Saturday, December 3, 2011

4 Reasons Demand for Physical Therapists Continues to Grow

Recent job projections in the United States show that the physical therapy field is expected to grow twice as fast as any other medical field. There are several social and medical reasons to back up this expectation. People are living longer, and medicine has made breakthroughs that allow people to survive illnesses or injuries that would have caused death just a decade ago. Physical therapists will be needed to help these survivors regain mobility after traumatic illnesses or injuries. Physical therapy schools are readying graduates, but demand still outpaces availability.
Aging Population Spurring Growth
The Baby Boomer generation is moving into their golden years, which means that the elderly population of the United States is growing exponentially. As people age, they become more susceptible to problems that could leave them immobilized. Since the number of seniors is growing, that means the number of people who could potentially need the services of a physical therapist is also growing. The Baby Boomers have only just begun to age into the elderly population. The largest number of Boomers is expected to reach senior citizen status in the next three to five years, which is why the demand for medical professionals is expected to skyrocket.
More People Recovering from Serious Injuries
Today's medical technology enables doctors to save the lives of people who would not have survived certain injuries in the past. These patients might have survived their injuries, but they usually need a great deal of physical therapy to help them recover. From amputees to the partially paralyzed, there is a growing need for physical therapists who can work with patients to help them learn how to function as fully as possible in their new circumstances. Physical therapy is on the cutting edge of prosthetic technology, and the recent wars have caused huge leaps in physical therapy techniques as more soldier amputees return home for treatment.
Treatment Improving for Chronic Illnesses
Medical advances are also increasing the quality of life for people whose illnesses would have left them in bed or wheelchairs for the rest of their lives. With the proper physical therapy, stroke victims and other people who have suffered traumatic illnesses can regain some of their former independence. As physical therapy techniques continue to improve in this area, more physical therapists will be needed to meet the demands of clinics and hospitals. Modern medicine is allowing people to live longer, which means that there is an increased potential of elderly people who might eventually need help with mobility.
Physical Therapists Needed in Several Settings
The wide range of physical therapist workplaces also contributes to the rise in demand for certified therapists. Physical therapists are needed in sports locker rooms, hospitals, clinics, and several more specialized treatment facilities. It is possible to focus on one particular form of physical therapy, like helping people regain motion in their hands after suffering from tendon damage. General therapists are also needed to work in larger medical clinics where several types of injuries are treated. Some physical therapists prefer to work with the elderly, while others prefer to work with children. As demand for therapists continue to rise, new therapists will enjoy the opportunity to specialize in the type of setting that they are the most interested in.


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