The journey to becoming a certified physical therapist is rigorous, blending academic study with hands-on experience. Internships stand as a critical bridge between classroom learning and real-world application, fostering a depth of practical skills and professional growth. Reflecting on my internship, I’ve not only applied theoretical knowledge to patient care but also honed my professional acumen under the mentorship of seasoned therapists, marking a pivotal step in my career development.

My internship was in a clinic that offers both inpatient and outpatient services to its clients. I had a chance to work with a qualified physical therapist and other medical practitioners who gave more insightful skills of working in a clinical environment. I did exercises with patients under close supervision of the physical therapist and I gained experience from the application of therapy treatment techniques. Above all, I had a chance to develop skills that enabled me to care for patients and understand their needs. Qualified physical therapists offered me a chance to experience a real life of a physical therapist in a clinical setup and offered important information for my career development. I also did job shadowing, which shed more light on the course and the career and what is required to be a successful physical therapist.

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Duties of a Physical Therapy Intern

Physical therapy is giving diagnosis and treatment to individuals who have a problem with body movement and are unable to perform their daily functional activities. Physical therapy patients vary in age from newborns to old people who have different needs that hinder their body movement and performance of routine activities. Physical therapists use various treatment techniques to ensure body movement, prevent disability, reduce pain, and restore functionality. Physical therapists help in maintaining body mobility by using fitness and wellness programs that enhance a healthy and active lifestyle. They prevent symptoms and onset of physical impairment and disabilities that can come as a result of injuries, diseases, or disorders. Physical therapists can work in hospitals, outpatient and inpatient clinics, schools, nursing homes, sports and fitness facilities like gyms, and other private practices. For all these places, license from the authorities is required for a practicing physical therapist.

Physical therapy intern can be assigned the role to assist a qualified physical therapist in carrying out the procedures. The intern follows guidelines given by the physical therapist. Duties of a physical therapist intern are numerous as they are assigned by the clinic and the physical therapist in charge. The intern can be assigned a role of taking history of the patient and offering physical examination so as to proceed with required therapy. The intern may also assist in drafting and running the wellness program. The intern helps the physical therapist in carrying out exercises that are based on physical therapy programs. Other administrative duties like filing and scanning and other duties in the clinic to ensure services are delivered smoothly, as well as any other duties an intern can be assigned. Depending on skills and abilities of the intern, duties may range from handling clients directly to indirect care. The intern can learn many things like proper warm-up, cool-down techniques, support chiropractors, and learn different ways of managing a crisis. As an intern in a clinic, I was assigned duties of taking patient history and I also helped patients do exercises as directed by the qualified physical therapist. As time went by and I gained confidence and skills, I was left alone to do therapy treatments with patients with minor complications. Now, I can handle patients alone because I have experience; however, when the case is complicated, I prefer to consult.

Interns should have skills such as communication skills, skills to assist in therapeutic exercises using equipment or without equipment, as well as demonstrate ethical, emotional, and professional behavior while at internship. All these skills are used during assessment to grade the student. Internships helped me as a student and intern in physical therapy to job shadow therapists to gain great experience through various interactions and discussions. Through regular internship activities, I obtained skills relating to treatment, nutrition prescription, and different rehabilitation procedures done to different patients.

Connections between Biology Major Coursework and Internship

Biology and physical therapy are related. Biology as a course is connected with physical therapy profession in which student’s career start from taking biology major, then physical therapy paperwork, internship, and finally having a career in physical therapy. Biology forms a core subject that provides many units for the program of physical therapy. Therefore, biology is the basis for the program and it must be accompanied by the internship. Students who wish to pursue the career of physical therapy and have successful internship and profession are required to take biology as the major in their coursework.

Biology has many issues relating to the program; physical therapy facilitates health care to individuals. PT deals with musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, and cardiopulmonary human body systems that ensure body movement and functioning. Biology deals with the study of these body parts, how they influence proper functioning of the body, and how they enhance movement. Therefore, there is a connection as biology deals with human body components and their functioning, while physical therapy helps to ensure that body components work normally and are maintained well to prevent disability. Biology ensures that people live a healthy life, prevent diseases, and avoid any disorders. In the same way, physical therapists are committed to ensuring good health, fitness, and wellness and preventing diseases and a possible disability or impairment. Biology is a prerequisite for the education program of physical therapy.

Therefore, there is close connection between the coursework in biology major and physical therapy internship because they all deal with human health, especially in terms of body movement and functioning. The knowledge obtained especially from human anatomy and other biology course units are applied during internship and encourage in-depth search for knowledge and its application.

Importance of Internship to Biology Courses

Internship is all about application of what has been learnt in class in practical cases like when handling patients. Application of the knowledge learnt in class to practical situations in a hospital or clinic is the essence of internship. Internship in physical therapy helped me to understand better the human anatomy, which is commonly discussed in biology courses. Through internship, I can explore more on these topics because I have practical experience and I know how they work in the human body. It helped me to connect patient-focused treatment therapies with the evidence-based treatment obtained from learning biology courses. During internship, different patients had different needs; therefore, application of therapy techniques should be specific to the needs of patients, hence calling for problem-focused treatment. In the biology course, the situation is analyzed and possible care is prescribed without understanding the history of the patient. However, both internship and biology course have to be connected to ensure appropriate techniques and procedures for physical therapy tasks. Internship encourages professionalism by application of the coursework to real-life situations, hence enhancing knowledge and practical skills, which may be gained from physical therapy staff during internship. Also, internship helps to determine a close relationship between various biology courses learnt during coursework with the practical application in the clinic or hospital and how all of them contribute towards patient care and treatment.

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Internship leads to a more experiential learning of biology courses and it influences deeper learning of the course and its connection to the program of physical therapy. Some topics are not fully covered in class because of time. Therefore, internship helped me to acquire the basics, which motivated me to research more about such topics, acquire knowledge, and relate it to already acquired skills. Through internship, biology courses are perfected and understood clearly so that a student obtains both clinical and academic performance. Physical therapy is also a wide career that encompasses many issues. Therefore, through internship and greater value from completed biology courses, the intern can now choose which area of physical therapy to specialize in, like sports physical therapy, clinical electrophysiology, cardiopulmonary, and geriatrics. Also, the physical therapist can choose to specialize in children, teenagers, adults, and the older people or also one can choose to focus on sports men and women like athlets, soccer players, etc.

Importance and Utility of Internship

Globalization and continuous improvement of technology have made many students take similar courses, but have different experiences. Therefore, an internship program helps us to add more experience from the real world and helps us to apply knowledge gained in class to patients who are in need. Internship is the best way of upgrading the resume for job opportunities and is good for showing development of a career in a specific field. Some employers may ask for any work experience from their prospective employees. Therefore, students can gain work experience before they are employed through internships after which they obtain references. Thus, it is easy to secure a job when you have done internship as compared to people who did only class work.

Moreover, internship helps in creating social and professional networks by connecting with those already in the career and those developing their career. Having many associations and groups in college helped with coursework and general skills development, but clinical environment seems to be different as there are many qualified staff and experts that offer unique skills and experience. By interacting with them, I developed a network that expanded my knowledge of the career, which is different from college environment. Working with qualified staff and experts helps me to develop more professional networks that will help me to achieve excellence in both academic and clinical performance. Patients also offered important experience because I came to understand that every individual has a specific problem that needs to be addressed differently. Thus developing a close relationship with patients helps to develop competence.

Many institutions have discovered the benefit of having their students obtain their internships as they progress with the program of physical therapy. Some institutions have internship vacancies for their students within institutions, while others have allied with other organizations to provide their students with internships. Therefore, internships are as important as coursework and one cannot afford to miss them and be deemed a qualified physical therapist. Those students who see internship meaningless and not important come to regret such approach later when they are exposed to real life situations. They may excel in class work, but they may face many challenges when they come into contact with patients face-to-face and nobody is to guide or supervise them. Most institutions have developed a curriculum that makes internships a must for students in order for them to successfully complete the program and graduate. Without an internship report and references, a student cannot graduate and obtain a certificate. Thus, institutions have made internships mandatory and important for the program of physical therapy to benefit students.

Internship Will Make Me a Strong Candidate as a Physical Therapist in the Future

Internships will definitely make me a better candidate and facilitate in becoming a qualified physical therapist in future and assisting patients and other students aspiring to join the career. Internship provided me with skills to handle patients rather than acquiring knowledge in class. I will be a strong candidate and a better physical therapist because I have acquired more information from those who are in the job or career through job shadowing and following their guidelines during internship. Some things are not clearly understood in class till they are practically done. Therefore, I will understand more clearly the applicability of knowledge when I do have internships. When I do not understand, I can ask experts during treatment and while administering exercises. Taking internship will help me to build my confidence so that I will develop various skills that will help me achieve my goals. Competence is gained by regular practice and internships offer the best way to achieve it through having professional relationship with patients from different backgrounds who have different needs, as well as through communicating with qualified physical therapists and other medical practitioners.

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Internship is important because of a unique experience gained before actual job is carried out. Internship offers students a chance to job shadow the qualified staff and obtain more information about the career before they graduate and get employed. It helps students obtain more information, which would not be otherwise obtained if they did only coursework. Those who ignore internships may excel in academic performance because they can concentrate on class work and ask their lecturers any point that is not clear to them. They also have enough time to do all the research and consultations they may want from the library, lecturers, tutors and attend groups for discussions to ensure high performance is achieved in the course. However, when it comes to working in a clinical setup or applying the knowledge to the patient, they may not be able to fulfill their duties because they may lack confidence, skills, and ability due to the lack of exposure. Therefore, it is necessary for students taking this program of physical therapy to look for an internship whether they are paid or not in order to apply knowledge gained in class to real-life situations.

I look forward to attending as much internship programs as possible in different places such as health fitness and wellness facilities like gyms, sport centers, private institutions, schools, home care, and many other related places to gain enough experience from different setups. I want to be an expert in this career and offer advice to upcoming young talented people who wish to pursue this program and have limited knowledge about it. My main goal is to see patients getting well and performing their routine activities without any problem. I also want to minimize cases of disability that can be prevented through application of appropriate techniques of therapy treatment. Finally, I have noticed the importance of taking biology as a major when wishing to pursue physical therapy career. Also, I have connected what has been learnt in biology courses to my internship. It is evident that internship has encouraged me to conduct an in-depth research of many issues I encountered during my contact with patients and qualified therapists, hence striving to achieve success in both academic and clinical performance.

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