for the identity of the whistleblower to be protected during the course of the government’s investigation. Further, federal laws protect against retaliation by mandating the reinstatement of wrongfully fired employees at the same seniority level, and an award of double back pay, interest, and attorneys’ fees. More than $22 billion of taxpayer funds have been recovered under the False Claims Act over the past two decades. Despite all of the efforts and success by government and private attorneys policing the Medicare program under the False Claims Act, the only way that such fraud can be fought effectively is for people with knowledge – industry insiders, administrators, nurses, and therapists – to come forward and say that enough is enough.