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The Role of Continuing Education in a Physical Therapist’s Practice

Robert Watkins IV';

By Robert Watkins IV

Posted on April 5th, 2019 in Spine

AT-PT ConferencePhysical therapy is an academically exhaustive field and the practitioners are required to understand the complexities of the human body, its functions, and how the body can be rejuvenated following an injury.

In addition, understanding the physical and emotional effects of injuries and the way they can influence the treatment enables professionals to develop the most effective recovery plan for each patient.

Continuing education is mandatory for physical therapists so they can remain current with new developments and technological advances.

A physical therapist provides rehabilitative care to people having difficulty with movement and functioning or pain as a result of physical disabilities or injuries caused by accident, sprains or fractures resulting from sports activities, neurological disorders, and arthritis or other chronic disorders.

A physical therapist may be specialized in a particular area of care, for instance, the development of treatment plans for athletes. Physical therapists help them recover from sprains, strains, and other injuries by reducing their pain and discomfort and restoring their ability to move. Conditions such as arthritis, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, stroke, and multiple sclerosis can also be treated by physical therapy exercises. Patients who have undergone surgery or have had amputations may also benefit from physical therapy.

Important Licenses and Certifications

After earning a physical therapist’s degree from an accredited institution, it is necessary to get through the National Physical Therapy Examination administered by The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. This is a requirement to gain a license to practice and may vary between states. Most states need a degree and passing through the exam, but some states may also insist on continuing education to keep the license viable and also need additional requirements and state-specific assessments.

It is essential to renew the license once in two years and State boards also put forth requirements to meet continued competence. The continuing education sessions are necessary to enhance a physical therapist’s career as well as maintain their licensing.

Certifications act as an additional testament to the advanced skill gained in particular areas of physical therapy. To be eligible for the examination, 2000 hours of relevant clinical practice is a requisite. The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) provides certifications in eight specialties, which include:

  • Pediatrics
  • Geriatrics
  • Women’s health
  • Cardiovascular and pulmonary
  • Neurology
  • Orthopedics
  • Clinical electrophysiology
  • Sports

These specialty certifications are generally valid for 10 years after which recertification should be done through examination or portfolio. While these certifications are not mandatory, physical therapists may consider certification to allow them to specifically highlight their expertise in a particular area of practice.

About the Certified Athletic Trainer and Physical Therapist Conference, Culver City, CA

The Marina Spine Center at Marina Del Ray Hospital is presenting the Certified Athletic Trainer and Physical Therapist Conference on Saturday, June 1, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Doubletree by Hilton, 6161 Centinela Ave. Culver City, California. The annual ‘The Spine Injured Athlete: From Injury to Return to Play’ has been designed to shed some light on the most recent clinical techniques and modalities used in the treatment of spinal injuries and diseases and will be beneficial to practicing physical therapists and athletic trainers. Presentations include procedural aspects and postoperative rehabilitation in athletes after undergoing minimally invasive spine surgery, as well as prevention of injury and post-injury conditions.

This program is approved by the CPTA for 6.0 CE contact hours.

About the Speakers

Keynote Speakers include:

  • Robert Watkins III, MD, board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon is the Co-Director at the Marina Spine Center and a Consultant at the U.S.C. Athletic Department, L.A. Kings. He specializes in the treatment of sports injuries and has successfully treated many professional athletes.
  • Robert Watkins IV, MD, board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon is the Co-Director at the Marina Spine Center, Vice Chief of Staff at Cedars-Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital, and  Spinal Consultant at the L.A. Rams, Dodgers, Clippers. He specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery, computer-assisted surgery, spinal-deformity treatment, and disc replacement.
  • David Chang, MD, board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon, the Chairman of the Surgery Committee at Cedars Sinai, Marina Del Rey Hospital. He specializes in treating sports-related spinal injuries.
  • Michael Schlink, MA, PT, OCS, Schlink & Associates Physical Therapy
  • Dr. Shounuck I. Patel, DO, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Health Link Medical Center - Beverly Hills.
  • Rena Ringnalda, Vedic Educator, The Chopra Center.