Best Physical Therapy Schools in Florida: Physical therapists provide excellent care to patients of all ages, from young children to the elderly. This crucial health field is expanding swiftly as more and more individuals desire to maintain an active lifestyle. Physical therapists assist patients with mobility problems brought on by chronic illnesses in conjunction with an interprofessional care team. With the final goal of regaining independence, physical therapists work to prevent, diagnose, and treat physical impairments.
Top universities across the country offer doctoral-level training in physical therapy to licensed practitioners. PT students study the fundamentals to get their DPT degree and hone their skills in clinical rotations. Practice is built on a knowledge of human movement acquired in the classroom.
Physical Therapy Job Outlook
Physical therapists need to be skilled in practical techniques as well as excellent communication, coordination, and critical thinking abilities. For the best patient care, effective multidisciplinary collaboration across sectors is crucial. Via research, student organizations, and community clinics, PT students hone these skills.
The need for physical therapists is still rising as an increasing number of elderly individuals continue to be active into their older years. By 2029, the profession is expected to increase at a pace of 18%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Florida, the third-most populous state, will see comparable increase across a range of healthcare settings.
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Best Physical Therapy Schools in Florida
Included below are the best physical therapy schools in Florida:
Students at USAHS have the chance to become great physical therapists who will have a beneficial impact on patients’ lives. For the convenience of the students, there are two configurations in which the DPT program can be undertaken. The Flex DPT program allows students who must work, have family responsibilities, or reside distance from university to obtain their physical therapy degree.
Both of the 131-credit PT degrees are designed to prepare students for the national licensing exam. Students take a variety of courses, such as electives in physical therapy, biomechanics, movement science, and evidence-informed practice.
Physical therapy students engage in three clinical experiences to put the knowledge they have acquired in the classroom into practice. These six to twelve-week rotations impart crucial practical experience and patient care abilities. Clinical placements are chosen by USAHS based on the academic requirements of the student in order to offer the optimum educational experience.
Physical therapy students at Florida International University frequently have the chance to work with local patients. PT students have access to over 450 internship options through off-campus hospitals, rehabilitation and outpatient centers, skilled nursing institutions, and more. The physical therapy coursework of each student must include use of these clinical facilities.
Physical therapy students are well-equipped to pass their certification examinations and work as professionals because to the excellent curriculum provided at FIU. The average percentage of physical therapy students who completed their exams from 2018 to 2020 was 97%.
FIU has been ranked in the top tier of doctorate research universities as South Florida’s sole public research university. The average annual research budget for the institution is around $200 million. By taking part in research projects in the fields of neuroscience, biomechanics, pediatrics, and geriatrics, physical therapy students can benefit from the resources available at the school.
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8. University of North Florida (Jacksonville)
Graduates of the University of North Florida’s DPT program will possess the skills and information necessary to succeed as skilled practitioners. To ensure individualized attention, the program typically only accepts 30 students per year. For UNF’s PT students, a small class size guarantees a high-quality education and enough resources, in addition to a favorable student-to-faculty ratio.
Physical therapy students at UNF get a solid core knowledge of important subjects like physiology, kinesiology, therapeutic modalities, and neurology. Students can also select advanced electives to focus on their career interests.
Physical therapy practice begins with an understanding of human mobility. Students now have access to anatomical specimens thanks to the Willed Body Program. To become better caregivers, physical therapy students at UNF can deepen their grasp of anatomy and neuroanatomy.
7. Florida Gulf Coast University (Fort Myers, FL)
The DPT program at Florida Gulf Coast University offers instruction in settings with cutting-edge technology. Students will learn the most recent knowledge and abilities to best assist patients using modern laboratories. Students learn a variety of analytical evaluation and sports performance training methodologies in the Human Performance Lab, Sports Medicine Lab, Resistance Training Lab, and other facilities.
FGCU students have access to a variety of library materials that they can use to supplement the knowledge they have received in their classrooms and labs. A selection of databases, journals, and publications relevant to the study of physical therapy are available for use by students. A specialist health and human services librarian is also available to the department to aid with research.
Students studying physical therapy at FGCU are lifelong learners who can advance their professions by enrolling in post-graduate courses. Graduates can enroll in classes and earn certifications in manual therapy and ultrasound imaging through the institution.
6. Nova Southeastern University, Tampa (Clearwater, FL)
At Nova Southeastern University, PT students begin dealing with patients as soon as their first year. Integrated patient experiences occur on the Tampa Bay site to facilitate the early application of knowledge to actual patients with timely feedback. These interactions are included into the classroom lab time and select courses.
After being exposed to patients in the classroom, PT students apply the professional and clinical practice in clinical centers. Under the guidance of a clinical instructor, three full-time clinical experiences last for three months each. The development of pupils’ cognitive, psychomotor, and affective abilities occurs at local hospitals and clinics.
The final course in the Evidence-Based Practice series requires PT students to perform a capstone project in order to complete their degree. To create a case report, students will rely on both their prior classroom and clinical rotation experience. This in-depth explanation of practice will concentrate on issues ranging from risk management to diagnostics.
5. Nova Southeastern University (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Physical therapy education at Nova Southeastern University is of the highest caliber. NSU offers graduates significant professional advantages, from entry-level DPT programs through post-graduate PT residencies.
Physical therapy students at NSU have the chance to take part in extracurricular activities to learn more about the field. The DPT squad played against other college healthcare departments in the yearly 2020 NSU Health Professions Division Ethics Bowl. The physical therapy students demonstrated their expertise and took second place as a result of their effective use of ethical terms.
Students studying physical therapy have the option of traveling abroad for their clinical education experiences. Students gain the ability to adapt and use their talents in a variety of circumstances by becoming fully immersed in other countries’ healthcare systems. NSU collaborates with Eduglobal, a non-profit organization that manages health education, to offer students clinical experiences at rehabilitation facilities all across Italy.
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4. University of Central Florida (Orlando)
The university’s physical therapy clinic, housed inside the UCF Student Health Center, offers the neighborhood evidence-based service. The facility combines physical therapy specialization with healthcare education. In providing individualized care, UCF physical therapy students hone their orthopedic and sports medicine skills.
The Institute of Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation Science offers educational opportunities for physical therapy students as well. Students in physical therapy conduct mechanistic and translational research while being supervised by faculty experts. The institute is equipped with the latest technology and the capacity to improve the field of rehabilitation science.
Students at UCF take advantage of chances for community involvement. DPT students take part in a variety of events, including the Disney Marathon, Special Olympics, and Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk. With these various service options, students can get involved in a sector of interest and learn more about it.
3. University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
Through interprofessional education, USF—the first state university in Florida to grant a DPT degree—consistently exhibits distinction in the field of movement sciences. The USF Health department emphasizes the value of having a collaborative healthcare team while providing patient care. Students studying physical therapy collaborate with students studying nursing, public health, physician assistant, and other medical fields.
Students studying physical therapy practice in cutting-edge simulation labs with cutting-edge equipment. The USF Health Simulation Consortium has made it possible for PT students to attend the only fully accredited university in the whole state. Virtual reality, various simulators, and customized task trainers are used to teach physical therapy students.
Physical therapy students have the chance to take part in the university’s orthopedic residency each September. Orthopedic PT practitioners can develop practical clinical skills thanks to these cutting-edge didactic and clinical teaching possibilities. The curriculum prepares PT students for the orthopedic specialist certification exam in addition to treating neuromusculoskeletal conditions.
2. University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL)
Physical therapy experts at the top in their profession teach classes at the University of Miami. Dr. Robert Gailey has received recognition from the APTA as a Catherine Worthingham Fellow for his contributions to the profession. Gregory Hartley, a different physical therapy professor, was elected president of the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy and a Fellow of the National Academies of Practice.
The University of Miami offers specialized courses for physical therapy students as well. When they work together to master common recreational activities, students and physically challenged people are integrated through the Integrated Sports and Leisure programme. Physical therapy students can gain first-hand knowledge from patients thanks to this exceptional chance.
The research program at the University of Miami is focused on examining how exercise affects brain function and cognition. The Neuromotor Rehabilitation Laboratory determines the best workout dosages for each person using neuroscientific techniques.
The University of Florida’s DPT program, which was established in 1958, equips graduates for success. Following graduation, every single graduate gets a job. To experience providing clinical services, physical therapy students work in clinics, hospitals, schools, and other settings.
It is well known that University of Florida PT students are dedicated to supporting both local and international communities. Our objective is furthered via the Community Health and Rehabilitation Education Activity programs by helping those who require rehabilitation. Together with practical experience, PT students gain clinical leadership abilities.
The University of Florida provides research programs throughout the translational spectrum with grant money totaling $11.3 million. From molecular signaling to robotic training, academics and students alike look for solutions to human sickness and dysfunction. Physical therapy students improve their graduate experience and gain valuable skills through research by utilizing the university’s extensive resources.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which nation is the best for physical therapy studies?
The United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and some of western Europe are the best for physiotherapy. Some nations have high-quality healthcare systems, thus physiotherapy is taught to a high grade using the most recent research techniques.
In Florida, how long does it take to obtain a PT license?
Florida normally requires two to three weeks for the issuance of a physical therapy license. In comparison to other physical therapy licenses offered nationwide, this is quick.
Is PT challenging to enter?
They are fiercely competitive as well. From among the more than 200 to 600 applicants, many schools only accept 30 pupils. To get into a physical therapy graduate program, you must work hard and discover opportunities to obtain experience. Usually, programs require 100 hours of observation in a range of settings.
What is the lowest physical therapist salary?
The lowest 10% of earners took home less than $62,120, while the top 10% took home more than $124,740.
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