Physical Therapists are health care professionals who study and treat people with health problems that are caused from injury or disease. A Physical Therapists assess joint motion, muscle strength and endurance, function of heart and lungs, and performance of activities required in daily living.
Physical Therapists can specialize in a few different areas. There is Rehabilitation, Community Health, Industry, Sports, Research, Education, and Administration. In Rehabilitation, Physical Therapists practice closely with other health care personnel in hospitals or rehabilitation centers to determine patients' goals. They evaluate and assess patients recovering from injury, surgery, or disease, develop and implement treatment programs. They teach patients to use artificial limbs and other assistive devices. They also provide instruction and home programs to patients and their families to continue the recovery process once the patient is out of the Physical Therapist's direct care.
In Community Health, Physical Therapists deliver rehabilitative care in the home, teach prenatal and postnatal exercise classes, and screen, evaluate, and treat children in public schools. They also teach back-care classes to prevent back pain and injury.
In Industry, Physical Therapists determine fitness requirements for specific jobs. They screen, evaluate, and assess employees' conditions with respect to job-related physical needs. They identify potentially dangerous work sites, modify task performance to prevent job-related injuries, and provide treatment to injured workers.
In Sports, Physical Therapists assess athletes' performance abilities, condition athletes to improve performance, recommend assistive or safety equipment to reduce injuries, and develop fitness programs for all segments of the general public.
In Research, Physical Therapists design, plan, conduct, and report studies in basic and clinical sciences that will lead to new knowledge, new technology, and increasingly more effective physical therapy patient care.