What do all of those letters behind the PT mean?
The medical field is littered with abbreviations that may or may not stand for the same title… and things can get confusing quickly. The physical therapy field is continuously changing, and practitioners find ways to gain more knowledge to continue their commitment to life-long learning. As a patient and consumer of care, it can be challenging to keep track of the alphabet soup in your physical therapist and health care teams’ names.
Physical therapists (PT) and physical therapist assistants (PTA) are required to perform a certain amount of continuing education every two years to stay up to date with the latest research and developments within the field. Continuing education allows us to refine our skills and improve our patient’s experience with quality, research-based care. In performing continuing education, PTs and PTAs can earn a wide range of certifications and specialties. Not all certifications and specialties are created equally. Certifications and specialties can require a huge time commitment and can require extensive national board examinations. For example, in physical therapy, there are 10 board-certified specialties. Board certification indicates a prestigious accomplishment with specialized knowledge and advanced clinical proficiency. To be considered for a board specialty, a PT must have at least 2,000 hours of direct patient care.
At Rehab Solutions, there are two board-certified physical therapists & several more on track to gain this prestigious title!The initials in our names represent different titles and accomplishments. Certifications and specializations may be easily recognizable within the medical community, but, it can have patients (and sometimes me) scratching their heads.This article includes a list of some of the certification and specialty abbreviations and their matching titles. Keep in mind, there are many certifications a PT or PTA may pursue based on their interests and patient population.
ATC – Athletic Trainer, CertifiedCPT – Certified Personal TrainerDPT – Doctor of Physical TherapyPTA – Physical Therapy Assistant
The 10 Board-certified Specialist abbreviations
CCS – Cardiovascular and PulmonaryECS – Clinical ElectrophysiologyGCS – GeriatricsNCS – Neurology (Ryan Schrock)OCS – OncologyOCS – Orthopaedics (Tiffany Nielsen)PCS – PediatricsSCS – SportsWCS – Women’s Certified SpecialistWCC – Wound Management
Here are other abbreviations you may see around Rehab Solutions. Enjoy!
AET – Advanced Exercise TherapistART – Active Release TechniquesCAFS – Certification in Applied Functional Science®CAPP-OB – Certificate of Achievement in Pregnancy and Postpartum Physical TherapyCAPP-Pelvic – Certificate of Achievement in Pelvic Physical TherapyCCVT/CVT – Certified Clinical Vestibular Therapist/ Clinical Vestibular TherapistCFC – Cranio-mandibular Head, Neck, and Facial PainCEES – Certified Ergonomic Evaluator SpecialistCFCE – Certified Functional Capacity EvaluatorCFMT – Certified Functional Manual TherapistCHT – Certified Hand TherapistCKTP -Certified Kinesio Taping PractitionerCLT – Certified Lymphedema Therapist (Also known as CLT-LANA)COMT – Certified Orthopedic Manual TherapistCPT – Certified Pilates TeacherCREX – Certification in Rehabilitative ExerciseCSCS – Certified Strength and Conditioning SpecialistCYI – Certified Yoga InstructorCWCE -Certified Work Capacity EvaluatorDMT – Doctor of Manual TherapyDWC® – Diabetic Wound CertifiedFAAOMPT – Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical TherapistsFAFS – Fellow of Applied Functional Science®FCE -Functional Capacity Evaluator: see CFCEFOC – Functional Orthopedic CertificationGCFP – Guild Certified Feldenkrais PractitionerLLE® – Lymphedema Lower Extremity CertifiedLMT – Licensed Massage TherapistLSVT BIG – Lee Silverman Voice Treatment MDT – McKenzie Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy®MLD – Manual Lymph DrainageMPT/MSPT – Master of Physical TherapyMTC – Manual Therapy CertifiedNDT – Neuro-developmental Treatment CertifiedOT/OTR/OTReg/OTR/L – Occupational Therapist/Registered/LicensedPAS – Postural Alignment SpecialistPRC/PRT – Postural Restoration Certified/TrainedWCC® – Wound Care CertifiedXPS – EXOS Performance Specialist
At Rehab Solutions, our PTs and PTAs strive to provide you with specialized care that is current and backed by research. The next time you visit Rehab Solutions, ask our providers about their certifications and specialties!
Devery Huddleston, PT, DPT