Therapy Plus: Five Ways to Enhance your Physical Therapy Degree

 01 - 04 - 14
Uncategorized News
Physical therapists help injured people and the elderly regain their strength and mobility. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, physical therapists have skills that are in great demand in both today’s market and in the future. Becoming a practicing physical therapist in the United States often takes a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, residency or internship experience, and a license obtained through a comprehensive, state-sponsored exam. Here are five ways that physical therapists enhance their already-stellar credentials through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS).

1. Geriatrics

One of the main groups driving demand for physical therapists are seniors, and physical therapists who wish to gain from this demand may take a credential exam formulated by the ABPTS. To obtain a geriatric specialist certification, one must already have a license to practice physical therapy in the United States. The therapist must then pay the application and examination fees and sit for the test. However, the specialization in geriatric physical therapy is not for everyone and requires excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Physical therapists who pursue the geriatric physical therapy certification are required to show that they have had over 2,000 hours of direct patient care with a majority of the hours completed within the last ten years.

2. Sports

A physical therapist who chooses a career in sports medicine must possess a few credentials to even be considered eligible to sit for the qualifying exams. First, they must already have a degree in physical therapy like the one obtained through the transitional DPT program at Rocky Mountain University. Second, certifications in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Emergency Medical Responders, Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic, and Athletic Trainer are needed by licensed physical therapists to qualify to take the specialized Sports Medicine certification exam.

3. Women’s Health

Physical therapists who want the specialty certification in Women’s Health must have 2,000 hours of documented direct patient care or equivalent. The equivalent requirement is to participate in a clinical residency sponsored by the American Physical Therapy Association specifically for Women’s Health.

4. Pediatrics

Physical therapists who want the specialty certification in Pediatrics must have 2,000 hours of documented direct patient care or the equivalent in the form of a clinical residency in Pediatrics. The direct patient care activities that are required in the documented 2,000 hours include but are not limited to patient examination, evaluation, diagnosis, and intervention.

5. Orthopedics

Physical therapists with this type of specialized certification work beside orthopedic surgeons to bring increased mobility and pain relief through the treatment of muscles, ligaments, and bones. To sit for the specialized certification exam, a physical therapist must have the standard documented 2,000 hours of direct patient care or its equivalent.
While meeting the degree and licensing requirements to become a practicing physical therapist is a wonderful accomplishment, the top physical therapists are beginning to differentiate themselves from the competition by specializing in an area that particularly interests them. According to labor organizations, employers reward the therapists who seek certifications because those certifications represent continued education and training in a high demand field.

Guest Post by Anica Oaks

A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica is a full-time freelance writer. She has already published articles for a variety of industries, ranging from technology to beauty to health. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related.

Reviews are closed.