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Physical Therapist

POSITION SUMMARY

A Physical Therapist (commonly referred to as a PT) helps patients with physical injuries regain range of movement. They also provide long term relief for those struggling with disabling conditions, such as lower back pain or arthritis.   

Physical Therapists are very hands on with their patients. Typically, they will work one-on-one with their patients for months or even years at a time. Physical Therapists evaluate their patients and then use their expertise to create a plan tailored specially for the patient and their specific needs. As such, it is important for Physical Therapists to provide a pleasant experience for clients as well as paying attention to their verbal and nonverbal behavior.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Physical Therapist responsibilities may include:

  • Measure patient abilities, such as strength, endurance, and range of motion.
  • Create treatment plans to provide pain relief and regain range of movement.
  • Provide exercises and stretches for the patient to do at home.
  • Discuss diagnoses and treatment plans with patients and family members.
  • Provide emotional support and motivation to patients.
  • Supervise and give directives to Physical Therapy Assistants.

 

SKILLS

Physical injuries can be devastating and severely impact quality of life. In order to provide patients with long term relief, a skilled Physical Therapist will:

  • Possess strong interpersonal skills in order to provide a pleasant experience and motivate patients.
  • Demonstrate empathy when working with patients.
  • Practice active listening skills in order to identify pain points within the patient.
  • Possess a keen eye for detail in order to observe non-verbal behaviors that will help with diagnosis and treatment.
  • Demonstrate a solid work ethic in order to provide quality healthcare to patients.
  • Possess dexterity and physical stamina in order to participate in patient exercise.


QUALIFICATIONS

In order to practice as a Physical Therapist, a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is required. In addition, candidates will need to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination. Certain states will also require Physical Therapists to pass a law exam and criminal background check.

For Physical Therapists seeking advanced education, they may complete a clinical residency program to gain additional training in specialized forms of care. For those who have completed a clinical residency, there is an option to complete a fellowship in an advanced clinical area.

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SAMPLE PHYSICAL THERAPIST INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

  • What led you to pursue a career in physical therapy?

  • How would you handle a patient who is refusing treatment?

  • What are some of the challenges of working with geriatric patients?

  • How do you handle movement disorders?

  • What is the best way to motivate patients to stick to their treatment plans?

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