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Certificate in Physical and Occupational Therapy

About Physical and Occupational Therapy

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Physical and occupational therapists are charged with providing rehabilitative therapy to improve the physical, mental, emotional and developmental abilities of an individual. The goal of any physical or occupational therapist is to improve a patient’s quality of life and enable them to perform daily activities on their own. They are also involved in designing various exercise and rehabilitation programs and a range of activities that will positively affect a person’s abilities and allow them to become independent members of the society. Physical and occupational therapists need to have good communication skills and a compassionate nature. They need to be able to encourage their patients, listen to their problems and help them tackle their difficulties.

About the Degree
A certificate of physical therapy (CPT) or certified occupational therapy assistant certificate (COTA) can potentially be acquired after successfully graduating from high school. These programs include a combination of biological and physical sciences, and various physical exercises which help students develop the ability to best serve a patient’s needs. Courses include basic healthcare guidelines, medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, physical rehabilitation techniques, mental healthcare and disability therapy. Additional licensure may be required, and students may have to to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)exam before they can start work.

Career Prospects
Most physical and occupational therapists are employed by health practitioners and rehabilitation centers, in addition to hospitals and nursing care facilities. Some also choose to work in educational institutions, childcare services and home healthcare services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates an increase of around 39% and 33% within the 2010 - 2020 period in the demand for trained physical and occupational therapists respectively, which is one of the highest growth rates among all occupations. The BLS further reports that the median annual salaries for these professionals were $82,390 and $78,810 respectively in May 2014.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:How long does it take to complete the certificate in physical and occupational therapy?

A:The Certificate in Physical and Occupational Therapy is a one year program allowing you a brief overview of the field and the opportunity of quick entry into the workforce. The duration of the certificate can vary if the certificate is pursued online since online programs are very flexible in nature and do not specify any deadlines for program completion. This is dependent upon the applicant's own speed.

Q:Where can physician assistants work?

A:A physician assistant will typically be hired at offices of healthcare practitioners, hospitals, outpatient centers, and clinics. These professionals work under the supervision of physicians and surgeons, and are trained to examine patients, diagnose illnesses, and prescribe medicine when needed. The demand for physician assistants is expected to grow at a fast rate in the coming few years. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Q:Where can you work as a physical therapist?

A:Physical therapists provide rehabilitative therapy to patients who have suffered from physical trauma. As such, the most common places they can work include: Offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists (33%); hospitals (28%); home health care services (11%); nursing and residential care facilities (7%); and physicians' offices (5%). (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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