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How To Become a Physical Therapist Easily

As a physiotherapist, you would be responsible for the physical and muscular well-being of individuals. This field offers significant potential for earning a respectable income, especially if you graduate from a reputable institution. Read more career blogs at college49.

Who is a Physical Therapist?

Physiotherapy is a scientific discipline focused on the treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation of individuals with physical disabilities. It is an ancient field that employs physical activities as therapeutic interventions to promote healing. In India, physiotherapists are often referred to as “Dr” due to the recognition of their expertise.

What does a Physical Therapist do?

Physiotherapy is a non-surgical approach aimed at reducing pain, restoring function, and enhancing the movement capabilities of affected body parts. This autonomous healthcare profession revolves around the study of various body systems and is dedicated to the science of movement.

If you are considering a medical career beyond MBBS and BDS, it is worth exploring the field of physiotherapy. It is a promising discipline to pursue after completing class 12, attracting many individuals interested in the medical field. Alongside MBBS and BDS, physiotherapy stands out as one of the most popular medical programs.

What Do a Physical Therapist’s Skills Have?

Here are some essential skills for Physiotherapists:

  1. Good Communication Skills
  2. Strong Interpersonal Skills
  3. Physical Health and Fitness
  4. Ability to Build Rapport with Patients
  5. Knowledge of Physical Therapy
  6. Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
  7. Pain Management
  8. Health and Wellness
  9. In-depth Knowledge of Neurology

What is the Eligibility Criteria for a Physical Therapist?

When aspiring to become a Physiotherapist, fulfilling specific eligibility criteria is of utmost importance. Here are some essential criteria that candidates must meet:

  1. Completion of the 10+2 level from a recognized board is mandatory. Candidates should have achieved a minimum aggregate of 50% or higher in their 10+2 examinations. The subjects of physics, chemistry, and biology should be the primary focus during this stage.
  2. Admission into renowned physiotherapy colleges in India requires candidates to successfully clear entrance exams such as NEET, CET, and other relevant examinations. These exams serve as a platform for assessing the aptitude and knowledge of aspiring Physiotherapists.
  3. Pursuing an undergraduate degree in Physiotherapy or related courses such as BPT (Bachelor of Physiotherapy) and B.Sc. Physiotherapy is a key step towards becoming a qualified Physiotherapist. These programs provide a comprehensive understanding of the field and equip students with the necessary skills.
  4. In addition to the undergraduate degree, candidates can further enhance their skills and knowledge by pursuing certification or diploma programs in specialized areas of physiotherapy. These programs offer focused training, enabling candidates to develop expertise in specific domains.

What is the qualification of a Physical Therapist?

To embark on a journey towards becoming a Physiotherapist, certain prerequisites must be met. These qualifications serve as pivotal factors in the eyes of recruiters, shaping the path to a successful career in this field.

Outlined below are a few essential qualifications that aspiring Physiotherapists must attain:

  1. Successful completion of the 10+2 board exams with an impressive aggregate score of 50% or higher is a must. These exams should be conducted by a recognized board, and candidates are expected to have a solid foundation in the subjects of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.
  2. Undertaking an undergraduate program in either Physiotherapy or Occupational therapy is essential. These courses provide a comprehensive understanding of the field and lay the groundwork for a promising career.
  3. It is crucial to acquire advanced knowledge in various areas such as pain management, rehabilitation techniques, diagnosis, and treatment planning. This expertise enhances the ability to provide effective care to patients and ensures comprehensive treatment.
  4. Gaining practical experience is vital for aspiring Physiotherapists. This can be achieved by working as a freelancer or securing employment in hospitals or rehabilitation centers. The hands-on experience garnered in these settings helps build a strong foundation and sharpens clinical skills.
  5. Pursuing a master’s degree in physiotherapy is highly recommended for those seeking enhanced career prospects. The specialized knowledge and advanced training gained through a master’s program open doors to a multitude of opportunities in the field.
How To Become a Physical Therapist Easily
How To Become a Physical Therapist Easily 3

What are the benefits of Physical Therapist?

Physiotherapy offers numerous benefits and presents an esteemed career in the healthcare sector. Here are some key advantages that Physiotherapists enjoy:

  1. Lucrative Salary: Physiotherapists can earn a lucrative salary, whether working in hospitals or establishing their own practices. The average salary for Physiotherapists is approximately INR 6 LPA, providing a comfortable livelihood.
  2. Work-Life Balance: Unlike some medical professions with demanding schedules, Physiotherapists have the advantage of flexible hours. This allows them to maintain a healthy work-life balance and allocate time for personal pursuits.
  3. Stable Career Field: Physiotherapy is a sought-after profession due to the increasing number of individuals seeking relief from age-related aches and pains. The high demand for physiotherapy services ensures a stable career path with ample job opportunities.
  4. Job Satisfaction: The work of a Physiotherapist brings immense job satisfaction as they help people regain their normal lifestyles. Contributing to the well-being and recovery of patients provides a sense of fulfillment and purpose.
  5. Flexibility: Physiotherapists who operate their own practices enjoy the flexibility to determine their working hours. This autonomy allows them to customize their schedules and maintain a work-life balance that suits their preferences.

What are the courses of a Physical Therapist?

In the field of physiotherapy, candidates have the opportunity to pursue various courses based on their preferences and aspirations. These courses can be categorized into short-term, long-term, diploma, undergraduate, and postgraduate programs. Both online and offline options are available, allowing candidates to choose the learning format that suits them best. These certification or diploma courses focus on skill development in specific areas and can greatly contribute to professional growth. The cost of these certification courses typically ranges between INR 2000 and 5000.

Outlined below are some notable certification courses available online through platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and Edx:

  1. Certificate in Physiotherapy
  2. Managing Your Health: The Role of Physical Therapy and Exercise
  3. The Science of Training Young Athletes
  4. Certificate in Spinal Management

What are the different types of Physical Therapists?

  1. Pediatrics Physical therapists specializing in pediatrics work with children, from newborns to teenagers, to treat conditions that affect their physical development and functioning. They address developmental delays, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, scoliosis, brain injuries, and other disorders. Pediatric physical therapists can work in hospitals, schools, outpatient centers, rehabilitation facilities, and even provide home-based care. They not only treat children but also educate family members on caring for and supporting their child’s well-being.
  2. Sports Physical therapists specializing in sports medicine focus on treating and rehabilitating athletes who have sustained sports-related injuries. They address common injuries such as ACL tears, concussions, tennis elbow, hip flexor strains, and shoulder injuries like dislocations and rotator cuff tears. Sports physical therapists employ techniques like strengthening exercises, stretching, manual therapy, hydrotherapy, and heat/cold applications to restore function and movement. They aim to help athletes recover and regain peak performance, focusing on muscle strength, speed, reaction time, and agility.
  3. Women’s Health Physical therapists specializing in women’s health focus on addressing specific conditions that women may experience throughout their lives. They treat pelvic pain, osteoporosis, and lymphedema, and provide prenatal and postnatal care. Women’s health physical therapists work with women of all ages and lifestyles, understanding the unique musculoskeletal considerations and the impact of various conditions on women’s health. Their goal is to maintain and promote health throughout a woman’s lifespan.
  4. Geriatrics Geriatric physical therapy caters to the aging population, particularly those experiencing age-related conditions. Physical therapists in this field alleviate pain from arthritis, osteoporosis, and joint stiffness. They help elderly patients maintain physical health and activity levels. In cases of progressive diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, physical therapists focus on building muscle strength, improving balance, and preventing falls. They also educate family members and caregivers on proper care and assistance for patients at home.
  5. Clinical Electrophysiology Clinical electrophysiology involves two forms of treatment: electrotherapy and wound management. Physical therapists may use electromyography (EMG) to assess muscle and nerve health. Electrotherapy utilizes electrical stimulation for various purposes, such as preventing blood clots, promoting wound healing, relaxing muscle spasms, improving circulation, and reducing pain. Electrotherapy is effective for wound healing, including post-surgical incisions, diabetic ulcers, abrasions, and lacerations.
  6. Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical therapists specializing in cardiovascular and pulmonary care focus on patients with heart and pulmonary conditions. In cardiac rehabilitation, they help individuals recover from heart attacks, manage heart disease, and improve cardiac health through exercise and stress reduction techniques. Pulmonary rehabilitation involves working with patients with conditions like COPD, cystic fibrosis, or sarcoidosis. Physical therapists provide breathing exercises, muscle strengthening, endurance training, and education on long-term management of these conditions.
  7. Neurology Neurological physical therapists address conditions affecting the nervous and spinal systems. They work with patients who have brain or spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, sciatica, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, and cerebral palsy. These therapists focus on reducing motor defects, improving balance, coordination, sensations, and overall movement. They may work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or assisted living facilities, assisting patients with diverse needs.
  8. Orthopedics Orthopedic physical therapists specialize in treating conditions related to the musculoskeletal system, including bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. They work with patients suffering from arthritis, fractures, joint replacements, strains, and sprains. Orthopedic physical therapists use various techniques like stretching, exercise, strength training, hot/cold applications, and electrical muscle stimulation. Their focus extends beyond athletes, catering to anyone with musculoskeletal injuries or conditions.
  9. Oncology Physical therapists specializing in oncology work with cancer patients during and after their treatment. They address symptoms and conditions caused by cancer, such as pain, muscle weakness, joint stiffness, endurance loss, difficulty walking, and numbness. Physical therapists help patients manage discomfort, increase aerobic capacity, lose weight, improve memory, and strengthen weakened muscles. Treatment plans may involve exercise, massage, electrical stimulation, compression garments, and stretching.

What is the Salary of a Physical Therapist?

Outlined below are some top job profiles in the field of Physiotherapy, along with their average annual salaries:

Physiotherapist INR 3,03,000
Osteopath INR 3,89,000
Lecturer INR 5,05,000
Sports Psychologists INR 5,50,000
Sports Physio Rehabilitator INR 5,00,000
Defence Medical Establishment INR 3,50,000
Freelance Physiotherapist INR 8,70,000

How to Become a Physical Therapist in India?

  1. Completing a Bachelor’s Degree To begin your journey towards becoming a physical therapist, it is essential to earn a bachelor’s degree. Opt for a major that provides a strong foundation in subjects like physiology, biology, chemistry, and physics. Examples of suitable majors include biology, human anatomy, health sciences, pre-physical therapy, athletic training, and exercise science. Some colleges offer the option to double major, allowing you to explore a broader range of subjects and gain practical experience through internships.
  2. Pursuing a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, the next step is to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. Most states require physical therapists to hold a DPT qualification. Apply to DPT programs through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). Ensure that the program you choose is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). DPT programs typically last for three years and include coursework in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, medical diagnostics, behavioral sciences, exercise physiology, disease pathology, and applied physical therapy. You will also undergo a full-time clinical practice internship to develop your practical skills under the guidance of a licensed physical therapist.
  3. Obtaining State Licensure To practice as a physical therapist, you must obtain a state license. The requirements for licensure vary by state. The National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT), is a common licensing requirement. You may also need to undergo a criminal background check and pass an exam on law and ethics specific to your state. After receiving your license, you will need to renew it annually and fulfill continuing education requirements as mandated by your state board.
  4. Considering a Clinical Residency Completing a clinical residency or fellowship program after obtaining your DPT can be beneficial for specialization and expanding your knowledge and skills. These one-year programs provide additional training in specific areas of focus. The American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education offers resources to help you find established residency programs that promote collaboration and high-quality learning experiences.
  5. Pursuing Board Certification (Optional) While not mandatory, obtaining specialist certifications and becoming a board-certified clinical specialist can demonstrate your dedication to the profession and commitment to providing exceptional patient care. Board certification allows you to apply for a wide range of physical therapy positions, including leadership roles. You can choose to become a certified specialist in areas such as cardiovascular and pulmonary, clinical electrophysiology, geriatrics, neurology, orthopedics, pediatrics, sports physical therapy, or women’s health.
  6. Preparing Your Resume and Cover Letter Once you have completed the necessary education and training, it’s time to start applying for physical therapist positions. Craft a compelling resume and cover letter that highlight your qualifications. Keep these documents concise, limiting them to one page each to ensure that hiring managers can quickly review your credentials.

1. Can Physical Therapy be done at home?

Yes, in some cases, Physical Therapists provide home exercise programs and instructions that patients can follow to continue their treatment and rehabilitation at home between sessions.

2. How many sessions of Physical Therapy will I need?

The number of Physical Therapy sessions needed varies depending on the condition being treated, the individual’s progress, and other factors. It is determined on a case-by-case basis by the Physical Therapist.

3. Do I need a referral from a doctor to see a Physical Therapist?

In many cases, a referral from a doctor is not necessary to see a Physical Therapist. However, insurance requirements may vary, so it’s recommended to check with your healthcare provider.

4. What qualifications do I need to become a Physical Therapist?

To become a Physical Therapist, you need to complete a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program from an accredited institution after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

5. : How long does it take to become a Physical Therapist?

It typically takes around 6 to 7 years to become a licensed Physical Therapist, including completing the required undergraduate coursework and the DPT program.

6. What conditions do Physical Therapists treat?

Physical Therapists treat a wide range of conditions, including musculoskeletal injuries, neurological disorders, sports injuries, post-surgical rehabilitation, chronic pain, and more.

7. What is a Physical Therapist?

A Physical Therapist is a healthcare professional who specializes in treating physical ailments, injuries, and conditions through therapeutic exercises, manual techniques, and other modalities.