Physical therapy involves a lot of education and science so that you can successfully aid in the recovery of patients who have experienced injuries. A Senior Physical Therapist specializes in helping senior citizens in recovering from physical injuries. Becoming a Senior Physical Therapist involves earning a bachelor' degree in a field of science, a master's degree in physical therapy, or a doctorate degree in physical therapy. The higher your education is, the more likely a job position will be open for you. Senior Physical Therapists must also be certified and licensed to perform their job by a review board. There is a national exam, the National Physical Therapy Exam, to qualify for being a Senior Physical Therapist. In addition to that, Senior Physical Therapists must become licensed in every state that they practice in.
The duties of a Senior Physical Therapist include performing initial exams, diagnosis of a patient before intervention, documentation of problems and treatments, reviewing patients' medical records and referrals, training caretakers of recovering seniors to treat them, determining what medical equipment is necessary for the patient, discharging patients, and working with other medical staff to advise them on issues. Being a Senior Physical Therapist is a very mentally strenuous job, as they need to be able to identify all problems that an injured senior may face in order to determine the best way for them to recover. They must also determine how long recovery will take, prescribe treatments, and handle follow-up care as needed.
Proper documentation of all details pertaining to a patient from prognosis to treatment to progress is vital. Senior Physical Therapists must produce the proper documentation, or other medical staff and caretakers may be unable to properly aid in the recovery of a patient.
Some of the work that a Senior Physical Therapist engages in is hands-on. They must provide manual exercise for their patient, including massages and tractions to alleviate pain, as well as helping their patients exercise to increase their physical strength while preventing deformity.
Senior Physical Therapist Tasks
- Administer manual exercises, massage or traction to help relieve pain, increase patient strength or decrease or prevent deformity.
- Perform an initial exam, evaluate medical records and physician's referral and determine a diagnosis prior to intervention.
- Record prognosis, treatment, response and progress in patient's chart or computer database.
- Discharge patient from physical therapy when projected outcomes have been attained and provide for follow-up care or referrals.