What Are the Different Types of Physical Therapy Internships?

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  • Written By: Geri Terzo
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2019
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Many facilities that provide physical therapy internships suggest that students should be equipped to begin entry-level positions at the conclusion of assignments. Given that internship opportunities can lead to full-time employment, students should seek out projects in settings that would be suitable to launch a career. Some of these options include children's hospitals and other medical clinics where internships may be highly specialized based on the injuries of patients.

For students who are interested in working with and providing rehabilitation for kids, physical therapy internships may be available at children's hospitals. Calling the human resources division in a regional hospital may lead to these opportunities, or there may be applications available on the Internet. Students should follow the contact protocol presented by the hospital or employer if there are guidelines available.

Physical therapy internships at children's hospitals should prepare students for entry-level clinical work at medical facilities. In addition to the medical care and therapy that interns might provide, students are likely to gain experience communicating with families and providing sensitive information about the progress of care. Students may become involved in documenting this progress, as well.


Graduate students may be able to uncover physical therapy internships in clinical environments. Interestingly, there are assignments available for both inpatient and outpatient care. Also, graduate students may be able to go so far as to choose a specialization in which careers are most desired, such as neurological, surgical, or sports therapy. Inpatient physical therapy programs might include acute care, surgery, and orthopedic rehabilitation. Outpatient therapies extend to providing care for brain, spine, and sports injuries.

Throughout all types of physical therapy internships, students may work alongside or communicate with surgeons, primary care doctors, sports trainers, and dietitians. Developing relationships early on will help students to establish some of the communication skills that are required in the physical therapy field. Patient care is, of course, the objective in any medical profession, and students should possess the skills or learn how to interact with physical therapy patients with kindness and professionalism.

Exercise facilities may also offer students opportunities to pursue physical therapy programs. In this type of setting, interns might focus efforts on designing exercise programs that are suited for individuals with different physical limitations. For instance, after performing the proper research and under the leadership of certified physical therapists, interns might create exercise routines for elderly people or individuals with weight problems.


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