Physical therapists provide services to individuals and populations to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan. This includes providing services in circumstances where movement and function are threatened by ageing, injury, pain, diseases, disorders, conditions or environmental factors. Functional movement is central to what it means to be healthy.
Physical therapists are qualified and professionally required to:
- undertake a comprehensive examination/assessment of the patient/client or needs of a client group
- evaluate the findings of the examination/assessment to make clinical judgements regarding the patient/client
- formulate a diagnosis, prognosis and plan
- provide consultation within their expertise and determine when patients/clients need to be referred to another healthcare professional
- implement a physical therapist intervention/treatment program
- determine the outcomes of any interventions/treatments
- make recommendations for self-management
The scope of physical therapy practice is not limited to direct patient/client care, but also includes public health strategies; advocating for patients/clients and for health; supervising and delegating others; leading; managing; teaching; research; developing and implementing health policy, locally, nationally and internationally.