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Physical Therapists

Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and improve or correct disabling conditions resulting from disease or injury.

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    Work Activities

    Work Activities

    • Plan, prepare, or carry out individually designed programs of physical treatment to maintain, improve, or restore physical functioning, alleviate pain, or prevent physical dysfunction in patients.
    • Perform and document an initial exam, evaluating data to identify problems and determine a diagnosis prior to intervention.
    • Record prognosis, treatment, response, and progress in patient's chart or enter information into computer.
    • Instruct patient and family in treatment procedures to be continued at home.
    • Confer with the patient, medical practitioners, or appropriate others to plan, implement, or assess the intervention program.
    • Evaluate effects of treatment at various stages and adjust treatments to achieve maximum benefit.
    • Administer manual exercises, massage, or traction to help relieve pain, increase patient strength, or decrease or prevent deformity or crippling.
    • Obtain patients' informed consent to proposed interventions.
    • Direct, supervise, assess, and communicate with supportive personnel.
    • Test and measure patient's strength, motor development and function, sensory perception, functional capacity, or respiratory or circulatory efficiency and record data.
    • Review physician's referral and patient's medical records to help determine diagnosis and physical therapy treatment required.
    • Identify and document goals, anticipated progress, and plans for reevaluation.
    • Provide information to the patient about the proposed intervention, its material risks and expected benefits, and any reasonable alternatives.
    • Provide educational information about physical therapy or physical therapists, injury prevention, ergonomics, or ways to promote health.
    • Inform patients and refer to appropriate practitioners when diagnosis reveals findings outside physical therapy.
    • Discharge patient from physical therapy when goals or projected outcomes have been attained and provide for appropriate follow-up care or referrals.
    • Administer treatment involving application of physical agents, using equipment, moist packs, ultraviolet or infrared lamps, or ultrasound machines.
    • Refer clients to community resources or services.
    • Construct, maintain, or repair medical supportive devices.
    • Evaluate, fit, or adjust prosthetic or orthotic devices or recommend modification to orthotist.
    • Teach physical therapy students or those in other health professions.
    • Conduct or support research and apply research findings to practice.
    • Participate in community or community agency activities or help to formulate public policy.
    • Direct group rehabilitation activities.


    • Active Listening

      Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

    • Critical Thinking

      Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

    • Reading Comprehension

      Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.


    Applied Math
    Workplace Documents
    Graphic Literacy


    • Oral Comprehension

      The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

    • Oral Expression

      The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

    • Written Comprehension

      The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.


    • Customer and Personal Service

      Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

    • Therapy and Counseling

      Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

    • Medicine and Dentistry

      Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

    Career Video

    Additional videos and more information available on CareerOneStop

    Ohio Employment Trends

    • Currently Employed 8,020
    • Yearly Projected Openings 480

    Typical Education


    Social: People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.They do well at jobs that need:
    • Concern for Others
    • Integrity
    • Dependability
    • Social Orientation
    • Cooperation
    • Self Control


    • Work table or station for rehabilitation or therapy
    • Pivotal traction therapy supplies
    • Patient care beds for specialty care
    • Cognitive or dexterity or perceptual or sensory evaluation or testing products
    • Balance beams or boards or bolsters or rockers for rehabilitation or therapy


    • Word processing software
    • Medical software
    • Analytical or scientific software
    • Action games
    • Accounting software


    • InDemand occupations are considered a priority by the state of Ohio.
    • Bright Outlook occupations will grow rapidly in the next few years, have a large number of openings, or are new and emerging careers.
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    Workforce Supply Tool

    Workforce Supply Tool

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