As baby boomers age and soldiers return home from war, they are in need of many different kinds of health care treatments. One of the health care fields that have really taken off as a result of this is physical therapy. Physical therapy, also known as physiotherapy and abbreviated PT, is concerned with the remediation of impairments caused by illness and injury and the promotion of range of motion, independence, mobility and wellbeing through a variety of different tools and techniques.
Physical therapists get to enjoy good financial stability and also a fulfilling career. If you want to pursue a job in this exciting industry, it is important to have a good plan of action because this field is also highly competitive. Doing extremely well in school is essential for becoming a good applicant for graduate programs and future job offers.
The first thing that you will need to do is to earn your GED or high school diploma. You can then go on to a four-year bachelor’s program at a college or university and complete all of the mandatory prerequisite courses that you will need. These courses are mostly science classes and can include biology, chemistry, physics, math, human physiology and anatomy.
When you become a junior and senior, you will need to devote your time to upper level classes. Graduate programs are mostly interested in students who have a well rounded and vast knowledge. Build up your resume by taking classes in organic chemistry, microbiology, sports medicine, psychology and more. Be sure to maintain a very high grade point average (GPA).
Volunteering is not only a great way to gain experience, but it will also look good on your resume. A lot of graduate physical therapy programs want their applicants to not only have a diverse knowledge, but also hands-on experience in the physical therapy field. Many programs also require that their students have 50 to 100 hours of volunteer experience. So be sure to get a head start and find volunteer work at a local hospital, sports medicine facility, outpatient facility or private practice.
Do some research and look into what physical therapy programs are of great interest to you. There are many different branches of physical therapy, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, cardio, sports medicine and more. It is important to know from the get-go what you want to specialize in so that you know what program to apply for and what courses to take.
Set up a time to take your GRE general exam. Taking the exam during your junior year of college is very handy so that you do not have to worry about it later on down the road. Be sure to take a few courses and read books on the GREs to prepare you for this exam.
Also, ask your college professors and people at your volunteer facility for professional letters of recommendation. A lot of grad schools require these and they will help you to put your best foot forward.
It is very important to be prepared for entrance into a physical therapy school so you can be sure to get in.