Doctors of Physical Therapy have both an intensive graduate education and clinical expertise to apply research and proven techniques to help people get back in motion. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices. Physical Therapists are trusted health care professionals with extensive clinical experience who examine, diagnose, and then prevent or treat conditions that limit the body’s ability to move and function in daily life.
Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. Physical therapists diagnose and treat people of all ages, including newborns, children, and elderly individuals. They may consult and practice with other health professionals to help you improve your mobility.
In most states, a potential client/patient can make an appointment with a physical therapist directly, without a physician’s referral.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, employment of physical therapists is expected to grow 30 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. Job opportunities should be particularly good in acute hospital, skilled nursing and orthopedic settings, where the elderly are most often treated.