Physical Therapist - Job Description, Duties, Education, Skills, Salary, & Growth

Physical Therapist


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Physical Therapist Job Description

 

Physical therapists (PTs) work closely with clients, patients and their families to promote, restore and maintain overall wellness and fitness, the goal being a more active, more satisfying lifestyle. Physical therapists provide specialized services that help improve mobility, help improve or restore function, relieve pain and discomfort, and reverse or marginalize physical disabilities that result from disease or injuries. Patients that physical therapists work with may include the following:

  • Victims of accidents

  • Individuals with disabling diseases

  • Patients with acute or chronic low back pain

  • Victims of fractures

  • Patients with head injuries

  • Arthritis sufferers

  • Patients with heart disease

  • Children and adults with cerebral palsy

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Responsibilities

 

The PT will use the finding from this thorough examination and his or her evaluative judgment to determine a patient’s diagnosis and accompanying prognosis, and develop a plan of care that describes evidence-based strategies for treatment. The PT will also describe the functional outcomes expected from the treatment. The PT will include in the plan of care a determination of the patient’s projected ability to function independently and potential for reintegration into the community and workplace after illness or injury.

Some of the common tasks a physical therapist may be expected to perform include:

  • Taking the patient’s or client’s history

  • Conduct a review of systems exam

  • Perform tests and measures on strength

  • Assess range of motion

  • Evaluate balance and coordination

  • Assess posture and overall muscle performance

  • Evaluate respiration

  • Perform tests to measure motor function

  • Identify potential and existing problems

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Skills

 

Physical Endurance

A PT must be able to be physical for many hours to help their patients as needed. They must be able to bend, twist, lift, crouch, kneel, push/pull, and the agility to move quickly and ensure patient safety.

Record-keeping

Must be able to collect and integrate patient histories to solve problems and develop treatments.

Emotional Stability

Must be able to handle the emotional stress of working with impaired patients in need of compassionate health care.

Multitasking

The ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks simultaneously. 

Interpersonal

Must be able to interact with patients and their families regardless of background.

Reasoning

Must be able to apply facts and principles to issues to determine conclusions and solve problems. They must use knowledge and logic to find patters in injuries and determine causes and provide solutions.

Communication

Must be able to clearly convey thoughts and ideas to gauge patient's issues and convey to them the best path to treatment.

Empathy

Must be compassionate and able to empathize with a patient's pain and other difficulties. They are able to make people feel comfortable and meet them at their emotional level to humanize themselves and let people know they care.

Patience

They must understand it takes time to see results and be willing to put in that time. They also must help their clients have patience--especially if they are trying to overcome a difficult injury.

Problem-Solving

Must be able to use knowledge to gauge issues and determine the best route to recovery.

Dexterity

Must work well with your hands and be nimble. You will be put in situations where physical therapy is a must.

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Working Conditions

 

Physical therapists (PTs) may find opportunities for employment in any of the following settings:

  • Hospitals

  • Home health agencies

  • Public or private outpatient clinics

  • Private doctor’s office or physical therapy offices

  • Public or private schools, colleges and universities

  • Fitness and sports facilities

  • Skilled nursing facilities

  • Assisted living centers

Most full-time physical therapists work a standard 40-hour week. This may include some evening and weekend or holiday rotations.

A physical therapy position can be physically demanding, requiring the PT to frequently kneel, stoop, crouch, lift or stand for long periods of time. Physical therapists are also expected to move heavy equipment around and lift patients when needed. They also assist patients with turning, standing and walking.

 

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
11.14.2019
Central Florida Health (CFH) is a locally owned and governed not-for-profit healthcare system and the largest, most comprehensive provider of healthcare services in the region. CFH provides services to Lake, Sumter, and Marion counties through...
12.13.2019
VCU Health System-Children's Hospital of Richmond (CHoR) at VCU, Brook Road Campus - Main Hospital Therapy Center is seeking a PRN hourly Physical Therapist. The Physical Therapist is primarily responsible for the delivery of physical therapy...
12.13.2019
VCU Health System-Children's Hospital of Richmond (CHoR) at VCU, Fredericksburg Therapy Center is seeking an hourly Physical Therapist. The Physical Therapist is primarily responsible for the delivery of physical therapy care to the patient...
12.13.2019
VCU Health System's Physical Therapy is seeking a PRN (hourly) Physical Therapist. The Physical Therapist is primarily responsible for the delivery of physical therapy care to the patient population to which she/he is assigned and the recording...
12.13.2019
VCU Health System's Physical Therapy is seeking a full time Physical Therapist. The Physical Therapist is primarily responsible for the delivery of physical therapy care to the patient population to which she/he is assigned and the recording of...
12.13.2019
Physical Therapist Are you a new grad looking for a great place to start your career, with an environment that allows for growth and advancement? Are you an experienced Physical Therapist looking to develop your skills and further your career?...
12.13.2019
In an environment of continuous quality improvement, the Physical Therapist is responsible for evaluating patients, establishing treatment plans, and administering medically prescribed therapy to restore function following disease, injury, or...
12.13.2019
In an environment of continuous quality improvement, the Physical Therapist is responsible for evaluating patients, establishing treatment plans, and administering medically prescribed therapy to restore function following disease, injury, or...
12.13.2019
Township of Monroe, NJ Part-time Position Title: Physical Therapist Department: Rehabilitation Services PT that could lead to FT, scheduled hours dependent on care needs Description of Duties: Deliver an outstanding rehabilitative...
12.13.2019
The Physical Therapist organizes and conducts physical therapy to restore function and prevent disability following disease, injury, or loss of limb(s) JOB SPECIFICATIONS EDUCATION Bachelors Degree in Physical Therapy required LICENSURE...
04.03.2018
Physical Therapist performs evaluation and treatment of patients ranging throughout the life span using physical measures, methods or procedures that are commensurate with the physical therapist's education and training. This includes the...
04.23.2019
Physical Therapist performs evaluation and treatment of patients ranging throughout the life span using physical measures, methods or procedures that are commensurate with the physical therapist's education and training. This includes the...
10.03.2019
Mercy Hospital is a not-for-profit hospital and is currently looking for one (1) Full Time, Physical Therapist. The Physical Therapist plans and administers medically prescribed physical therapy treatment for patients suffering from injuries,...
12.11.2019
This position is a part-time position for a Physical Therapist who administers prescribed physical therapy treatment programs with patients to restore function, relieve pain and swelling, enhance wound healing, and prevent disability from an...
12.11.2019
This position is a part-time position for a Physical Therapist who administers prescribed physical therapy treatment programs with patients to restore function, relieve pain and swelling, enhance wound healing, and prevent disability from an...
  1. Physical Therapist Physical Therapy Leesburg, FL Central Florida Health
    Central Florida Health (CFH) is a locally owned and governed not-for-profit healthcare system and the largest, most comprehensive provider of healthcare services in the region. CFH provides services to Lake, Sumter, and Marion counties through...
  2. Physical Therapist Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    VCU Health System-Children's Hospital of Richmond (CHoR) at VCU, Brook Road Campus - Main Hospital Therapy Center is seeking a PRN hourly Physical Therapist. The Physical Therapist is primarily responsible for the delivery of physical therapy...
  3. Physical Therapist Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    VCU Health System-Children's Hospital of Richmond (CHoR) at VCU, Fredericksburg Therapy Center is seeking an hourly Physical Therapist. The Physical Therapist is primarily responsible for the delivery of physical therapy care to the patient...
  4. Physical Therapist Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    VCU Health System's Physical Therapy is seeking a PRN (hourly) Physical Therapist. The Physical Therapist is primarily responsible for the delivery of physical therapy care to the patient population to which she/he is assigned and the recording...
  5. Physical Therapist Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    VCU Health System's Physical Therapy is seeking a full time Physical Therapist. The Physical Therapist is primarily responsible for the delivery of physical therapy care to the patient population to which she/he is assigned and the recording of...
  6. Physical Therapist Ronan, MT St. Luke Community Healthcare
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  7. Physical Therapist Marietta, OH Memorial Health System
    In an environment of continuous quality improvement, the Physical Therapist is responsible for evaluating patients, establishing treatment plans, and administering medically prescribed therapy to restore function following disease, injury, or...
  8. Physical Therapist Marietta, OH Memorial Health System
    In an environment of continuous quality improvement, the Physical Therapist is responsible for evaluating patients, establishing treatment plans, and administering medically prescribed therapy to restore function following disease, injury, or...
  9. Physical Therapist Wall Township, NJ SpringPoint Senior Living
    Township of Monroe, NJ Part-time Position Title: Physical Therapist Department: Rehabilitation Services PT that could lead to FT, scheduled hours dependent on care needs Description of Duties: Deliver an outstanding rehabilitative...
  10. Physical Therapist Hendersonville, NC Pardee UNC Health Care
    The Physical Therapist organizes and conducts physical therapy to restore function and prevent disability following disease, injury, or loss of limb(s) JOB SPECIFICATIONS EDUCATION Bachelors Degree in Physical Therapy required LICENSURE...
  11. Physical Therapist Laurinburg, NC Scotland Health Care System
    Physical Therapist performs evaluation and treatment of patients ranging throughout the life span using physical measures, methods or procedures that are commensurate with the physical therapist's education and training. This includes the...
  12. Physical Therapist Laurinburg, NC Scotland Health Care System
    Physical Therapist performs evaluation and treatment of patients ranging throughout the life span using physical measures, methods or procedures that are commensurate with the physical therapist's education and training. This includes the...
  13. Physical Therapist Moose Lake, MN Mercy Hospital - Moose Lake
    Mercy Hospital is a not-for-profit hospital and is currently looking for one (1) Full Time, Physical Therapist. The Physical Therapist plans and administers medically prescribed physical therapy treatment for patients suffering from injuries,...
  14. Physical Therapist Rochester, MN Olmsted Medical Center
    This position is a part-time position for a Physical Therapist who administers prescribed physical therapy treatment programs with patients to restore function, relieve pain and swelling, enhance wound healing, and prevent disability from an...
  15. Physical Therapist Rochester, MN Olmsted Medical Center
    This position is a part-time position for a Physical Therapist who administers prescribed physical therapy treatment programs with patients to restore function, relieve pain and swelling, enhance wound healing, and prevent disability from an...