About Physical Therapy
The clinical field today has widened its scope to include various types of treatment. One such treatment where the usage of medicines is minimized is Physical Therapy. Physical Therapy is known by various names in different countries such as ‘Physiotherapy’ or ‘Kinesiology’. It is the clinical method of diagnosing physical abnormalities, restoring physical function and mobility, maintaining the physical function and promoting physical activities. This therapy includes specific exercise therapy, electrotherapy, manual therapy, and remediates impairment. The field encompasses physical, psychological, emotional and social well-being.
Scope of the field
When a person undergoes certain adverse situations that affects his movement and other normal physical activities, physical therapy finds its significance. The field is a professional one in itself and the practitioner is called the Physical Therapist. When movement and physical functions of people are affected at any stage of life with ageing, injury, and diseases, it is the Physical Therapist’s role to help them out. They improve the quality of people’s life. Apart from directing patient or client care, a physiotherapist scope also includes responsibilities in teaching, research, managing and supervising or delegating work to others.
Role of a Physical Therapist
The physical therapist is required to possess wide knowledge and be well versed in determining the strategies to diagnose and treat people suffering the physical illness. The therapist is required to examine the patient thoroughly and to understand the needs of the patient or client. The next step is to draw judgements from the examination findings and thereby formulate a diagnosis and prognosis plan. They are also required to provide suitable consultation and refer to other professionals if need arises. After implementing the therapy treatment program, the therapist is also required to provide guidance for self-management.
Types of Physical Therapy
Similar to any other kind of medical practice, there are different kinds of Physical Therapies.
This is the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries, involving the muscles, bones, ligaments, fascias, and tendons. This is the common treatment method that is applicable for sprains, fractures and other chronic medical problems. It includes manual therapy, mobility-training, strength training and other modalities.
This category of treatment involves the treatment of older people who suffering from conditions affecting their mobility and physical function including arthritis, osteoporosis, hip-joint replacement, balance disorders and incontinence.
Those patients who are affected by neurological disorders and conditions due to brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, injury of spinal cord, stroke, etc. This type of treatment finds great results in conditions of paralysis and limb responsiveness.
This type of treatment is to increase the physical endurance and stamina especially for people affected by some cardiopulmonary conditions and surgery procedures.
Conditions that affect infants, children, and adolescents, including developmental delays and other conditions that impact the musculoskeletal system are diagnosed, treated and managed by this method of Physical Therapy.
This treatment is applied in order to help to ensure that a healing wound is receiving adequate oxygen and blood by way of improved circulation.
Here, the aim is to treat ear-balance problems that can result from inner ear conditions. It involves a number of exercises and manual techniques.
To drain accumulated fluid in patients with lymphedema and other conditions that involve fluid accumulation, this treatment is helpful.
Urinary or faecal incontinence, urinary urgency and pelvic pain in men and women which might arise as a result of injuries or surgery are treated by this method.
Physical Therapy as Education
A few years before, it was acceptable for a person wishing a career as a physical therapist to hold a Master’s Degree after the corresponding undergraduate hours in the same field. But post 2015, all Physiotherapists are mandatorily required Doctorate level program completion. It is also necessary for the practitioner to pass and achieve the national level licensure exams to certify yourself in the place of practice. There are numerous Certification-courses in the field of Physical Therapy, which the practitioner can pursue to gain better knowledge and perform well in the field. A Master’s level program will take about two to three years of completion on top of the four year undergraduate level program. The prerequisites to enroll in a physical therapy program will generally require that the student should have completed a Bachelor’s or undergraduate program in certain science and health based courses. There are also CGPA constraints based on the reputation of the institution and the specialization or area of the field. In the US, Physical therapy courses are in great demand and these course are generally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
Universities and Programs in Physical Therapy
Top universities - by Global Ranking
The Career and Opportunities of a Physical Therapist
A Physical Therapist is to be necessarily present in different settings. For instance, apart from hospitals and clinics, the physiotherapists are found in nursing homes, with sports teams, in schools and in cardiac rehabilitation centres. The World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) supports that physical therapy is in itself responsible for formulating the profession’s scope of practice and defining the roles of physical therapists. In order to ensure that a nation’s health service delivery needs are met and to define the roles and responsibilities of physical therapists and thereby ensure that they are consistent with the accepted international guidelines set out by WCPT, there are National physical therapy associations. In the US, the median annual salary of a Physical therapist is $85,400 in 2016, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Though most of the Physical Therapists are full-time professionals, one out of five Therapists are part-time workers. Over the next decade, the job opportunities for Physical therapists are expected to grow 25 percent.
The present day life of people where time and care for personal health that one allocates to oneself is reducing, physical therapists find great importance especially in the life of aged people. Physical therapy for rehabilitation is necessary for mobility related injuries, strokes and paralysis in older people. With lifestyle diseases like diabetes and obesity conquering a major part of every human being today, there arises a great demand for physical therapists. Licensed Therapists are expected to receive better opportunities, especially in orthopaedic settings, acute-care hospitals, nursing homes, etc. There is no dearth of old people in rural areas anywhere in the world, and hence the demand for physical therapists. Some other professions that can be related to Physical therapy include that of the Audiologists, Athletic trainers, Chiropractors (who treat neck and back pain), Physical Assistants, Recreational Therapists, Speech-Language Pathologists, Exercise Physiologists, etc.
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New Zealand is home to a multitude of universities and colleges providing tertiary education across all fields to students from all over the world. Engineering, law, business, horticulture, agriculture, architecture, language, literature, social sciences, information technology, computing and banking are some of the numerous subjects taught throughout the country by institutes of international esteem. Some of the best universities in New Zealand are:
These educational centers provide studies at the under-graduate, post-graduate and doctorate levels. Universities in New Zealand also mete out vocational and distance education. Moreover, many institutions provide learning programs, certificate courses and job-oriented training. While the government provides subsidies in education for local students, no such subsidies are available for international students.
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