Since the field of physical therapy continues to become increasingly competitive, you need to make sure that you are devoting some of your educational career towards obtaining work experience in the field. Physical therapy internships can provide you with the basic skills and knowledge you need to succeed in a healthcare facility, medical clinic or other work environment when you become a licensed physical therapist. You can apply for physical therapy internships during the last couple of years of your educational career, and can gain valuable work experience with a one-year or two-year term.

Most colleges and universities offering accredited programs require students to complete a certain number of clinical hours in order to graduate, and an internship may help to fulfill some of these requirements.

Applying for Physical Therapy Internships

The first thing you need to do when applying for internships is to decide whether you want to specialize in a certain area. For example, if you are interested in sports medicine or want to work with seniors, you will need to look for an internship with a medical center, clinic or hospital that offers these types of services. If you're looking for sports physical therapy internships, you may need to contact a local high school or a professional sports organization to see if the physical therapists on the team are looking for an assistant and are interested in offering an internship. Finding the right internship can take some time, but you can turn to your college admissions counselor or academic advisor for assistance.

Some of your instructors and professors may also have contacts in the field and would be able to recommend you for an internship based on your career goals. Don't be afraid to ask your college professors for a recommendation, and let them know when you are ready to start applying for physical therapy internships so that they can provide you with contact information at the right time. When you do apply for your internship, you may be required to fill out a formal application and submit paperwork from your school. This will ensure that your internship hours are logged and documented, and may be used for fulfilling your degree requirements.

Benefits of Internships in Physical Therapy

In addition to providing you with valuable work experience, skills and knowledge that can be used towards your future career, completing physical therapy internships puts the student in an attractive position for a job offer immediately after graduation. You'll have the chance to network with other industry professionals, build up a list of contacts of people who may recommend you or refer you for a position, and establish yourself as a professional in the field.

Internships may be challenging, but they will give you a significant amount of work experience that you otherwise cannot get when just completing your required clinicals or even if you excel in classroom studies for your degree. If you want to specialize in a certain field, physical therapy internships can help you get your foot in the door of a highly competitive area. When you are applying for a position as a licensed physical therapist, you will be able to list all of your internship experience and can set yourself apart from other applicants based on the extent of work experience you have acquired.