Steps In Getting Physical Therapy Continuing EducationDocument Transcript
Steps In Getting Physical Therapy Continuing EducationPhysical therapists work every day with people suffering from everything from a bruised hip to combattrauma. As a result, physical therapy continuing education is critical in keeping up to date on thelatest therapies.Selecting a SpecialityAs with many things today, the term PT encompasses a broad range of disciplines. So, in looking atphysical therapy continuing education, you really have to focus or one or two areas. You can takeclasses in athletic training, massage therapy, occupational therapy, special education, and thenspeech and language therapy. Under occupational, you can further specialize in helping peoplerecover from severe trauma. This can include vehicular accidents and military injuries. There are alsogeriatric and paediatric specialities; the former helps the aged, and the latter deals with children.Checking Your States RequirementsEvery state has varying degrees of requirements as to physical therapy continuing education. As aphysical therapist, youll be licensed by the state, and can check with their department of professionalregulation to see what those rules are. In some cases, classes are required to be taken yearly, othersevery two years; some classes can be taken online, and with others you have to appear in person.Also, the states website can give you a list of approved continuing education providers.The Four Forms of Physical Therapy Continuing EducationAs of 2000, a bachelors degree was declared to not be enough to practice in this field; a masters ordoctorate is required, and there are four ways to earn either. With the masters degree, you can eitherget a direct entry or a transitional. The former is if you have a bachelors degree in another subjectand you want to switch to PT, and it generally lasts two years. The latter is if your bachelors is in PT,and is often completed in a year. The doctorate is the same way - direct and transitional - and itapplies in the same manner.Online ClassesWith physical therapy continuing education, its hard to believe that some classes could be offeredonline - as it is a hands-on profession. However, there are classes related to the non-physical therapyaspects of the profession that you can take this way. You can learn about reimbursement policies,dealing with managed care (HMOs), professional ethics, and fraud and abuse. Then there are somephysical courses that also dont require you to practice on a live patient. You can study the anatomyof various areas of the body, and learn about skin lesions and their treatment. Depending on therequirements of your state, these forms of physical therapy continuing education may be enough.Check with the AssociationThe American Physical Therapy Association can be helpful in dealing with physical therapycontinuing education. Their website - apta.org - has a plethora of information about the variouseducational programs available - both online and at colleges near you. They can also advise you asto dealing with state regulators to insure they accept the classes you take.