Ann Steinfeld PT - November 2017 (714) 556-1600 November 2017


An Education in PT What It Takes to Become a Physical Therapist

Being a physical therapist is more than the ability to manipulate your muscles and joints or develop therapies tailored to your needs. While these are essential components of PT, many patients are surprised to learn just how extensive a therapist’s background truly is. There is a lot of education and experience that comes together to bring you the expertise you know and love. While each member of our team comes with a unique background in terms of experience, they also come with fairly similar training and certification. Certification is a must. Every member of our team has spent years in school learning precisely what they need to know about the human body to deliver exceptional results. In order to become a PT, you must have a degree from an accredited PT program. These programs are offered by a number of colleges and universities around the country. After you get the degree, you take the PT exam, which is a national exam administered by the state. When you pass this exam, you become a licensed PT. There are quite a few practicing PTs who have a Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) or a Master of Science in Physical Therapy (MSPT). These degrees are no longer offered by most, if not all, of the accredited schools. Now they’re offering the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), which many newer PTs have, including many of our own therapists. There are also many practicing therapists who have a Bachelor of Science related to physical therapy — including myself! Many PTs earned this degree before the master’s level programs really took shape. As the PT education expanded, the related degrees did as well. At this point, the PTs who hold a bachelor’s now have decades of experience behind them, if they’re still practicing. Over the past several years, PT programs have evolved to meet the needs of today’s patients. We know more about the human body now than ever before, and there are new and more effective techniques to aid in pain relief and healing. As a result, PT programs, as well as what we offer at the clinic, have been updated to reflect this.

The education behind every PT is designed to assist in the diagnosis of biomechanical issues. These are issues many other “specialists” aren’t typically trained to identify

and diagnose. In this case, I’m talking about

personal trainers, Pilates instructors, and others in this scope of service who offer fitness advice, but lack the extensive education

necessary to identify the source of pain or a similar issue.

Many people pay out-of-pocket for this advice and instruction but don’t often consider doing the same when it comes to physical therapy. Living in a direct access state (no referral needed) gives people a huge advantage. We can see you almost immediately — generally within 24 hours — and we offer consistency in scheduling. You see the same therapist on a schedule that meets your needs. This is harder to come by in hospital-based PT, for instance. On top of that, the sooner we see you, the more we can do to help — and that includes referring you to a doctor, if that’s what’s needed. It’s a forward way of thinking about PT, rather than the traditional line of going to the doctor first, then getting the PT referral. In short, we have the training and education that makes this — and much more — possible. –Ann Steinfeld PT, OCS (714) 556-1600 1

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