Physical therapists undergo strict educational procedures to become trained and licensed in their profession. It takes either a Masters Degree or a Doctorate before even entering into a physical therapy program, not to mention hours of volunteer work in hospitals and clinics. In addition, the expectation of superior grades starts in the high school career where the focus should be in science and mathematics. Once licensed, the physical therapist is expected to continue their education in any number of ways.
Physical therapy continuing education is to ensure that the therapists keep up to date in all of the latest research and innovations of the field. The field of physical therapy is constantly changing and has been since the dawn of the profession, which is why it so important for the therapist.
Physical therapy continuing education can be found in seminars and workshops. In some states, it is a requirement to attend such events to maintain licensure. Each program differs from the next and focuses on various areas of interest and professionalism. Courses can focus on manual physical therapy in relation to joint movement or to the proper way to listen to and communicate with patients. These continuing education courses also assess the physical therapist’s skills and capabilities.
Accessing physical therapy continuing education can be done in any number of ways. Usually it is done by personally attending the seminars and lectures. These lectures are given by experts in the field of physical therapy that specialize in the region of study to be discussed. These can be held in conference halls, universities or other venues that allow a number of people to gather and hear the presentation clearly. The internet is another way to receive ongoing education. Resources available online can keep the therapist up to date in any innovations. Such resources may allow the therapists to assess their own skills in order to make any self improvements.
Another reason for physical therapy continuing education is the advancement in the field. Becoming specialized in a lengthy task, but to those that complete it the benefits are astounding. Specialized fields such as orthopedics, sports, and geriatric care can increase the effectiveness of the physical therapist. This is done by attending courses and lectures in the area of interest.
For those physical therapists with a Masters Degree, it may be beneficial to continue their education by pursuing a Doctorate. Physical therapy continuing education is available for such aims.
Physical therapists undergo a great deal of training and education to become what they are; professionals with the desire to help the rehabilitation of patients. The education does not end when the therapists graduates from the program but continues all throughout the professional life.
Massage therapy continuing education is not only a good idea for maintaining a career in massage therapy; in many states, it is the law. Likewise, massage therapy continuing education is a requirement of membership in the American Massage Therapy Association (the premier governing body for the field) and certification by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB); certification by the NCBTMB is the standard for high quality care, and is the law in a number of states regulating massage therapy.
National Requirements For Massage Therapy Continuing Education
Regulatory requirements for massage therapists vary by state in the U.S.; up to 13 states do not regulate massage therapy, but in those states some local ordinances might apply. It is best for students to gain an understanding of their local requirements for continuing education as it applies to massage therapy to ensure that they are practicing legally.
In states that do regulate massage therapy practices (37 states and the District of Columbia) the standard that is used is often the standard for licensure set by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA); in fact, certification by the AMTA (in the form of the NCBTMB) is the licensing requirement in a number of states. Practically speaking, the best course for massage therapists to follow is to meet the educational standards of the AMTA, which will ensure that their practice is a quality practice with the versatility to practice throughout the United States.
What The AMTA Requires For Continuing Education In Massage Therapy
The AMTA requires students to complete at least 48 hours of massage therapy continuing education every four years; this requirement begins with the first full year a therapist holds Professional Active Membership in the association. Continuing education programs must meet the standards of the AMTA or be approved by the NCBTMB. The AMTA accepts trainings of a hands-on, experiential manner, trainings in theory, and research education as fulfillment of the requirement.
The AMTA does not approve courses themselves, but relies on the student to make the determination as to whether a course in massage therapy continuing education fits the description of a qualified program (the description can be found through the AMTA). Alternatively, students can choose a course approved by the NCBTMB.
Once coursework is completed, therapists will also need to know where to submit proof of the work in massage therapy continuing education; some states may be satisfied with submission to the AMTA, but others may require submission to the governing state body as well. The AMTA requires proof upon membership renewal (every 4 years), but does accept submissions prior to filing as courses are taken (submission is a matter of filing a simple form, available online).
Continuing education in massage therapy is never a waste of time, as it can only further a massage therapy career. Understanding requirements for completion and submission of massage therapy continuing education is an important part of maintaining a professional massage therapy career.