on June 03, 2013
physical therapy is a healthcare profession that addresses impairments and disabilities in all populations in order to rehabilitate people and promote mobility, functional ability, and quality of life. Currently, a patient needs a Doctor's order to see a physical therapist. The goals of the American Physical Therapy Association and Physical therapy as a professional is to be granted direct access by law so that someone with an injury or impairment could make an appointment with a physical therapist without requiring a Doctor's order. Physical therapy school is a post graduate program that will earn a student a Master's or Doctorate Degree and prepare them to take the Physical Therapy board exam. Most programs are transitioning to a Doctorate Degree. Physical therapists are required to take classes and labs in Biology, Chemistry, physiology, and anatomy as well as take more specialized courses in pediatrics, orthopedics, neurology, pharmocoloogy and radiology. Students are taught to identify red flags and medical emergencies as well as just physical therapy related topics. Physical therapy students are also required to participate in many internships at various locations with various types of patients. With this extensive education, there is no danger in a patient coming to see a physical therapist without a Doctor's order. Being able to come in for an appointment as soon as you recognize you have an injury would greatly benefit the patient. For instance, if a patient with a severe back problem has to wait weeks to see their primary physician to get a PT order then make a physical therapy appointment their injury can get worse. Additionally, the patient may be inadvertently doing things that are dangerous and exacerbating their injury. A patient should be able to directly visit a Physical Therapist.