Physical Therapist Career Trends

Physical therapist career is termed as one of the ‘hot’ jobs of the next decade. Physical therapists are trained to diagnose, plan and oversee the treat treatment of congenital, developmental or acquired skeletal, neuromuscular or muscular disorders. Therapy is aimed at improving endurance and strength, gross and fine motor skills and striving for coordination and balance improvement. Physical therapists work as solo practice, or in healthcare facilities, nursing homes, private clinics or hospitals.  Physical therapist career trend is up on the rise and it is touted as one of the in-demand jobs.

Past and Present Career Trends

The physical therapist (PT) profession is expected to grow very well due to increasing demands and is expected to grow 27% by 2016. There are now PTs who specialize as orthopaedic PTs, neurology PTs, geriatric PTs, and paediatric PTs. Typically a patient will be referred to a PT by a physician/surgeon who follows up to assess the patients’ progress after therapy.  So far, the patients seek PTs only on the advice of a doctor.  Generating new referrals is the most common way of expanding business for PTs.

Future Trends

But the future trend seems to be healthier thanks to a number of modifications suggested by The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). They have set out tenets for ‘Vision 2020’ and the most important one is about autonomous practice. As per APTA board, all physical therapists - whatever the practice setting or business arrangements are - can have autonomous practice. This new trend will give a huge fillip to the career of physical therapist with enough opportunities to create and establish a new career trend.

With physical therapists working independently, they have to be more professional and more accountable for their patients’ health. Along with taking responsibility for the risks involved, they must plan and use proper physical therapy management. As per APTA guidelines, along with providing quality care to their clients, all applicable regulatory requirements and legal requirements are to be followed strictly. Therapists will keep meticulous, clear and concise records. All fraudulent practices will be penalized. This new trend will bring due recognition and respect to the physical therapy profession.

Tele-Health Physical Therapy

With growing impact of internet in our lives, the day is not far off when telecommuting is a mode of providing physical therapy related services. Recognizing this, APTA has issued guidelines pertinent to this new trend of physical therapy that can be called tele-health physical therapy. APTA has set forth strict and detailed requirements in connection with PT services that can be rendered over electronic media. As per APTA, the patient’s safety is of prime concern and not to be jeopardized and the tele-health advice must be as satisfying as the in-person advice. This trend will truly open great opportunities for the physical therapists.

These new physical therapist career trends make the career outlook very promising and appealing. With more opportunities and more recognition, the future for a physical therapist looks promising. Job sites like Nursingjobs is a great place for more information, like for physical therapist career openings and job options, guidance, tips and other advice.