When you have physiotherapy done, you are putting your body in the hands of someone you believe to be a trained professional. Pain and disfigurement could result if the procedures are done wrong. That is why it is a good idea to check a therapist's physiotherapy credentials.
Physical therapy aides may play a role in physiotherapy. One is not out of line to ask about what kind of physiotherapy credentials such a person has. The standard may simply be a two-year course of study at a Jr. College or a specialty school. Yet, it is important that the clinic is not just hiring anyone who walks in off the street.
While physical therapy aides can help with certain treatment tasks, it is the physiotherapist that assesses the condition of the patient. This person also plans the course of treatment and specific treatments like special exercises.
This physiotherapist is the person to whom the patient will return for progress reports and who will oversee the work of the physical therapy aide. It is very important to ask for the physiotherapy credentials of this professional.
College coursework beyond the bachelor's degree is required for good physiotherapy credentials. If a physiotherapy candidate meets all the requirements, a master's degree with advanced training will prepare her for work in the field.
Physiotherapy credentials to look for are: Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT), International Education Consultants (IEC), International Consultants of Delaware, Inc. (ICD), International Education Research Foundation (IERF), and International Credentialing Associates, Inc. (ICA). Regardless of whether any of these credentials are required, the CAPTE (Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education) is the first credential needed.
There are different requirements for physiotherapy credentials in all 50 states. Different physiotherapy credentialing agencies are relied upon in different states. Some require a score of 600 or more on the licensing exam. Some require on-the-job training or professional references from physiotherapists who observe them in training.
Most states also require some ongoing education to keep physiotherapy credentials current. Find out how often the license needs to be renewed in your state. Then, you will know an outdated license when you see one. If you go into a physiotherapist's office and see an old license, ask if that is the newest one. If your physiotherapist is not able to produce a current license, look elsewhere for your physiotherapy.
To check on these physiotherapy credentials, it is possible to contact the state licensing board of physical therapists. One can find the contact information of any state's physiotherapy licensing board online. If all else fails, ask the physiotherapist to provide proof of her own training and licensing. It is to her advantage to encourage trust by being open about her physiotherapy credentials.
There is no need to be suspicious or unfriendly about asking for physiotherapy credentials. Chances are your physiotherapist is perfectly qualified to meet all your needs for physical rehabilitation or help with physical problems. It is important to find out about the physiotherapy credentials, but it is just as important not to make an enemy of your physiotherapist.