An Electrophysiology Physical Therapist (EPT) uses electricity in his/her standard medical procedures to heal people. As an EPT, you incorporate state-of-the-art technology and advancements in therapeutic techniques to prevent disability, reduce chronic and acute pain, and restore mobility function by healing wounds, neuromuscular disorders, and muscle spasms.
Electrophysiology uses electric currents in medical procedures to offer different forms of treatment. This practice is prevalent in cardiology treatments, where providers use it to treat arrhythmia, among other cardiovascular complications. Furthermore, this procedure can be used to provide treatment to other cardiovascular conditions, such as diagnosis, treatment of nervous and musculoskeletal conditions. Besides, it is also instrumental in wound care.
Through electrophysiology, PTs help relieve patients of their pain, enhance blood circulation, avoid clotting of blood, and recovery from surgical incisions, wound ulcers, and more. The practice was first discovered in 1982, hence one of the latest advancements in Physical Therapy. Although still small in practice, it is gradually growing, and more people are joining. Are you interested in learning how to become a Clinical Electrophysiology PT? Read through this article to find out more.
How to Become a Clinical Electrophysiology PT
Education and skills requirements
To become a Clinical Electrophysiology PT, you must become committed enough to push through residency, studying in physical therapy school, and obtaining the necessary certification. Besides, you should have skills in dry needling and operating medical equipment. To pass all these, it can take 5-10 years. Schooling only can take you up to seven years, without doing your residency before you get your license. Mostly, one will earn a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, pre-physical therapy, or any health-science related field. After that, you must attend a DPT program, which will take about three years. Before you begin this DPT program, it is recommendable that you first work as a physical therapist or PT technician to have a first-hand feel of the job. Working under a clinic setting will help you explore different fields.
Some schools will offer to combine the DPT program with a bachelor’s degree. This helps students reduce the time they have to study. Such schools include Boston University, Sacred Heart University, Elon University, to name a few. Unlike before, where you could practice PT with a master’s degree, it is a requirement today that you have a DPT. Nevertheless, those who already have their masters do not need to get back to school.
Certification and License
State Regulatory boards are responsible for accrediting and licensing PT specialists. Therefore, the requirements may vary among different states. You should check your local regulatory board to review the conditions. Some of the most common include an approved DPT degree program, a national licensing exam pass, transcripts, criminal background checks, additional assessments, and a professional liability insurance cover.
The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists is responsible for certification. The minimum requirements include experience in clinical practice, a state physical therapy license, patient testing logs, and reports. Besides, you ought to serve a fellowship of not less than 1,000 hours.
Career Outlook, Salary
You have to be a licensed general therapist, to proceed and specialize in Clinical electrophysiology. Also, you can specialize further into particular fields such as wound management, radiculopathy, and more. To date, ABPTS has less than 200 Electrophysiology PTs; hence it is hard to track the accurate income data. Nevertheless, a BLS survey shows that PTs earn a median of about $87,930, but those who specialize can earn much more.
A survey by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists shows that 40% of employers are willing to raise the earnings for providers who specialize. On the other hand, 43% claim that the reward they would offer is ‘non-financial’- anew job title for the specialists’ satisfaction.
Clinical Electrophysiology PTs have a wide range of work environment conditions they can choose from. Physical therapists are quite high in demand. Whether indoors or outdoors, you EPTs can fulfill their job requirement. One can work as an Outpatient Physical Therapist, Inpatient Clinical Therapist, Nursing/Rehabilitation Facility, and School. Besides, a PT can work as a Travel Physical Therapist.
As an EPT, you should be ready to move around and attend to your patients. Also, be prepared to work till late and attend to emergencies. Before pursuing your licensing and accreditation, it is crucial to work as a general PT to familiarize yourself with the working conditions.
Career Pros & Cons
- Great Pay
The annual median salary for a PT is $82,560. Although the main aim of becoming an EPT is the drive to help others, a nice paycheck is motivating in the long run. With a nice paycheck, you will have a comfortable lifestyle and achieve an excellent balance between work and life.
- Work/Life Balance
There are multiple working environments you can choose from. Unlike other practitioners that have pre-scheduled shift hours, an EPT can adjust their schedule to include breaks, family time, and play.
- Career is high on demand.
The demand for EPTs is enough to guarantee that you won’t miss out on a job. It is a career that you can count wholly, not mentioning its pay. Also, it brings a sense of fulfillment.
- School is quite expensive
To achieve the necessary accreditation as an EPT, it requires some significant schooling time. At times, it will necessitate you to acquire a student loan. Nonetheless, you will earn a nice paycheck after school that will cover any pending debts.
- License Requirements
EPTs, especially Travel specialists, can work in any state. However, one is required to obtain licensing in each of these States. Besides, you have to renew it every two years.
- It is a Huge Responsibility
Treating and diagnosing patients is a huge responsibility. At times, it can become emotionally exhausting. Furthermore, it is similar to other medical practices in that patients can sue you in case of malpractice.
PTs play a crucial role in healthcare by improving patients’ mobility and reducing pain. If you specialize in electrophysiology, you are joining a practice that is not for many (job guarantee). However, the demand for ETPs varies across different regions. It would be best if you specialized in something other than electrophysiology, to enhance your resume and extend your options.
As an ETP, you can also handle wound healing, treating musculoskeletal and nervous system. Moreover, you can earn quite a nice income. If you are a PT who wishes to advance their practice, you ought to consider electrophysiology