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Career and Education Opportunities for Physical Therapists in Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for physical therapists. Currently, 1,300 people work as physical therapists in Nebraska. This is expected to grow 42% to about 1,840 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for physical therapists are expected to grow by about 30.3%. In general, physical therapists assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, and decrease or prevent deformity of patients suffering from disease or injury.

A person working as a physical therapist can expect to earn about $32 per hour or $66,890 per year on average in Nebraska and about $35 per hour or $72,790 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for physical therapists are better than in the overall category of Athletic and Occupational in Nebraska, and not quite as good as the overall Athletic and Occupational category nationally. Physical therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: treatment coordinator, physical therapist , and registered physical therapist .

The Lincoln area is home to twenty-five schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Lincoln where you can get a degree as a physical therapist. Given that the most common education level for physical therapists is a Master's degree, you can expect to spend about six years studying to be a physical therapist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Physical Therapist

Physical Therapist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, physical therapists assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, and decrease or prevent deformity of patients suffering from disease or injury.

Physical therapists perform and document initial exams, evaluating data to pinpoint problems and decide on diagnoses before interventions. They also discharge patients from physical therapy when goals or projected outcomes have been attained and furnish for appropriate follow-up care or referrals. Equally important, physical therapists have to inspect physicians' referrals and patients' medical records to help decide on diagnoses and physical therapy treatments required. They are often called upon to talk with patients, medical practitioners and appropriate others to develop, implement and assess intervention programs. They are expected to test and measure the strength of patients, their motor development and function, and respiratory and circulatory efficiency. Finally, physical therapists teach physical therapy students as well as those in other health professions.

Every day, physical therapists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for physical therapists to direct group rehabilitation efforts. They are often called upon to conduct and support research and apply research findings to practice. They also formulate, ready and carry out individually designed programs of physical treatment to maintain, improve or restore physical functioning, alleviate pain and avoid physical dysfunction in patients. They are sometimes expected to record patient chart prognosis and progress and enter patient data into computers. Somewhat less frequently, physical therapists are also expected to direct and communicate with supportive personnel.

Physical therapists sometimes are asked to participate in community and community agency efforts and help to formulate public policy. and teach physical therapy students as well as those in other health professions. And finally, they sometimes have to discharge patients from physical therapy when goals or projected outcomes have been attained and furnish for appropriate follow-up care or referrals.

Like many other jobs, physical therapists must have a strong concern for others and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Lincoln include:

  • Audiologist. Assess and treat persons with hearing and related disorders. May fit hearing aids and provide auditory training. May perform research related to hearing problems.
  • Occupational Therapist. Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that help restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to disabled persons.
  • Respiratory Therapist. Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, and operate equipment.
  • Speech and Language Teacher. Assess and treat persons with speech, language, and fluency disorders. May select alternative communication systems and teach their use. May perform research related to speech and language problems.
  • Sports Trainer. Evaluate, advise, and treat athletes to assist recovery from injury, avoid injury, or maintain peak physical fitness.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Physical Therapist Training

Creighton University - Omaha, NE

Creighton University, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178. Creighton University is a medium sized university located in Omaha, Nebraska. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,059 students and an admission rate of 79%. Creighton University has a doctor's degree program in Physical Therapy/Therapist which graduated fifty-seven students in 2008.

University of Nebraska Medical Center - Omaha, NE

University of Nebraska Medical Center, 987815 Nebraska Medical Ctr, Omaha, NE 68198-7815. University of Nebraska Medical Center is a small university located in Omaha, Nebraska. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 3,194 students. University of Nebraska Medical Center has a doctor's degree program in Physical Therapy/Therapist which graduated forty-one students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Health Fitness Specialist: The ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist (HFS) is a degreed health and fitness professional qualified to pursue a career in university, corporate, commercial, hospital, and community settings.

For more information, see the American College of Sports Medicine website.

Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist: Becoming ACSM Certified as an Exercise Specialistsays a lot about you.

For more information, see the American College of Sports Medicine website.

AmSAT Certified Teacher: Certified Alexander Technique Teachers have completed a 3 year, 1600 hour course at an AmSAT certified teacher training center.

For more information, see the American Society for the Alexander Technique website.

LICENSES

Physical Therapists

Licensing agency: Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
Address: Division of Public Health - Licensure Unit, Office of Rehabilitation & Community Services, PO Box 94986, 301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln, NE 68509-4986

Phone: (402) 471-2299
Website: Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health - Licensure Unit Office of Rehabilitation & Community Services

LOCATION INFORMATION: Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska
Lincoln, Nebraska photo by Stack

Lincoln is situated in Lancaster County, Nebraska. It has a population of over 251,624, which has grown by 11.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Lincoln, 80, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Lincoln cost $170,100 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, five hundred thirty-nine new homes were constructed in Lincoln, down from eight hundred twenty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Lincoln are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, educational services, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 33.3% of Lincoln residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Lincoln is 4.1%, which is less than Nebraska's average of 4.5%.

The percentage of Lincoln residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.4%, is less than both the national and state average. Saint John Baptist Church, Calvary Baptist Church and Calvary Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Lincoln. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Lutheran Church.

Lincoln is home to the Cedars Home and the AGP Grain Cooperative Elevator as well as Abel Stadium and 40th and Highway 2 Park. Shopping malls in the area include Gateway Mall, Sutter Place Mall and Edgewood Shopping Center. Visitors to Lincoln can choose from Comfort Suites, Ramada Limited North and Quality Inn Airport for temporary stays in the area.