Reasons for pursuing physical therapy as a career


Career or professional selection is a very important aspect in the lives of each and every individual in the society that we live in. The selection on the other hand is also difficult. When one is not able to find the proper guiding, he or she might make the wrong choices. To add salt on the injury, the rates of unemployment are rapidly increasing in almost every country in the world. The competition in the market is cut-throat. Therefore, majority of the young people who search for the best careers seem to be indecisive, confused and frustrated so much. This has led to indiscipline that is sparked by frustrations among these young men and women in the society (Allenbaugh, 2002).

Making of the right and timely career choice is a fundamental concept. This is independent of the success or failures of one in life. There is a very high probability that a correct career path taken by an individual may lead to satisfying, happy and prosperous future life. The rimy of prolonged indecision may make matters worse. The problem needs to be faced and at the same time resolved with urgency (Allenbaugh, 2002). It is important that a student makes a decision on his or her career path during the high school days. The students may be young and inexperienced but with the assistance of the teachers and parents, they can make a good judgment based on the interests of the subjects that they like most and the passion that they have in life.

For my case, pieces of advice from my teachers and parents, encouragements and several vocational trainings have assisted me in making the choice of becoming a physical therapist in future. There are various reasons that have led to my choice on the aforementioned field.

Firstly, from time immemorial, the physical therapy principles have been in place. The world we live in is very prone to accidents. The life of an individual after an accident may become miserable or may become normal. All will depend on the treatment he or she will get. When a person thinks of the term physical therapy, the first thing that comes into his or her mind is the idea of one trying to work or to learn something after being involved in a debilitating accident or circumstances that are related to that scenario  (Radomski and Latham, 2008). From my vocational trainings, I learnt that careers such as physical therapy are physiologic or anatomic in nature and that is where my nature lies. I would like to help victims of these unfortunate situations through prevention, identification, and alleviation of severe movement dysfunctions which may be acute or even prolonged.

Many people have been victims of war and the injuries that are involved during these calamities are really worrying (Page, 2015). As a physical therapist, I would help these people injured in one way or another to come back to their normal life. There are many ways of doing it, starting from simple ways like just moving ones limbs in a particular pattern so that the muscles can get used to the movement. Since the official introduction of the physical therapy in 1917 by Surgeon Generals in the United States, it is statistically shown that most of the victim’s lives especially for those who have been involved in war have really changed for the better. The therapeutic massage was the first simple scientific method that was employed and it really yielded fruits as most victims who were involved in small injuries during the war could anatomically recover from the simple method.

What also interests me about physical therapy is its wide application. Physical therapy is in fact used in almost every kind of a thing. This ranges from helping small kids to overcome the devastating defects that are associated with birth to helping old age victims who have suffered from stroke to restore movements in some crucial parts of their body like limbs. Therapy can also lead to speedy recovery for post-operative patients. Physical therapy may also be found in some other areas such as neurology, sports medicine, orthopedics and pediatrics. In neurology, the nerves or even the entire nervous system can be examined. In sports medicine, the actions of physical therapists apply when treating athletic related injuries that one may have suffered during the sports exercise. In orthopedics, physical therapy will help in correcting some deformities or any impairment that may be functional in the entire skeletal system. This is applicable especially in the spine or in the extremities or any other structures that may be associated like ligaments or muscles (Page, 2015). In pediatrics, physical therapy applies mostly in general care of babies who suffer from some diseases.

Those ages when life was a bed of roses are long gone. Life used to be simple, harmonious, easy and smooth. In most of the instances, the children just followed what their parents and ancestral professionals liked. During those days, people used to be trained at home without even having the need of going to school. In the modern world, everything is dynamically changing. For instance, attitudes change rapidly and advances in the field of science and technology keep changing progressively and situationally. The entry of all genders into every profession has complicated matters. It is therefore a tough job to select the appropriate career for one. Proper and well informed considerations need to be considered (Allenbaugh, 2002).

Physiotherapy is one of the careers in which after one has gained some skills, he or she can run his or her own hospital or clinic and therefore creating employment for oneself and other people. The community will also be in a position to benefit from the services that the clinic or hospital will offer without having to travel for long distance in search of physical therapy services.

A student in high school may wish to become a professional in a certain field but it is not just enough to survive with mere wishes. Proper and well-matching qualification is very important without with one will become very frustrated. For one to have a successful and pleasant career, there are very numerous factors that need to be put into consideration. First of all, one ought to have a complete make-up of the mind, then acquisition of paramount skills through trainings should be considered. Financial resources are also another important factor. For example if a young person wants to run an industry, he or she must have the required skills and at the same time have the aptitude for doing what is expected of him or her in the industry. For these circumstances, he or she should have enough financial resources for him or her to become an entrepreneur. If the will power is strong enough, then there is no doubt that the business will be successful. For my case, with the blessings of my career advisers and the financial support that my parents give me and the passion that I have, I believe that I can achieve my dreams of becoming a physical therapist.

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One of the driving forces behind my thirst for venturing into the physical therapy field was discovered when I visited a relative in hospital who suffered from some fractures in his legs caused by a bicycle accident. What interested me most was the way the physical therapists applied some exercises on the patients and within no time, the musculoskeletal disorders could recover. The specialists told me that their main objective is to restore the health of the patient back from the excruciating pain and ensure that the limiting conditions of the patients’ movements are avoided within the shortest time possible. This kind of treatment to me was the biggest service for humanity. Some patients who had cardiopulmonary as well as neurological problems were also able to return to their normal state after undergoing the physical therapy process. It really sparked my passion of pursuing the physical therapy course in the university.

In the same hospital, I also learnt that permanent disabilities can be handled through a physical therapy process. This is something that I did not know before. The therapy exercise could teach the patients on ways in which they can cope and properly function despite the limitation that they have. This is especially in the occasion that they remain with the condition for their entire lifetime. The doctors further told me that majority of victims who survive from an accident or an injury and are in the recuperation process or patients who suffer from crippling related incidences such as back pain, arthritis or cerebral palsy chose physical therapy as a treatment option because its healing and curing capabilities are very rapid.  A patient can fully regain or he can achieve more flexibility and move from one place to another.

Physical therapy also ensures that coordination and body balancing is achieved under proper physiatrist supervision. There are young kids who have delayed development of their entire physique (Radomski and Latham, 2008). Such children have weaknesses in their joints and muscles and therefore they need the services of a therapist. The therapist can assist these children via some simple techniques such as stretching exercise, body balance, electrical stimulation and coordination workouts on the parts of the body that are affected. The child can be in a position to build good physical strength. What interested me most was the positive response by most of the patients to the treatment offered by the physical therapists (Batstone et al, 2005).

I possess robust health, strong sense and determination of discipline. I love adventuring into unattended areas in the medical area and specifically physical therapy and generally dare some bold acts.  My aptitude for medical career is unstoppable. Serving my people and my country is my vision. I really hope to be in the physical therapy department in the medical field. My career in the physical therapy career will really give me a good opportunity to provide my services to my motherland country in the best probable means I can. According to me, I think physical therapy choice is noblest because it will help most people who have been frustrated by some injuries can get back to their normal life after being treated through physiotherapy. The call to serve the people is very important and I personally have a strong feeling that my passion can get the best expression to the injured.

I would also like to pursue physical therapy career because it is a health care profession which does diagnosis and individual from every age is being attended to. What amuses me most is that the physical therapy profession is a dynamic field where scientific base and theoretical background is well established. The clinical applications are widespread and it ranges from optical function promotion and maintenance to maintenance. For instance almost one million people in the United States are being attended to by the physical therapists in various ways (Stubbs, 2009). Firstly, movement dysfunctions are being diagnosed and managed by the therapists to enhance both the functional and the physical abilities. Secondly, optimal wellness and physical functions are being restored, promoted and promoted by the specialists. This service work in hand with life fitness restoration and management. Lastly, prevention of some symptoms, impairment progression, dysfunctional orders and general disabilities that may occur from some diseases, injuries, disorders and conditions are done by the physical therapists.

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The leadership roles that a physical therapist plays are also one of the driving forces behind my passion to pursue degree course in physical therapy in the university.  I saw this leadership role played by the specialists in the delivery system of the health care center. The physical therapists played leadership functions in the rehabilitation process. Programs that help in promoting fitness, health and wellness were being conducted by the specialists in both professional functions and in organizations that were community based. The physical therapy specialist nonetheless perform some important duties of developing worldwide acceptable standards for the practice of physical therapy and at the same time develop and adopt health care policies which ensure that accessibility, optimal delivery and availability of services that are related to health care (Batstone et al, 2005). The professionals also liaise with the federal government and insurance plans to ensure that quality of health is positively impacted.

The multifunctional roles of physical therapists are very important. For example, a physical therapist can work as a clinician by engaging with the patients in the clinic in some examination process which includes taking the history of the patient, conducting an exclusive review system and finally carrying out some tests as well as measures that may help in identification of existence of a problem. The physical therapists carry out some evaluation mainly to establish health care plans, diagnoses and prognoses in a patient. The examination data is then synthesized to determine whether the complications may be solved through physical therapy activity or by other scopes. Base on the aforementioned judgments, the physical therapists can perform a number of activities (Batstone et al, 2005). First, the physical therapists can provide adequate interventions to manage and instruct the patients on what to do. Secondly, re-examinations can be conducted by the physical therapists. Thirdly, interventions can be modified in an appropriate manner so that the anticipated objectives and expected results can be achieved. Lastly, discharge plans can be developed and implemented by the physical therapist. I aim to work under a qualified physical therapy specialist as an assistant physical therapist so that I can gain my experience through the supervision of the specialist. I have no doubt that within no time; I would have risen to the pinnacle of my career.

Physical therapists can also work as speech therapists. This is done via the assessment, treatment, diagnosis and prevention of some disorders that are related to cognitive communication, language fluency, voice challenges, swallowing and speech in general (Eckenfels, 2008). These specialists work with individuals who are not able to produce any sound in their speeches or if at all they produce, they are not able to speak out clearly. Fluency problems and speech rhythm challenges such as voice disorders and stuttering which causes harsh voice are being handled by the speech therapists specialists. Accent modification and communication skills can be improved for those patients who suffer from impairments that are related to cognitive communications.

I was very impressed to see the therapist in one of the hospitals who helped patient with swallowing difficulties to swallow both solid food and fluids. The specialist explained to me that the swallowing, speech and language difficulties are caused by many factors such as brain injuries, disorders or delays in the development of a person, stroke, deterioration of the brain, cleft palate, mental retardation, learning disabilities, loss of hearing or emotional problems. He further explained that all the problems are either acquired developed or they are just congenital in nature. Special instruments are being used by the specialists to quantitatively or qualitatively assess the condition in a person. These methods used incorporate standardized tests, diagnosis and analysis of the impairment extent. He told me that one of the requirements for one to become a speech therapist is master’s degree. I became challenged that once I am done with my degree in the university, I will further my studies into that field of specialization foe my master’s degree. I will also do the universal certification and licensure examinations so that I will be allowed to carry out my services to any country in the world.

Physical therapy is a career in which professionals in the field are very proud to be associated with it. According to a recent survey that was conducted by the bureau which carry out labor statistics, it was found out that the demand for physical therapists into the market is very high as compared to other professions. It was also found at there are more people especially students from high school who are very much interested with the field of therapy (Batstone et al, 2005). Following the urge by many people getting interested to the career path, a recent study was conducted to find out the factors that increased the influence for many people to make the career choice towards physical therapy and a separate study to identify the reasons for professional satisfaction in the field of physiotherapy.

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To understand the study well, some research questions had to be raised first. Firstly, a question on the factors that influence some individual or group of people to choose a career in physical therapy was raised. The second question that was raised was the level of professional satisfaction in physical therapy. The survey that was developed was randomly distributed over a selection three hundred physiotherapists in some parts of the United States. Over one hundred and sixty were returned. This was slightly over fifty percent of the total sample. It was found out from the outcomes that there were two major factors that influenced the making of career choice by an individual. The desire and the urge to assist other people in the society emerged to be the major factor with a total of ninety one percent agreements. The interest and the passion in the field of physiotherapy came as the second factor with an agreement of seventy eight percent. Majority of the physiotherapists i.e. the respondents showed that eighty eight percent of them were very satisfied with their current jobs and eighty seven percent showed that they were satisfied with their profession. From the statistics, it is evident that the outcomes are very positive and this can be linked to the great interest by a lot of people in the physiotherapy field. However, there is need for more research to investigate on all the probable variables that can affect the satisfaction levels in the profession in question (Eckenfels, 2008).

There is no shadow of doubt that the physiotherapy profession is very dynamic and it is also developing in most countries of the world. By the end of last year, the rate of employment in the physiotherapy field had increased by almost forty percent in the United States of America and at least by thirty six percent, on average in the rest of the world. Physical therapy is among the best thirty professions whose growth rate is very fast. It is among the best ten health-related professions that grow fast. This is in accordance with the statistics that the bureau that deal with labor statistics in the United States had released. Job openings are expected to increase by almost forty percent so that demands for this ever growing profession can be met with ease (Tecklin, 2008). Therefore, more than forty thousand new jobs ought to be created every year and net replacements ought to hit a target of sixty thousand every year.

However much lucrative the field is, it is obvious that there are numerous variables that actually play a great contribution towards the fast growth and successive urge for employment in the entire field. The advances that have been made in the medical field and technology have seen the rate of survival of most victims to increase. The victims in this case range from premature kids to both a growing as well as an aging population. Therefore the improvement in the physiotherapy machines and the know-how has increased the need for more victims to restoring back to a normal life (Eckenfels, 2008). However, it is evident that the individuals who are required to fill al; the positions are not enough as the field keep growing on almost daily basis. The shortage of very specialized physical therapists is one of the barriers that is believed to be causing the inadequate filling of the vacant positions in the profession. I believe that once I get the chance to practice in the profession, I will perfect on the skills that I will acquire during my service. I will also use my own initiatives and knowledge to improve on the areas that I will feel that they need some improvements. I will also carry out research to ensure that I learn some new things and apply them in delivery of my services to the people. By doing so, I will add value to the entire physical therapy profession.

The experience that a physical therapist can gain through working is very rewarding (Snyder et al, 2011). I like the exposure that students who graduate with physical therapy degree are offered a good opportunity to serve the people in the community in regaining mobility and also reclaiming their independence on daily basis. However, I am aware of the challenges that physical therapists face, for example investing a lot of resources and time towards building oneself in the physical therapy career. One is expected to have a bachelor’s degree or even a master’s degree as a minimum requirement. One is also expected to have worked as a therapist assistant for quite a number of years in a clinic so as to gain some experience before graduating. I am also aware that a physical therapist will have to interact with numerous victims who have undergone some emotional stress due to the traumatic injuries or permanent illness. It is a great challenge in ensuring that the victim has regained back to his or her normal life. It is the responsibility of every therapist to ensure that the objectives are met.

Lastly, the professionalism and all the core values that physical therapists are expected to uphold in delivering their services to the people are not only limited to the professionals themselves but they can also be applied by other individuals who have an interest in pursuing the physiotherapy as a career and profession. For instance, simple instructions such as meeting deadlines ought to be met by applicants or professionals in the field. Core values that define all the critical professional elements in the field of physical therapy are simple as well (Allenbaugh, 2002). The core values include excellence, accountability, professional duty, compassion, integrity, altruism and social responsibility.  I always incorporate most of these values when carrying out some duties that are linked to the profession. I apply mostly during school days. When students get injured during games and sports time, I lead a group of students drawn from the scouts and girl guides club in managing the problems especially those that are related to the muscles and the joints. Physical fitness and good athletic performance in our school are being actualized by the team that I lead. I also offer medicine programs for specialized sports where we offer comprehensive basic treatment to student and the entire community who suffer from sports related injuries. I believe that my early practice would help in shaping my future dream of becoming a good physical therapy specialist.

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  2. Batstone, M., Monsour, F., & Pattel, P. (2005). Transfer of Facially Injured Road Trauma Victims and its Impact on Treatment. ANZ J Surg75(6), 411-414.
  3. Eckenfels, E. (2008). Doctors serving people. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.
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  6. Snyder, C., Lopez, S., & Pedrotti, J. (2011). Positive psychology. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE.
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  8. Tecklin, J. (2008). Pediatric physical therapy. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
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