Being a Physical Therapist can be a frustrating but ultimately life-fulfilling career path for empathetic people. It revolves around helping people of all ages, genders and colors who have been injured somehow or have an illness that prevents them from moving efficiently. This is where physical therapists come in. They analyze a patients history, circumstances, and use physical examination to come up with a diagnosis and set the foundation for a management plan to make the patient better through righteous fitness, establishing a healthy diet, providing them with medicine all whilst minimizing pain and keeping the patient’s optimism high.
As one can imagine, this is not an easy job. Many patients are in a lot of pain, and are cynical in their hopes of recovery. As a result they do not give the physical therapist their all—which is usually what the management plan requires for the best results. Physical therapists need to be skilled and flexible with their approach, as they will encounter numerous personality types over the course of their career.
What students learn as a physical therapist
Being a physical therapist is an important job, and as a result studying for it encompasses several different fields of study. One field is biology, the study of natural life, and another is the study of human anatomy, which is about the form and structure of the human body and how each structural feature relates to one another.
But physicality isn’t the only thing that a physical therapist needs to learn. After all, the mental stability of the patient is just as important as their physical state. This is why physical therapists also learn social psychology. This enables them to further sympathize with patients, even when the patients aren’t treating them very well.
Types of Physical Therapy
Seeing as though there are many types of people that need a physical therapist, there are several types of physical therapy.
- Orthopedic physical therapy focuses on the musculo-skeletal system. These commonly have to do with people suffering from sports injuries, people with arthritis and amputees. Treatment includes electrical simulation, hot and cold packs as well as strength training.
- Geriatric physical therapy usually deals with older people. Common treatment is need for those who suffer from arthritis, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. The main treatment focus here is reducing pain and increasing fitness and mobility.
- Neurological Physical Therapy focuses on people who have neurological disorders, such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease and those who have suffered a stroke. Usually, people with these disorders have paralysis, trouble seeing, are unable to keep balance and cannot function by themselves and are dependent on others—it is up to therapists to try their best and improve these problems as much as possible.
- Of course, there are many more types of therapy, but this general overview should give one an idea of how big of a field physical therapy is. With this knowledge in mind, students can specialize in on therapy that is close to their heart.
The benefits of online learning
Taking physical therapy courses online is an excellent idea for several reasons, but the main draw is simple: Physical therapists need to be fit enough to lift their patients and assist them in standing or walking. Staying in shape whilst taking a full on college course traditionally is difficult, but if one takes the course online they gain the ability to plan their own schedule, granting them time to keep going to the gym whilst keeping their grades up.