A Guide To Careers: Physical Therapy

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 4. Who Should Become a Physical Therapist?

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NickT
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PostSubject: 4. Who Should Become a Physical Therapist?   Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:15 pm

Who Should Become a Physical Therapist?
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You may be asking yourself if you are right for the job. Well, one of the ways to find out if you are is to see if you have what it takes. As aforementioned, you need to have good people skills, the ability to adapt to and use many different instruments, and also a vast knowledge of injuries and medical procedures. Here, we’ll go step-by-step through some of the skills it is imperative to have in order to become a physical therapist.

Patience:
Patience is a virtue; it is also mandatory to become a physical therapist of any kind. Of course, depending on your specialty, it could be more important than other qualities. This is especially true if you are planning on going into Pediatric Therapy. As many of us know, children can be a handful at any age, and not always the most willing to cooperate. It is important to remain calm and patient to work your clients through something as simple as a pulled muscle, or as drastic as muscular dystrophy.

Self-Assurance:
This is very simple. If you aren’t confident in your ability as a physician, your patients won’t be either. Of course, your confidence must be backed up with results too. Take the time to assess and diagnose the problem, and then provide a professional, accurate treatment. Some will be more difficult than others. In the world of physical therapy, every day is a new day. Each day possesses a new challenge. You have to be ready to conquer it.

Resourcefulness:
In order to be a successful physical therapist your creativity and resourcefulness must be used. As mentioned above, each day is a new challenge. Perhaps you have a child in a wheelchair that you need to come up with a fitness routine for? Or a toddler with cerebral palsy? No two of your jobs are similar. You need to come up with creative solutions to solve them all.

People Skills:
You need to be able to work with all kinds of people such as teachers, other doctors, parents and patients (some with debilitating injuries). You’ll need to make the patients feel comfortable and taken care of. And teach the parents understand how to help their child, or the child how to cope with the disability. Talk medical jargon with other doctors, or work with special needs teachers to make sure the student gets the attention they need.

Maturity:
Your maturity needs to be at a high level too. Whether engaging in serious discussions with other doctors, or comforting a frightened patient. No matter what specialty of physical therapy you go into, you will at some point have to work with children. If you cannot handle working with delicate procedures or injured patients, you should avoid this career in its entirety.

Listening Skills:
Keep your eyes and ears open. You will always be learning new things, getting used to new equipment or procedures. There will always be room and time to refine your skills. Never get too confident.

That’s about it. Although to go along with your listening skills, you will need a willingness to learn, and a willingness to benefit people. This is a very important and very demanding career. But the reward is well worth the time.

The next section will deal with how to prepare for a career in physical therapy starting in high school.
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A Guide To Careers: Physical Therapy :: The Guide to Becoming a Physical Therapist :: I. Introduction-
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