As a physical therapist you'll treat people of all ages — from newborns to the very oldest — who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. Physical therapists also work with patients to prevent the loss of ability before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness programs.
Physical therapists help patients manage pain and avoid dependence on pain medication. They improve balance to prevent falls and injuries, treat health issues like joint pain and osteoarthritis, and help manage lung and heart disease. Physical therapists also treat sports injuries and reduce the risk of future sport injuries.
Physical therapists provide care for people in hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes.
The American Physical Therapy Association predicts a physical therapy shortage across the United States. Employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 34% between now and 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the United States Department of Labor. The State of Oregon estimates a 28% increase need for physical therapists over the next 10 years, especially in rural areas.
The OSU-Cascades Career Development Center provides free coaching and support to help graduates obtain employment upon graduation. Services provided include job search strategies, resume, C.V. and cover letter writing, interview coaching, job offer evaluation and salary negotiation.