Skills Needed For This Career
- have a strong science and math background
- be motivated and have good work ethics
- have good written and verbal communication skills
- have the knowledge to administer treatments to improve patient's lifestyles
- understand the needs and goals of patients
must be able to discern and comprehend dimensional and spatial relationships of structures
understand the basis and content of ethical physical therapy practice.
compassion, empathy, altruism, integrity, responsibility, and tolerance.
emotional stability to function effectively under stress
adapt to an environment which may change rapidly without warning and/or in unpredictable ways.
process and communicate information on the patient's status with accuracy in a timely manner to physical therapist colleagues and other members of the health care team.
communicate effectively with patients and family, physicians and other members of the health care team.
capable of responsive, empathetic listening to establish rapport in a way that promotes openness on issues of concern and sensitivity to potential cultural differences.
assessment and management of movement disorders.
safely assist a patient in moving, for example, from a chair to a bed, or from a wheelchair to a commode.
ability to move him- or herself and the patient in three-dimensional space in order to perform motor function tests and treatments.
able to ensure the physical safety of a patient at all times.
ability to discern skin, subcutaneous masses, muscles, bones, joints, lymph nodes, and intra-abdominal organs (for example, liver and spleen). The student must be able to perceive the presence of abnormalities which are not within the musculoskeletal system, such as masses in the abdomen.
ability to take, and document in a patient's record, an appropriate history, and perform a physical examination. Such tasks require the ability to communicate with the patient and family. The student must also be capable of perceiving the signs of disease, especially neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction, as manifested through the physical examination. Such information is derived from observation and palpation of the body surfaces, palpable changes in various organs and tissues, and auditory information (such as patient voice and heart tones).
able to develop reasoning and decision making skills appropriate to the practice of physical therapy.
Beginning Salary Range:
From the Spring 2008 NACE Salary Survey (National Association of Colleges and Employers) Entry Level with a Master's Degree $66,000
For more information on salaries click here
Link To UNF Academic program
The Brooks College of Health at the University of North Florida offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy.
Links to Professional Associations
American Physical Therapy Association
Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy
Florida Physical Therapy Association
Physical Therapy "The Web Space"
American Occupational Therapy Association
American Health Information Management Association
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science – Careers
American Society for Cytotechnology
American Medical Technologists
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
Physical Therapy- Social; Investigative; Enterprising (SIE)
Career Action Plan
- Conduct and informational interview or shadow a professional in this field
- Gain experience through internships in a healthcare setting
- Join student clubs associated with health
- Get involved in volunteer work or community service to gain experience
- Join a Professional Association
- Develop leadership skills on-campus (RA, Peer Advisor, Presidential Envoy, Student Government, etc. )
- Gain research experience by working with a professor or faculty member on their research