Physical therapists help rehabilitate patients who are stricken with conditions brought about by a disease or injury. A few examples of conditions that physical therapy can help treat are: strokes, broken bones, arthritis, severe back pain, cerebral palsy and all sorts of sports related injuries. They teach therapeutic techniques and provide their services to patients to help relieve their pain, improve their range of motion and help them physically and mentally deal with what sometimes ends up being a permanent condition.
A physical therapy treatment schedule will usually include the use of several different techniques and pieces of equipment to successfully provide the ideal effects listed above. Some of the equipment and techniques used are: ultrasonic machines, whirlpool baths, parallel bars and massages. Physical therapists will also teach their patients stretches and exercise routines that they can do by themselves that will supplement the treatment and speed up the rehabilitation process.
Physical therapists can specialize in geriatrics, pediatrics, orthopaedics, neurology or one of the many other specialties available. Becoming a specialist is not a requirement and many physical therapists opt to practice general physical therapy. There are many different job opportunities available. They can work in outpatient clinics, long-term care institutions, hospitals, research centers, schools, workplaces and fitness centers.
They usually work as one part of a whole team of health care professionals including chiropractors and dieticians who develop and maintain programs for their patients. Another part of their job is to show the patients and their families or friends how to use and care for the medical equipment that the patient is using. A few devices that could be the subject of an instructional lesson are: prosthetic limbs, crutches, wheelchairs and braces.
Recording a patientâ€™s balance, motor functions, muscle endurance and strength, updating treatment schedules and issuing progress reports are all part of a physical therapist’s day-to-day job duties.Â The following is a list of activities that physical therapists are qualified to do:
- Conduct an extensive evaluation of each patient or client.
- Develop a diagnosis and a treatment plan.
- Offer consulting services in their area of expertise and decide whether or not a patient needs to be referred to another specialist.
- Personally conduct physical therapy treatment techniques.
- Monitor the effects of the treatment and update the plan accordingly.
- Provide professional recommendations to clients to help them manage their physical activities.
Physical therapists must possess strong social skills in order to manage their patientâ€™s treatment schedules effectively and to properly educate both the patients and their families about the physical therapy treatments they have been scheduled for. They must also be optimistic and compassionate individuals who are motivated to provide help for those who need it.