Physical Therapists And Physical Therapy Essay

2350 Words10 Pages
Physical therapists have become a highly respected and necessary part of the healthcare team, yet the process of becoming a physical therapist has become increasingly challenging. Physical therapy students must maintain a high GPA in order to remain in highly competitive doctoral programs and must also successfully complete several clinical experiences over the course of, on average, three years. For many students, their first clinical experience can be very intimidating because it will be the first time they have been in a type of setting other than the classroom. Often times, they will have no idea what to expect or how to prepare. Physical therapists also have the additional challenges of dealing with drastic changes in the profession that include the disparities in healthcare, escalating healthcare costs, and the demand for more efficient and cost-effective practice (Hayward et al., 2013). The scope of physical therapy practice is also evolving to include direct access as the norm in all 50 states, including Washington D.C. This change requires ever-growing autonomy and clinical decision making skills for all physical therapists (Hayward et al., 2013).
Clinical affiliations are an integral part of the doctor of physical therapy (DPT) education. Currently, all physical therapy students in the United States will graduate with a doctoral degree. Along with this relatively new advancement in the field, it is the expectation that entry-level physical therapists are
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