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Thinking about Physical Therapy School

Physical Therapists in Texas (2014) have a mean gross income of $91,560. Physical therapists' primary responsibilities are to test, evaluate, and treat patients with acute or prolonged motor dysfunction.
Physical therapists provide care to people of all ages who have functional problems resulting from back and neck injuries; sprains, strains, and fractures; arthritis; amputations; neurological disorders, such as stroke or cerebral palsy; injuries related to work and sports; and other conditions.
Physical therapists are trained to use a variety of different techniques—sometimes called modalities—to care for their patients. These techniques include applying heat and cold and using assistive devices such as crutches, wheelchairs, and walkers and equipment, such as adhesive electrodes which apply electric stimulation to treat injuries and pain.
The work of physical therapists varies by type of patient. For example, a patient experiencing loss of mobility due to stroke needs different care from that given to an athlete recovering from an injury. Some physical therapists specialize in one type of care, such as orthopedics or geriatrics. Many physical therapists also work at preventing loss of mobility by developing fitness and wellness programs to encourage healthier and more active lifestyles.
Job components include:
 
  • Review patients’ medical history and any referrals or notes from doctors or surgeons.
  • Diagnose patients’ dysfunctional movements by observing them stand or walk and by listening to their concerns, among other methods.
  • Set up a plan of care for patients, outlining the patient’s goals and the expected outcome of the plan.
  • Use exercises, stretching maneuvers, hands-on therapy, and equipment to ease patients’ pain, help them increase their mobility, prevent further pain or injury, and facilitate health and wellness.
  • Evaluate a patient’s progress, modifying a plan of care and trying new treatments as needed.
  • Educate patients and their families about what to expect from and how best to cope with the recovery process.