Become a Licensed Physical Therapist in Ohio

The therapists at Ohio Healthcare Plus, LLC, offer home health services in Columbus and surrounding areas. They work with their patients’ physicians to create treatment and care plans.

If you have health insurance, physical therapy may be covered after you’ve met your deductible. Monast Law Offices has helped injured workers make successful claims before the BWC for access to physical therapy.

How to Become a Physical Therapist

Licensed physical therapists are in high demand in Ohio. The Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor area, in particular, employs 5,190 PTs—the second highest number of licensed PTs in the country. That’s largely due to aging baby boomers and the growing prevalence of chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity, both of which lead to mobility issues.

Aspiring physical therapist assistants can prepare for the state licensing process by earning an associate degree from a CAPTE-accredited school. These programs teach students the skills and knowledge required to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination for PTAs, a key step in becoming a licensed physical therapist ohio.

After graduating, PTAs can pursue employment in a variety of settings. Hospitals and medical centers are common workplaces, where PTAs work alongside physical therapists to provide patients with rehabilitative care. Many Ohio physical therapists and physical therapist assistants also work in private practice.

Once an applicant has been approved to sit for the NPTE, he or she will need to complete the OH JAM, a state-specific examination that measures your knowledge of Ohio’s laws and regulations governing the practice of physical therapy. Applicants can purchase the OH JAM online through FSBPT for $48 and will receive their score directly from FSBPT after completing the exam. The OH JAM must be completed within 96 hours of registering. If you fail the exam, you will need to wait six months before attempting it again.

Getting Your License

There are several steps you must take to become a licensed physical therapist in Ohio. The first step is to complete a two-year associate’s degree program from a CAPTE accredited school. The second step is to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination for PTAs and the Ohio Jurisprudence Exam.

The NPTE is designed to test your skills in assessing, planning, and implementing physical therapy treatment for patients. It requires you to know a variety of concepts and techniques, including biomechanics, therapeutic exercise, patient education, professional ethics, and clinical reasoning. It takes about four months to prepare for the exam.

After completing your education and passing the NPTE, you’ll need to get a license from the Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Athletic Trainers Board. You can find detailed information about the application process on their website.

Once you’re licensed, you’ll be able to help patients with a wide range of issues, including orthopedic conditions such as joint pain from ACL and meniscus tears, back pain caused by spinal stenosis, osteoporosis, and arthritis; and neurologic conditions such as balance impairment, gait abnormalities, and progressive neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. You’ll also be able to provide specialized services, such as aquatic therapy, dysphagia treatment, the McKenzie method, and kinesiotaping. You can find job opportunities in the Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor area at hospitals, medical centers, and rehabilitation facilities.

Specialty Training

Adding to your credentials by becoming a board-certified specialist can help you stand out from the crowd of physical therapists. This advanced credential demonstrates to patients, employers and colleagues that you have a mastery of specific skills within the practice of physical therapy. Getting certified also gives you access to a community of other practitioners who share your passion for the field.

The sports certified specialist (SCS) certification is another option for physical therapists who want to be at the forefront of treating athletic injuries. Earning this certification allows you to work with local sports teams as their primary medical provider, and even become a part-time sideline medic for professional sporting events. There doesn’t tend to be much of a pay increase with this specialization, but it can open up new opportunities for networking and job search.

Clinical electrophysiology is a specialty focused on using electricity to diagnose and treat human dysfunction. PTs with this certification are able to administer electrodiagnostic and electrotherapeutic procedures that reduce pain, prevent blood clots, encourage wound healing and relax muscle spasms. This area of practice is ideal for PTs who are interested in working with complex conditions, like heart disease or chronic respiratory diseases.

If you’re injured at work, a specialist in workers’ comp can be critical in helping you get your physical therapy covered by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). At Monast Law Office, attorney Jim Monast has helped several clients successfully state their case to the BWC so that they could receive ongoing treatment for injuries sustained on the job.

Continuing Education

In addition to meeting the requirements for a physical therapy license, PTs and PTAs must participate in continuing education opportunities to maintain their state’s license. A number of these courses are available online and in-person. Some are related to specific medical issues and others address new techniques or advancements in the field.

Continuing education courses are also available for physical therapists who want to enhance their skills and advance their careers. These include specializations like geriatrics, pediatrics and sports medicine. They can also choose to take a variety of professional development courses such as leadership, advocacy and research.

Other continuing education opportunities for therapists are available through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, which offers certifications in a variety of areas. Successful completion of one of these exams can qualify a therapist for three hours of continuing education.

All licensed physical therapists must renew their licenses every two years. During the renewal process, a minimum of 24 continuing education units must be completed. Some states, such as Ohio, also require that licensees pass a jurisprudence examination. Those who fail to meet these requirements are subject to disciplinary action by the state. Licensed physical therapists must also submit an official school transcript and a criminal records check. These can be sent directly from their school to the governing body or uploaded through a website.physical therapy ohio