Austin Nagel

A career as a Physical Therapist.
Career Goal - Physical Therapist

Career Overview

Physical therapists (PTs) treat patients to relieve their pain and increase their strength and mobility.

Physical therapists care for patients with injuries or illness. Doctors refer patients to physical therapy for conditions such as:

  • Lower back pain
  • Arthritis
  • Broken bones
  • Sport injuries
  • Strokes
  • Heart disease

Physical therapists help patients decrease pain and improve strength. They also try to prevent permanent disabilities or stop conditions from worsening.

Physical therapists review the doctor's referral and the patient's medical history. They test the patient's posture, balance, strength, muscle function, and range of motion. When their evaluation is complete, therapists write a treatment plan.

Physical therapists use a wide range of treatments (or modalities), such as:

  • Exercise
  • Hot and cold applications
  • Ultrasound and electrical stimulation
  • Deep tissue massage

They make sure patients understand how the treatments work and answer questions. Therapists teach patients how to do exercises at home and use support devices such as crutches and walkers. They also teach families how to help patients with their exercises. They may refer patients for prosthetic devices, which are artificial replacements for legs or arms.

Physical therapists check patients' progress and modify plans when necessary. They consult with other medical staff about patients' responses to treatment. They keep detailed patient records. Physical therapists may supervise physical therapy aides and assistants who help to carry out treatment plans.

Some physical therapists specialize in one type of care such as sports medicine. Others help to develop fitness- and wellness-oriented programs that help to encourage a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Career Skills and Interests

You have to be a good communicator, be able to solve problems and to use reason, use math and science, you also have to know how to manage your time, other people and other things, you have to work with people things and be able to visualize and percieve.

Career Working Conditions

Interpersonal Relationships

Have a high level of social contact. They work closely with patients and medical staff.Are responsible for the health and safety of patients.May on occasion deal with people who are unpleasant or angry due to their illnesses or injuries.Work in a group or as part of a team.

Physical Work Conditions

Always work indoors.Work very near patients. They often work within inches of other people. Are exposed to diseases and infections on a daily basis.

Work Performance

Must be sure that their work is accurate. Errors could seriously endanger patients' health. Make decisions on a daily basis that strongly impact patients. They rarely consult with other physical therapists before making decisions. Are usually able to set tasks and goals without consulting with other physical therapists.


Generally have a set schedule each week. May work part time or full time. Most work 40 hours a week. May work some evenings and weekends.

Career Wages and Outlook

In Minnesota there is about a 50% growth rate, They make about $74,000 a year. In the United States there is about a 60% growth rate, They make about $80,000 a year.

Career Related Occupations

Athletic Trainers, Massage Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Chiropractor, Acupuncturists, and psychiatrists.

Program of Study - Athletic Training


Athletic training programs prepare people to prevent and treat sports-related injuries under the supervision of a medical doctor.

Athletic training programs include topics such as:

Prevention and treatment of sport injuries, First aid and emergency care, Therapeutic exercise, Nutrition Sports psychology, Legal and ethical issues


You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Admission to a college does not always guarantee admission to its athletic training program. Some schools require you to first complete several prerequisite courses and maintain good grades before you can apply and be accepted into their programs. These courses typically include at least some of the following:

  • English Composition
    •First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
    •General Biology
    •Introduction to Athletic Training
    •Introduction to Human Nutrition
    •Introduction to Psychology
    •Personal Health

    This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
    •Exercise and Weight Control
    •Healthful Living
    •Injury Evaluation and Rehabilitation
    •Medical Terminology
    •Physiology of Exercise
    •Rehabilitation Techniques
    •Sports Law
    •Therapeutic Modalities
    •Training Room Techniques

    Athletic Training, Kinesiology, Massage Therapy, Exercise Physiology.


    Lake Superior, MSU mankato and moorhead, St.Cloud St., Winona St., Gustavus, St.John's, Bethel, U of M,

    Minnesota State University - Mankato

    College Info

    Size and Location- Mankato, MN. Enrollment Size of 15,441

    Admission Requirements- ACT (22) a rolling deadline

    Expenses- $20 Application Fee, Tuition, Room and Board of $15,000

    Financial Aid- Federal Pell Grants and many other federal and state scholarships

    Housing- Frats, and Sororities, 5 Resident halls

    Activities - 200 clubs and organizations, There is Greek Life and intramural athletics.


    Briefly record your thoughts and feelings about the workplace and the person you just visited? I thought it was a good experience i have thought about working for an insurance agency and I knew she worked at one.

    What did you learn in the interview? I learned that every job is different in every place you go and that there are different jobs out there for what you want to do.

    What did you like? What didn't you like? i liked that you’re on the computer a lot, but i didn’t like that you have to deal with impatient and angry people.

    Did you uncover concerns or advantages to this occupation? i’m concerned with how people would treat me.

    What advice did you receive? stay positive and stick with the facts even when you’re being yelled at you have to do your job.

    Did you discover another occupation to explore? yes because this was never in my top 2 list but it definitely is up there now.

    How was the work environment? It was slow a lot of people working at their desk a few people every now and then would come in. but it was nice, and quiet

    Do you think you would be happy in this occupation? I think that for the most part i would enjoy it.


    Get good grades, internships, job shadowing, and taking the right high school and college classes.

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