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
08.19.2019
: If you are a cooperative and compassionate Physical Therapist looking for a superb career opportunity with one of Texas's leading healthcare providers, join our Physical Therapy team at Hendrick Medical Center! We are seeking a positive and...
08.19.2019
Position Summary: The Physical Therapist reports to the Manager of Rehabilitation Services and is responsible to provide quality patient care per the plan of care upon the referral from an appropriate licensed practitioner or via direct access...
10.17.2018
Physical therapist will be directly supervised by their Physical Therapy Clinical Manager. Further reporting relationships exist between the Physical Therapist and all other members of the Rehabilitation Services Leadership team including...
07.02.2019
Up to $20,000.00 Employment Incentive** The Licensed Physical Therapist provides patient care based upon a total assessment and written evaluation that is appropriate for the patients need and medical condition and provides such care in...
08.19.2019
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?...
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...
04.21.2018
CMC is looking for a Physical Therapist to focus on the development of an Inpatient Physical Therapy program, as well as shared duties in Outpatient Physical Therapy. Under the general direction of the Director of Physical Therapy, this position...
08.19.2019
Physical Therapist - Physical Therapy Full-Time & Part-Time Physical Therapist Positions. Outpatient and Acute Care. Meets the patient's goals and needs and provides quality care by assessing and interpreting evaluations and test results;...
06.25.2019
The Rehabilitation Services Physical Therapist will communicate timely, clearly and in a professional manner with staff, patients, patient family members, physicians and other internal/external customers. The staff member will demonstrate skills...
07.31.2019
The Rehabilitation Services Physical Therapist will communicate timely, clearly and in a professional manner with staff, patients, patient family members, physicians and other internal/external customers. The staff member will demonstrate skills...
07.01.2019
Responsible for evaluation, planning, directing and administering physical therapy treatments as prescribed by a licensed physician. Administers treatments and physical agents as prescribed by a referring physician in an effort to restore...
08.19.2019
This position provides physical therapy services upon referral or prescription of a physician according to established procedures and protocols. The physical therapist evaluates, develops and performs treatment programs for patients with programs...
08.19.2019
Using discretion and independent judgment, you, as the Physical Therapist, will assist patients and their families in coping with the unpredictability of illness within the context of the hospital environment. Other requirements of the Physical...
08.19.2019
Halifax Health is seeking a Physical Therapist for the Physical Therapy - Rehabilitative Services Department. Summary The Physical Therapist will be responsible for administering physical therapy to assigned pediatric, adolescent and...
  1. Physical Therapist Abilene, TX Hendrick Health System
    : If you are a cooperative and compassionate Physical Therapist looking for a superb career opportunity with one of Texas's leading healthcare providers, join our Physical Therapy team at Hendrick Medical Center! We are seeking a positive and...
  2. Physical Therapist Concord Twp. , OH Lake Health
    Position Summary: The Physical Therapist reports to the Manager of Rehabilitation Services and is responsible to provide quality patient care per the plan of care upon the referral from an appropriate licensed practitioner or via direct access...
  3. Physical Therapist La Crosse, WI Mayo Clinic's Campus in Wisconsin
    Physical therapist will be directly supervised by their Physical Therapy Clinical Manager. Further reporting relationships exist between the Physical Therapist and all other members of the Rehabilitation Services Leadership team including...
  4. Physical Therapist Lawton, OK Southwestern Medical Center
    Up to $20,000.00 Employment Incentive** The Licensed Physical Therapist provides patient care based upon a total assessment and written evaluation that is appropriate for the patients need and medical condition and provides such care in...
  5. Physical Therapist Ronan, MT St. Luke Community Healthcare
    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?...
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. Physical Therapist Grand Coulee, WA Coulee Medical Center
    CMC is looking for a Physical Therapist to focus on the development of an Inpatient Physical Therapy program, as well as shared duties in Outpatient Physical Therapy. Under the general direction of the Director of Physical Therapy, this position...
  9. Physical Therapist Southport, NC Dosher Memorial Hospital
    Physical Therapist - Physical Therapy Full-Time & Part-Time Physical Therapist Positions. Outpatient and Acute Care. Meets the patient's goals and needs and provides quality care by assessing and interpreting evaluations and test results;...
  10. Therapist, Physical St. Louis Park, MN Park Nicollet Health Services
    The Rehabilitation Services Physical Therapist will communicate timely, clearly and in a professional manner with staff, patients, patient family members, physicians and other internal/external customers. The staff member will demonstrate skills...
  11. Therapist, Physical St. Louis Park, MN Park Nicollet Health Services
    The Rehabilitation Services Physical Therapist will communicate timely, clearly and in a professional manner with staff, patients, patient family members, physicians and other internal/external customers. The staff member will demonstrate skills...
  12. Physical Therapist Camden, SC KershawHealth
    Responsible for evaluation, planning, directing and administering physical therapy treatments as prescribed by a licensed physician. Administers treatments and physical agents as prescribed by a referring physician in an effort to restore...
  13. Physical therapist Pomona, NJ Atlanticare
    This position provides physical therapy services upon referral or prescription of a physician according to established procedures and protocols. The physical therapist evaluates, develops and performs treatment programs for patients with programs...
  14. Physical Therapist Rochelle Park, NJ Select Specialty Hospital - NENJ
    Using discretion and independent judgment, you, as the Physical Therapist, will assist patients and their families in coping with the unpredictability of illness within the context of the hospital environment. Other requirements of the Physical...
  15. Physical Therapist Daytona Beach, FL Halifax Health
    Halifax Health is seeking a Physical Therapist for the Physical Therapy - Rehabilitative Services Department. Summary The Physical Therapist will be responsible for administering physical therapy to assigned pediatric, adolescent and...