Literature & Writing in Physical Therapy

Category: Education

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Literature and Publications in the Physical Therapy World : 

Literature and Publications in the Physical Therapy World Amanda Calvillo

PT Requirements and Duties : 

PT Requirements and Duties Requirements To become a Doctor of Physical Therapy a Bachelor’s degree is required, followed by a 3 year doctorate graduate program. In order to practice, the licensure board exam must be passed. Once a person receives their license to practice physical therapy, Continuing Education credits must be completed every 2 years. A physical therapist must be able to provide adequate patient care within their scope of practice. Duties include: Hands-0n patient care to restore motor functionality, improve muscle strength, and relieve pain Administering modalities Teach and assist with mobility aids i.e. crutches, wheelchairs, walkers, etc.

From the Experts : 

From the Experts Robert Curtner, DPT “As far as reading goes, I regularly check the APTA website and read PT journals that I subscribe to. I read those about once a month. Writing for me usually consists of clinical notes and interim notes to doctors.” LeAnn Karnes, DPT “I don’t do much specific reading unless I have a unique or new injury come in; however, I do read monthly journals. My favorite is JOSPT.” Steve Flory, MSPT “Since I’m part owner of Trinity, besides patient documentation, I do a lot of appeals to insurance companies and reading of healthcare reforms and topics. That’s on the business side, on the patient care side most of my reading and writing is directly related to the types of patients we are currently seeing.”

Physical Therapy Publications : 

Physical Therapy Publications There are many different publications available for physical therapists; all of which offer information on new techniques being developed, legislature being passed, and any new and exciting developments in the field of physical therapy. The most circulated publications: Physical Therapy 57,631 PT Magazine 70,340 Advance for Directors In Rehabilitation 25,307 Rehab Management 20,000 Today in PT 100,335

Magazines : 

Magazines PT Journal JOSPT Training & Conditioning Today in PT PT Magazine

Magazines Cont’d : 

Magazines Cont’d PT Journal (PTJ) PTJ is an international magazine that includes information for both clinicians and researchers. PTJ is available both online and in print. It is published by the APTA. The online publication includes podcasts, video clips, and a full archive of all past PTJ publications. Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT) A scholarly, peer-reviewed journal published by APTA. Monthly issues are offered both in print and online. It is a 100% paid subscription journal. The print edition of reaches 21,500 and the online Journal serves 28,750 individual and institutional subscribers in the United States.

Magazines Cont’d : 

Magazines Cont’d Training & Conditioning The magazine focuses on sports medicine issues pertaining to both training and injury. T&C publishes 8 issues a year with articles from each issue available online. Today in PT Published by Gannett Healthcare Group Editorial magazine covering pediatrics, cardiopulmonary, neurology, geriatrics, and orthopedic and sports medicine in the PT field.

Magazines Cont’d : 

Magazines Cont’d PT Magazine Recently renamed PT in Motion Published by APTA and exclusive to members. Provides information on legislative issues pertaining to the PT field, as well as information regarding new developments and techniques.

Online Publications : 

Online Publications An online source of scholarly research and publications. It allows the user to search any journal and abstract in the medical field, and provides links to helpful websites pertaining to your field. APTA American Physical Therapy Association


APTA PT in Motion Monthly magazine published by the APTA Formerly PT Magazine PT Bulletin Online Published weekly online and distributed through email to APTA members. Reports mainly on legislation and health care reforms in Physical Therapy. Allows for members and subscribers to post job openings and continuing education opportunities. “I visit the APTA website weekly, just to see if there is any new information regarding legislature, and as a reference on other health care type questions,” Dr. Robert Curtner.

Writing in the PT World : 

Writing in the PT World Unless involved in research and publication, there is minimal writing in the PT world outside of clinical documentation. “Almost 99% of what I write are patient clinical notes.” Robert Curtner, DPT The APTA has Guidelines for Patient Documentation APTA Documentation Guidelines Many hospitals and clinics are now converting to documentation software that eliminates writing all together.

Writing Cont’d : 

Writing Cont’d Common writing in the Physical Therapy field includes: Daily patient notes: SOAP method Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan of Care Letters of Recommendation Appeals to insurance companies Interim notes to MDs Some therapists are certified to perform Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE). These are tests used to determine a persons ability to perform certain job related tasks, daily living tasks, and/or leisure activities ( APTA Guidelines for FCEs

Becoming a Physical Therapist : 

Becoming a Physical Therapist For students interested in the field of Physical Therapy, the best way to gain knowledge is not through reading textbooks and journals, but through hands on experience. “Gaining clinical experience is crucial more so than reading literature. However, being familiar with medical terminology is important,” Dr. LeAnn Karnes. Literature and writing classes that are helpful and recommended by most DPT programs: Medical Terminology Technical Writing

Other Helpful Resources : 

Other Helpful Resources There are many helpful resources available on what is needed to enter the PT field, and resources for those already practicing. APTA Arkansas Physical Therapy Association PubMed World Confederation of Physical Therapy

Works Cited : 

Works Cited “2009 Advertising Media Planner.” American Physical Therapy Association. Published 8 Dec. 2008. Web. 22 Nov. 2009. <> Curtner, Robert, DPT. Personal Interview. 18 November 2009. Flory, Steve, MSPT. Personal Interview. 19 November 2009. “Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy.” JOSPT, 2009. Web. 21 Nov. 2009. Karnes, LeAnn, DPT. Personal Interview. 14 November 2009. “PT Bulletin.” APTA, 2009. Web. 27 Nov. 2009. “PT Journal.” APTA, 2009. Web. 27 Nov. 2009. “PT in Motion.” APTA, 2009. Web. 27 Nov. 2009. “PubMed.” U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, 28 Oct. 2009. Web. 27 Nov. 2009. “Today In PT.” Todayin Gannett Healthcare Group, 2009. 27 Nov. 2009. “Training and Conditioning Magazine.” MAG, Inc. 2009. Web.27 Nov. 2009.

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