Social Engagement: High
What’s What: If you’ve got the training and experience, you can pick your schedule and work when you want to, helping motivated people get better!
Amava Take: If you’ve already trained for a career as a physical (or occupational) therapist, you’ve got a lot of options when it comes to earning some money and taking control of your time. If you only want to work evenings or some weekends, there are patients who need you. If you would rather put in a day or two a week, that’s doable. Presumably, you were originally drawn in by the challenge of assisting people with injuries or chronic conditions on their journey back to mobility and comfort, so what’s changed? You want more free time and maybe less administrative responsibilities? You can have both!
From the Front Lines:
What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these jobs?
Trained individuals with up-to-date knowledge of techniques and the ability to work well with diverse clients.
Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?
Take the time to learn about your patients’ prior experiences with PT (if any). It will help you tailor a maximally effective program.
What’s a typical daily schedule like?
Most appointments are hourly and PT’s will typically work a shift.
From the Trenches:
What’s the most satisfying part of the job?
Getting a person back out there doing what they want to do physically.
How would you describe the hard parts?
Chronic conditions can be frustrating to treat.
What’s the closest thing you’ve ever seen to a miracle recovery?
A guy broke his neck skiing and came to me in a cervical-thoracic brace. He was considering surgery, but wanted to try PT first. He was out of the brace in two months and back to full range of motion and unlimited activity in a year.
Special Requirements: To be a physical therapist, you need a college degree in a health-related field (with coursework in anatomy, physiology, physics and chemistry), as well as a DPT (Doctorate in Physical Therapy), which typically takes three years to earn. Additionally, you have to pass state licensing exams. Sound like a lot? It’s worth it to have this flexible, rewarding career.
Related Classes: Become a Physical Therapy Aide, Handling Medical Emergencies, Interpersonal Communication, Keys to Effective Communication, Skills for Making Great Decisions, Managing Customer Service
Finding a Position: You can look for positions at medical centers, private physical therapy offices, sports teams, nursing homes and schools and colleges with developed athletic programs. Additionally, the American Physical Therapy Association (“APTA”), has a job board you may want to check out. There are other specialized physical therapist job sites and platforms that provide concierge business support for licensed physical therapists who want to provide in-home care to patients.