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Physical therapists, or PTs, are health care professionals who evaluate and treat people with health problems resulting from injury or disease. PTs assess joint motion, muscle strength and endurance, function of heart and lungs, and performance of activities required in daily living, among other responsibilities. Treatment includes therapeutic exercise, cardiovascular endurance training, and training in activities of daily living. More than 120,000 physical therapists are licensed in the U.S. today, treating nearly 1 million people every day.
Physical therapists own and manage their own clinics or are employed in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and extended care facilities such as nursing homes, home health agencies, public and private schools, and industry and private practices.
Most physical therapists work a 40-hour week, which may include some evenings and weekends.
Employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 36 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for physical therapy services will come from the aging baby boomers, who are staying active later in life. In addition, physical therapists will be needed to treat people with mobility issues stemming from chronic conditions, such as diabetes or obesity.
The minimum educational requirement is a post-graduate (master’s or doctoral) degree in physical therapy from an accredited physical therapist educational program.
Licensure is required by the state of Connecticut. Prerequisites: An approved Physical Therapy Program; National Physical Therapy Examination or Current Certification by the American Registry of Physical Therapists.
American Physical Therapy Association
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