They are crucial members of the school community, helping students of all ages access the curriculum and participate in education. At ProCare, we understand you – the school-based Physical Therapist – have vital responsibilities, and make sure that you find the role you deserve.

What is a Physical Therapist?

The duties of physical therapists vary by setting, but in all cases, they are highly-qualified practitioners. They focus on individuals and their physical challenges, developing plans to bring them to full function, and improving their movement. School-based PTs are related service providers who help improve students’ academic experience by ensuring kids fully engage with all school activities, no matter their physical limitations.

What do Physical Therapists Do?

These specialists serve a central purpose in increasing client mobility, whether due to injury, disability, or developmental disorders. They interact with children and clients to determine medical histories, evaluate their symptoms and deficits, and create personalized rehabilitation programs and plans to ensure the best outcomes for each individual. They also provide school health services to students in order to provide them with the support they require to thrive in their school environment.

Physical Therapist Duties

Every day is unique for physical therapists. They have extensive responsibilities, frequently changing as they tailor programs to each client, including:

  • Building relationships and consulting with kids to learn about their symptoms, pain, and physical conditions
  • Diagnosing and evaluating movement deficits and developing treatment programs
  • Educating patients on how to perform therapeutic exercise techniques correctly
  • Providing massage therapy or stimulation to support healing and recovery
  • Keeping patient records, monitoring goals, and keeping a close track of progress

How to Become a Physical Therapist

You need to undergo a rigorous process to become a PT. There are many academic levels to progress through, along with hands-on training, with the process taking between three and eight years.

Physical Therapist Education Requirements

There are specific educational steps to take to become a physical therapist, requiring significant commitment and sticking to your dream of becoming a licensed specialist. You will need:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in a health-related field, such as anatomy, kinesiology, or biomechanics
  • Participate in hands-on physical therapy training
  • Complete a Doctor of Physical Therapy program
  • Satisfy your state’s licensing requirements, which range widely
  • Complete an optional physical therapy residency if you plan on specializing
  • Obtain optional Board Certification, distinguishing you as a leader in the field

Physical Therapy Interview Questions

As you prepare for your interview for a physical therapy job, it is good to know which hard and soft skills potential employers value the most. The hiring committee is likely to dive into your educational background and hands-on training, as well as how you interact with others and maintain professionalism. To get ready for the big moment, you can practice answering commonly-asked questions that PTs often encounter in interviews. Ten typical questions you may run into are:

  • What are your first steps in evaluating a new client or patient?
  • What is the most challenging case you faced? How did you handle it?
  • What approach do you take when developing patient treatment programs?
  • What would you do if a patient refuses your treatment recommendations?
  •  Describe how you collaborate with others in your role.
  • How do you communicate with families regarding patient improvement and progress?
  • How do you inspire clients to stick to rehabilitation plans?
  • How do you know when your patients are successful?
  • Where do you see yourself with our company in one year? Ten years?
  • What do you like most about being a physical therapist?

Why are Physical Therapists Important?

The role of a physical therapist is crucial. Whether you are returning from an injury, recovering from a car crash, suffering from chronic pain, or many other situations, these specialists can expertly guide you to recovery. School-based PTs, in particular, serve a vital role in the lives of students. They help kids gain access to the same education that all students should, minimizing physical limitations that otherwise would hold them back. The school community is an interconnected team, and the school-based physical therapist is a crucial spoke on the wheel.

Final Thoughts on How to Become a Physical Therapist

Achieving your professional dream of becoming a physical therapist takes hard work, dedication, and a caring approach. You will need to undergo years of academic and physical training, but it will be worth every minute when you see your clients progressing because of your treatment plan.

At ProCare, we have the school-based physical therapy position of your dreams: come search our jobs today!

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