Free Physical Therapy Practice

This is a website that was designed to provide free practice to physical therapist students and physical therapist assistant students. It includes some key information that you have to know to pass the FSBPT's NPTE exam.

The key points that I would like to pass along to you when you take your test are: Don't stress out about the exam.

  • Referred to other medical professionals if you don't know the answer to a patient's problem.
  • Do No Harm- with patient care.
  • Set-up a dedicated study plan.
  • Understand the content before you start taking practice tests.
  • Be familiar with format of the exam prior to test day.

The free questions on this site are primarily for physical therapists. However, a large number of the questions could also show up on the physical therapist assistant exam.

The FSBPT hosts the NPTE exam for physical therapists and assistants. FSBPT stands for The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. NPTE stands for the National Physical Therapy Examination.

What Is Physical Therapy?

If you are considering going to physical therapy school, you should understand its history, what it takes to become a licensed physical therapist, and what you can do with the degree. Physical therapy is a health care profession that focuses on developing, maintaining, or restoring mobility, strength, and flexibility throughout a persons life. It is believed that as far back as 460 B.C. Hippocrates followed by Galen practiced physical therapy and promoted massage, manual therapy, and hydrotherapy. When orthopedics emerged in the eighteenth century, machines were invented for people who suffered from diseases that targeted the joints. It became widely practiced after World War II when injured soldiers received physical therapy and made excellent recoveries.

To practice physical therapy in the United States you have to obtain a four-year undergraduate degree and then a master in physical therapy. You can go on to get a doctor of physical therapy or a doctorate in physical therapy science, and there are internships and residencies that allow you to become an expert in a specialty area in the field. In physical therapy school, you will learn how the human body works and moves, the disease processes that affect mobility and strength, and how to diagnose and manage them.

People who need physical therapy may have congenital defects, have been in a traumatic accident such as a car or sports accident, have an illness that limits their mobility, or be recovering from surgery. A physical therapist will deal with a wide range of conditions and develop individualized exercise plans to help that person regain movement, strength, and flexibility. Even if your patients have similar conditions, you will need to create plans that will allow them to reach an successful outcome in their particular situation.

Physical therapy is part of the overall recovery process for a patient. For example, a person might have injured their knee and see an orthopedic surgeon who performs the surgery. After surgery, they are referred to a physical therapist to help them regain their strength in that knee, reduce pain and inflammation, and work on increasing flexibility of the joint. A physical therapist will use techniques such as massage, manual manipulation, and even hydro- or thermotherapy to alleviate the pain. Patients may start out running in water to regain strength and work their way up to a treadmill and then an exercise machine. The physical therapist will also develop an exercise regimen that the patient does in the clinic and one the patient follows at home.

You will learn not only the techniques to treat the patient, but how to assess the patients progress, determine the next step, and encourage the patient to work through their pain and hesitations.

Because physical therapists often have patients referred to them, they have to know their patients medical histories. For some patients, the primary issue will be their injury that you will manage. Others will have more health problems, be on multiple medications, and have many specialists that you will need to communicate with as you determine how to best manage the patient.

There is also a human psychology aspect to physical therapy that you will learn about. People may be traumatized due to an accident or illness and carry around a lot of negative feelings such as denial, anger, and grief. It is imperative that you have compassion for what they are going through. You should explain how physical therapy is part of the healing process and it will give them a better quality of life by gaining strength and mobility. They will have to understand that the rewards from physical therapy are not immediate, but patience and persistence will help them reach their goals.

Not only do physical therapists manage and treat conditions, but they educate their patients on how to prevent further injuries. They can teach people who will not gain full mobility and strength to understand their limits and how to move in a safe way. In physical therapy school, you will learn about providing people with devices that make getting around easier. They can modify exercises for people with limitations and teach athletes how to play their games safely.

Physical therapy students are not only learning how to care for patients, but they are teaching future physical therapists, conducting research, and running health care facilities. Physical therapists can even specialize and become knowledgeable in neurological conditions, pediatrics, geriatrics, and cardiopulmonary physical therapy, so they can treat patients that require specialized care. Physical therapists can work in a range of health care facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes, private clinics, and rehabilitation centers, and they have a wide range of career opportunities they can pursue.

NPTE test blueprint and breakdown

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Last Updated: 08/04/2014