The Sports and Physical Therapy Center Presents Guidelines for Choosing a Physical Therapist
Clinic’s Guidelines Highlight Top Five Factors to Consider for Patients Seeking a Qualified Physical Therapist in Missouri
EUREKA, Mo., October 3, 2011 – When it comes to choosing a physical therapist, first-time patients may feel a little overwhelmed – particularly if they don’t know the state regulations governing the practice of physical therapy or the type of questions that should be asked of providers. To assist these individuals in their information-gathering and decision-making process, the Sports and Physical Therapy Center of Eureka has published guidelines that prospective patients can use when researching and 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 the educational standards and state licensing requirements for our profession. That’s why we’ve published guidelines that patients can use as a checklist when choosing a physical therapist,” explained Sean Quinn, founder of the Sports and Physical Therapy Center.
Quinn recommends that prospective patients take the following five factors into consideration when choosing a physical therapist:
- Education – While some schools offer undergraduate programs in physical therapy, a graduate degree from an accredited physical therapy program is currently required in order to take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). When researching physical therapists, individuals should verify that the practitioner they’re considering holds a master’s degree (or higher) from a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
- 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, must hold at least a bachelor’s degree, while those who graduated after that date must hold a master’s degree or higher.
- Submit official transcripts listing all 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, or for the past 10 years.
- Take a board-administered test on the laws and rules related to the practice of physical therapy in Missouri, and earn a passing score of 75% or higher.
Additional documentation is required for applicants who have had legal name changes, were licensed in other jurisdictions, are not native English-speakers or completed their physical therapy training in another country. Prospective patients can be confident that physical therapists licensed to practice in Missouri have fulfilled all requirements to the satisfaction of the state board.
- 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 to ensure that practitioners are aware of the latest treatments and best practices in the field, no matter how long ago they completed their degree.
- Experience – Physical therapists can have varying levels of experience and expertise, as the practice encompasses a wide range of treatments and specializations. 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 focus on many different parts of the body; it can be used to treat back, hip, knee and foot pain, arthritis-related joint pain, sports injuries and repetitive strain injuries, to name but a few examples. 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. The answers to these questions – as well as the practitioner’s willingness to listen to and address any concerns – can help patients find the right physical therapist for their needs.
- 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. Hearing and reading about the experiences of others who have had successful treatment can give first-time patients confidence and encouragement as they prepare to undergo physical therapy.
“My hope is that these guidelines will make it easier for patients to find a physical therapist they feel comfortable with, and give them peace of mind about the quality of 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 our patients. Every member of our team pursues continuing education to expand our skills and knowledge, and we also hold weekly meetings to discuss the latest advances in our field and determine how they can benefit our patients. Our clinic provides a wide variety of physical therapy services, and we have hundreds of satisfied patients – many of whom have shared testimonials on our website. I would 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 several years before establishing his own 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.