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Oklahoma Physical Therapist Training

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Some of the things associated with the state of Oklahoma are football and severe weather, including tornadoes. The 46th state has a population of slightly more than 3.7 million inhabitants, many of whom benefit directly from the state's oil, natural gas and agricultural industries. When you take all of these aspects of the state into consideration, you can see that many residents at one time or another may need the services of a physical therapist.

The Sooner State requires that all physical therapists complete a master's degree before being allowed to practice in the state. Preceding the master's degree, physical therapy students will have to complete a four year degree, preferably one heavily laden with sciences. These sciences will most likely include biology, chemistry and physics along with human anatomy and human physiology. Many students are surprised to learn that psychology and social sciences are also part of the prerequisite for a physical therapist. However, this should not come as a surprise.

Think about the people therapists will be working with. Many patients have gone through a recent trauma when they see a physical therapist. In addition to the physical challenges, the patients are coming to terms with their own vulnerability. It is important that a therapist be able to understand what patients are experiencing physically, mentally and emotionally. Social sciences can help in this area. In many cases, the greatest obstacle to a patient's recovery is the patient himself. Understanding the psychological effects of an injury or illness will help a therapist work more productively with a patient.

In addition to academic work, potential physical therapists will be required to work hands on with patients before they ever earn a degree. Actually, it is a good idea for persons thinking of a career as a therapist to take the initiative and get experience working with patients prior to starting a physical therapy program. Not only does this move give the student a jump on his or her career, but it also gives the student an idea of what to expect from this career choice. Many programs in Oklahoma require that potential students present documented volunteer work before being accepted into the program.

While a master's degree is enough for a person to qualify academically to become a professional therapist, many students choose to go further and obtain a doctorate in physical therapy. Physical therapy assistants need to earn at least a two-year associates' degree to qualify to apply for licensure in Oklahoma. With six colleges in the state holding places on the 2007 Princeton Review list of best regional colleges, Oklahoma has several top quality physical therapy programs available to students. These programs when combined with enthusiastic and dedicated students are capable of producing graduates who are ready to compete and thrive at the top levels of their field.

In this football obsessed region, it's worth mentioning that many of the students who attend and graduate from physical therapy programs at state schools often end up working with football players and other athletes in the Sooner State.