Physical Therapy Essays

University of Southern California “Physical Therapy” Essay

Prompt: Which personal characteristics and motivating factors have led you to pursue the profession of physical therapy?

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       My motivation to pursue the profession of physical therapy developed as a result of distinctive personal experiences and a specific set of work values. As a high-level athlete I witnessed physical rehabilitation firsthand through my own physical therapy treatments for a wide array of ailments. Also, as a student-athlete at a NCAA Division I university I gained experience in the treatment of injuries through countless hours spent in the athletic training room and though my academic coursework in kinesiology. Furthermore, having identified the job characteristics that are most important to me, I am confident that the physical therapy field embodies each of them.

       A life-long involvement in sports is a major factor that has motivated me to become a physical therapist. Beginning at age five, I developed a passion for gymnastics, a sport with one of the highest rates of injury. Accordingly, throughout my 17-year career in gymnastics I suffered a multitude of injuries from minor muscle strains to season-ending fractures. I remained dedicated to the sport, however, eventually earning an athletic scholarship to San Jose State University (SJSU). It was through my personal experiences with injuries that I became exposed to physical rehabilitation in a variety of settings: private-practice PT clinics, hospital rehab departments, and even chiropractic offices. One environment, in particular, that has significantly impacted my interest in physical therapy is the Athletic Training room at SJSU.   

       As a student-athlete at SJSU, I was exposed to an environment that uniquely fostered the development of my interest in the field of physical therapy. My position on the women’s gymnastics team enabled me to spend a great deal of time in the on-campus athletic training room (ATR). There, athletes receive therapy that utilizes numerous modalities and exercises to prevent injury and facilitate physical rehabilitation, similar to a physical therapy clinic. During my own rehab and preventative care sessions I was fascinated with watching others’ progress and I shared in their happiness as they achieved their PT goals. Additionally, my undergraduate kinesiology courses continue to reinforce my enthusiasm for PT. Many of the concepts discussed in my classes—for instance, specific mechanisms of injury, hot versus cold treatment modalities, and special tests—are directly observable in the ATR, which enhances their meaning and my understanding of them.
       My decision to become a physical therapist is based on a set of values that I deem most important in a career. For one, interaction with a variety of people through my work is something I value. As a physical therapist I will be engaging with different patients each day, designing and implementing individualized treatment plans. I will also communicate regularly with other medical professionals, including medical doctors and other PT’s. Thus, the diversity of personal interactions and treatment programs will make my work interesting and exciting. Secondly, it is important that my career provides me with sufficient job security. Healthcare professionals will always be needed to help promote and maintain individuals’ health. Since many diseases, ailments, and injuries have physically debilitating effects, PT is often necessary to enhance or maintain people’s physical functioning. Therefore, as long as physical functionality continues to be important to individuals, PT’s will certainly continue to be a necessity. Lastly, the occupational attribute that I value most is helping other people through my work. A career as a PT will enable me to have a positive impact on individuals’ lives by helping them achieve rehabilitation goals and enhancing their overall well-being.

        Through my involvement in the physically demanding sport of gymnastics, I have gained an extraordinary amount of experience in physical rehabilitation processes. As a collegiate-level athlete I have been exposed to the treatment of a variety of sports injuries as well as different preventative care programs, which has further increased my interest in physical therapy. Moreover, a career as a PT will satisfy my top three work values—interaction with different people to give my workdays variety, employment security, and having a positive impact on individuals’ lives. Physical therapy is my ideal career path; I am excited to continue the pursuit.


Physical Therapy as a Career Essay

1115 Words5 Pages

A Detailed Description of the Job/Position
The job I plan on pursuing with kinesiology as my major is to become a physical therapist, which is also known as PT. Their main duty is helping patients rehabilitate with disabling injuries such as fractures, arthritis and low-back pain. Their duty is to help patients their relieve pain, increase mobility, and decrease long-term physical disabilities. Physical therapists focus on the evaluation of strength, balance, range of motion, co-ordination, endurance, and posture of each individual patient. Their patients can range from different age groups from infants to grandparents. The age group would provide a variety of therapeutic exercises for each of the health issues they would have. Depending…show more content…

Physical therapists also can consult and practice with other professionals, such as physicians, dentists, nurses, educators, social workers, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and audiologists to help them with their treatment to a patient. Conducting research or teaching is another job option for physical therapists.
A Description of the Basic Requirements Needed to Obtain this Job (e.g., type of degree)
In order to be successful in the profession as a physical therapist there are several prerequisites a person has to accomplish. One of the first prerequisites to become a physical therapist is you must graduate from a physical therapist educational program and obtain a master or doctoral degree. The master's degree programs for physical therapy typically are two to two and a half years in length, while doctoral degree programs usually last 3 years. In addition to classroom and laboratory instruction, students will complete supervised clinical experience to get a feel of the work environment. The coursework will include physics, biology and chemistry. Other additional coursework included during the physical therapy program is therapeutic procedures, biomechanics, examination techniques, human development, manifestations of disease, and neuroanatomy. You can specialize in one of those certain topics, which will concentrate more on a certain area. Students must also obtain a license in order to practice physical therapy. A license can be obtained by

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