Robert Stravinsky: What You Should Know Before Becoming a Physical Therapist

For those considering a career in physical therapy, there is much to learn about the field. It is important to understand the profession before committing to the profession. Becoming a physical therapist like Robert Stravinsky requires a great deal of dedication and hard work, and learning what goes on behind the scenes of physical therapy is key to a successful career.

Overview of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a branch of healthcare that focuses on restoring movement and improving the function of people who have experienced injury, disease, or some type of disability that has affected their overall level of physical functioning.

Physical therapists work with patients to help them regain or improve their mobility and coordination. They are highly skilled professionals who work with patients to prevent, reduce, and/or eliminate pain and restore mobility following an injury or a period of inactivity due to an illness.

Educational Requirements for Becoming a Physical Therapist

To become a physical therapist, one must earn a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy. This will take four years of full-time study to complete. Most physical therapy programs require that students have a minimum of 90 undergraduate credits, including general education requirements and prerequisites for the major.

The prerequisites include chemistry, biological sciences, and physics, among other courses. Those who want to become physical therapists often choose to major in biology or kinesiology. Once a bachelor’s degree is earned, one must next earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. This involves a rigorous two-year full-time graduate program followed by a national licensing exam.

Specializations in Physical Therapy

Physical therapists like Robert Stravinsky specialize in one of three areas: orthopedics, sports, and pediatrics. Orthopedic physical therapists specialize in helping those who have been injured or have a disease that affects the musculoskeletal system. They work with patients who have undergone hip or knee replacement or have suffered a fracture or dislocation.

Sports physical therapists specialize in athletic injuries and work with athletes at all levels of competition. Pediatric physical therapists specialize in working with children who have experienced an illness or injury. They also work with those who have a disease that affects the musculoskeletal system.

Types of Patients Seen By Physical Therapists

Physical therapists see a variety of patients from infancy through senior adulthood. They treat individuals who have experienced an injury, such as a fracture, or a period of inactivity due to an illness such as pneumonia. They treat patients who have undergone surgery such as a knee or hip replacement. Patients also include those with degenerative conditions such as arthritis or a spinal cord injury.

Physical and Mental Demands of the Job

Physical therapists work long hours, often seeing patients for several hours each day, seven days a week. If a patient is in pain, they may need to see the therapist often, such as several times a day, making it very important that the patient is seen promptly and not left in pain for an extended period.

For this reason, it is important that therapists not become emotionally overburdened by their work and can separate their patients’ needs from their own emotions. It is also important that therapists can communicate their plans and progress with the patient and their care team.