Physical Therapy – What Is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy (PT) treatment has come a long way since its origins in ancient recorded history. This form of therapy was practiced in countries such as China, Egypt, Greece and Rome as far back as 460 BC. In more modern times it is generally acknowledged that the father of physiotherapy as a profession, was Per Henrik Ling of Sweden. In 1813 Mr. Ling established the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics, and began massage and exercise therapies.
Although Sweden is known for modern physiotherapy, due to the fact that the National Board of Health and Welfare extended official registration to all physical therapists, it is also clear that other countries began recognizing the profession as a clinical entity in its own right soon after. Countries such as England, New Zealand and the United States, supported recognized associations for physical therapy by 1914.
Modern Physical Therapy
The earliest modern forms of PT treatments were limited to exercise, massage and physical education, until the polio outbreak of 1916. Additionally during world war I when hundreds of wounded soldiers needed treatment to overcome painful wounds and injuries, many trained women known as reconstruction aids were employed to provide treatment and rehabilitation.
In the US today the profession is represented by the APTA with over 76,000 members. As with many medical specialties practiced today, the this therapy profession formed the Orthopedic Section for therapists specializing in orthopedics in 1974.
Physical Therapy Assistants
The aging of the American population has created a bounty of patients for practicing physical therapists. In order to accommodate the growing numbers of clientele, many physical therapists have been forced to hire physical therapist assistants to handle the overflow.
While a physical therapy assistant is not required to have as extensive an education or training as a physical therapist does, they must nevertheless be graduated from accredited schools and be licensed to practice in their profession. The accrediting body is the CAPTE of the APTA. Without certification or degree from an accredited program, prospects are not eligible to test for licensure.
Currently there is a wealth of training and education available from PTA programs located all over the country. The need for these professionals is growing and according to the bureau of labor statistics, is expected to experience growth of approximately 33% through the year 2018.
One of the perks of this occupation is that it doesn’t require a great deal of education before you can begin practicing and earning a superior salary In point of fact, the majority of new graduates for this profession experience limited time unemployed before landing a job. Unlike the majority of citizens in the US affected by a nine plus percent unemployment rate.
Physical Therapy Assistant Jobs Prospects
It would be foolhardy to stay in or gain entry to a profession in decline, and those who have fully researched the this profession know that the future is bright for those able to take full advantage of this career path. The outlook for jobs in this field is one of a promise of job security and financial rewards well into the future.
The industries that employ the majority of physical therapists are, home healthcare services, nursing care facilities, offices of physicians, offices of other health practitioners, and general medical and surgical hospitals.
Future job prospects are projected to be very good especially in skilled nursing and orthopedic clinical settings due to the higher number of senior citizens requiring treatment. Since many therapists tend to cluster in urban locals, the job prospects for physical therapy may be more plentiful in more rural areas.