Physical Therapy

phys·i·cal ther·a·py: health care profession primarily concerned with the remediation of impairments and disabilities and the promotion of mobility, functional ability, quality of life and movement potential through examination, evaluation, diagnosis, and physical intervention.

Education for Physical Therapists includes:

  • Completion of a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program (105-125 credit hours). The most frequent curriculum designs are a BS degree before a professional program, however, some accept freshmen and take 6-7 years to complete the DPT degree
  • Curriculum typically contains content in the following areas: Foundational sciences, Clinical assessment and intervention skills, PT science, Legal/Professional and Full-time clinical internships.

Where do Physical Therapists Work?

Hospital systems (in-patient and outpatient), Rehabilitation/long-term care, Nursing homes, Outpatient clinics, Private practice, School systems, Home health, Athletic departments, Burn/wound centers, Aquatic facilities, Military/VA, Indian health systems, Community health centers, Research Facilities and Academic Institutions to name a few.

What do they do there?

Physical therapists are an integral component of the healthcare team. In a hospital setting, the goal is to gain early mobilization and mobility. Co-treatments with occupational and speech therapy are common within hospital and rehabilitation floors and centers. Physical therapists will evaluate, examine, diagnose, and determine the appropriateness of treatment/intervention for any person. Physical therapists have the benefit of working with patients over the course of several weeks or months assisting patients from times of severe disability and limited function and returning them to previous levels of independence and activity.

Licensure for Physical Therapy Practice

All graduates must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in order to practice physical therapy in any of the 53 licensed jurisdictions. Licensees are regulated by practice acts and rules and regulations published within each state.

Professional Associations

American Physical Therapy Association
North Carolina State Physical Therapy Association