Some people find it daunting to choose a practitioner in a specialized field like physical therapy, especially if they’re not familiar with the educational standards and state licensing requirements for our profession.
Eureka, MO (PRWEB) October 03, 2011
When it comes to choosing a physical therapist, first-time patients may sometimes feel overwhelmed – particularly if they don’t know state regulations governing physical therapy or the questions to ask providers. To assist these individuals in this process, the Sports and Physical Therapy Center of Eureka has published guidelines that prospective patients can use when selecting a physical therapist in Missouri.
“Some people find it daunting to choose a practitioner in a specialized field like physical therapy, especially if they’re not familiar with educational standards and state licensing requirements. That’s why we’ve published guidelines that patients can use when choosing a physical therapist,” explained Sean Quinn, founder of the Sports and Physical Therapy Center.
Quinn recommends that prospective patients take five factors into consideration choosing a physical therapist:
1. Education – While some schools offer undergraduate programs, a graduate degree from an accredited physical therapy program is required to take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). When researching physical therapists, individuals should verify that the practitioner hold a master’s degree (or higher) from an program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
2. Licensing – While licensing requirements vary by state, all candidates must pass the NPTE to be eligible for state licensure. The licensing body in Missouri is the State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts. In addition to passing the NPTE, applicants for licensure in Missouri must:
- Provide evidence of completion of a physical therapy education program deemed reputable by the state board. Those who graduated prior to December 31, 2002, require at least a bachelor’s degree, while those who graduated after that date require a master’s degree or higher.
- Submit official transcripts listing relevant courses, grades received, degree(s) awarded and graduation date.
- Provide evidence of good moral character and innocence of any unprofessional or dishonorable conduct.
- Submit an activities statement listing employment as well as professional and other activities since high school, for previous 10 years.
- Take a board-administered test on laws and rules related to physical therapy in Missouri, and earn a passing score of 75% or higher.
Prospective patients can be confident that physical therapists licensed to practice in Missouri have fulfilled all requirements as required by the state board.
3. Continuing Education – Most states require that physical therapists complete continuing education to maintain their licensure. In Missouri, all physical therapists must complete at least 30 hours of continuing education every two years. This helps ensure that practitioners are aware of the latest treatments and best practices.
4. Experience – While most people associate physical therapy with rehabilitation for individuals who have suffered an injury or undergone surgery, it is also used to provide relief from chronic pain and as preventative care to help patients achieve and maintain optimal health. Physical therapy can be used to treat back, hip, knee and foot pain, arthritis-related joint pain, sports injuries and repetitive strain injuries, etc. When choosing a physical therapist, patients should ask each practitioner what experience he or she has with their particular condition, what the treatment(s) will involve and what the outcomes have been for other patients.
5. Referrals – In addition to doing background research on physical therapy providers, individuals should ask family, friends, colleagues and neighbors for recommendations. There’s a good chance that someone they know has undergone physical therapy and can recommend a practitioner. If not, the Internet is a great source for reviews and testimonials from current and former patients.
“My hope is that these guidelines make it easier for patients to find a physical therapist they feel comfortable with, and give them confidence about the care they will receive,” said Quinn. “For those seeking a physical therapist in St. Louis, the Sports and Physical Therapy Center in nearby Eureka is an excellent option with a proven track record of success.”
Quinn noted that all of the therapists within his practice have a graduate degree from an accredited program and maintain current state licensure. “We strive to provide the very best care to patients. Every member of our team pursues continuing education to expand our skills and knowledge, and we meet regularly to discuss the latest advances in our field that can benefit our patients. Our clinic provides a wide variety of physical therapy services, and we have hundreds of satisfied patients – many have testimonials on our website. I encourage prospective physical therapy patients to contact us with any questions they may have; we’d be happy to speak with them and provide the information they need to make an informed decision.”
To learn more about the Sports and Physical Therapy Center in Eureka, visit http://www.ptstl.com or call 636-938-4065.
About The Sports and Physical Therapy Center
Located in Eureka, Missouri, the Sports and Physical Therapy Center was founded in 2004 and serves patients in the greater St. Louis area. Owner Sean Quinn is a licensed Physical Therapist in Missouri as well as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He holds a master’s degree in Physical Therapy from St. Louis University, and specializes in manual therapy techniques, orthopedics and sports medicine. Quinn worked in outpatient physical therapy clinics for years before establishing his practice. Today, the center employs a team of highly skilled physical therapists and a personal trainer, as well as dedicated finance, customer care and administrative staff. For more information, visit http://www.ptstl.com or call 636-938-4065.