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10 keys to a PT program that moves

Physical therapy focuses on mobility and a return to normal function. Exercises might seem minimal, but they work well to increase range of motion and strengthen muscles.

Commitment, compassion and knowledge are at the core of successful healthcare professionals who specialize in rehabilitation of the mind and body. Such traits are considered a prerequisite for those pursuing a career in physical therapy — a specialized field with an emphasis on science, medical technology and intensive, clinic-based training.

Among the rehabilitation categories are cardiopulmonary, geriatric, pediatric, neurological and orthopedic care. Those who select the field as a career become either physical therapists (PT) or a physical therapist assistant (PTA).

Both positions require a college degree; however, an advanced degree program including a master’s degree or a doctorate program is a prerequisite to become a licensed physical therapist. Entering the healthcare industry in such a field requires an appreciation for patient uniqueness, individuality and diversity.

Physical therapists integrate their education, training and resourcefulness to become architects of general wellness for their patients. The most effective physical therapists balance their rehabilitation approach with expediency and cost of service.

Here are 10 ways to determine an effective physical therapy program:

1. Emphasizes early intervention

2. Practices preventative maintenance

3. Focuses on restoring full body function

4. Sets goal toward independent living strategies

5. Expedites program to restore usual day-to-day activities

6. Motivates early and consistently throughout treatment

7. Promotes positive encounters and inspires “happy healing”

8. Offers comprehensive information for better understanding of treatment

9. Stresses patients embrace ownership in healing process

10. Delivers maximum service at minimum costs

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