Many physical therapists swear by the professional associations they've joined because these groups help them in so many ways.
Joining one or more professional associations gives a physical therapist:
* The opportunity to stay on top of trends in the field. Many associations publish academic or scholarly journals in which the latest treatments and trends are discussed and explained. In addition, these professional journals will keep you apprised of who the current and future leaders.
* Joining a professional PT association also allows you to attend conferences and forums. These are terrific networking opportunities: you could meet someone who could lead you to a terrific position.
* As you well know, continuing education is key to a successful therapy career. Most associations offer CIE courses and also list relevant courses coming to your area.
* Professional associations also offer certifications that can help you progress in your PT career.
Below is a list of some professional physical therapy associations.
The American Physical Therapy Association is the major professional association for PTs in the country. According to its website, the APTA "is a national professional organization representing more than 74,000 members. Its goal is to foster advancements in its practice, research, and education."
The APTA's stated mission is "is to further the profession's role in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of movement dysfunctions and the enhancement of the physical health and functional abilities of members of the public."
If you're a PT, you're undoubtedly a member. But if you're a student, or even if you're just thinking of pursuing a career as a joining the APTA definitely should be on your to-do list.
The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy is the organization that creates and administers the PT licensure examination (the National Physical Therapy Examination) for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
The Federation's website states that its vision is "that the organization will achieve a high level of public protection through a strong foundation of laws and regulatory standards in physical therapy, effective tools and systems to assess entry-level and continuing competence, and public and professional awareness of resources for public protection."
The American Association of Intensive Pediatric Physical Therapy is, according to its website: "a non-profit organization devoted to providing a source of information and research for parents of disabled children who are searching for the most innovative pediatric physical therapy treatments."