Are you a physical therapist who wants to advance in your career? Considering management or even branching out into a specialized field? You may be ready to accelerate, but the road ahead may not be clear.
As a PT, you can develop your career through education, specialization and networking. With experience in the field, you can become a board-certified specialist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS). Certification will allow you to specialize in areas such as neurology, orthopedics, oncology, pediatrics and others.
Continue Your Education
Education is vital to achieving your goals as a physical therapist, and it does not end when you go to work. In some states, continuing your education is not even a choice, as numerous programs require you to complete continuing education credits (CEUs).
There are options to consider when looking into education. You can attend a national conference, participate in a webinar, or take a CEU course on a wide range of subjects. For a physical therapist, it is vital to know your state’s specific licensing requirements. You may be interested in a postgraduate residency or a fellowship.
The profession of physical therapy offers opportunities to specialize in clinical areas of interest. Specialization in a specific area will allow you to practice and grow in an area that you are interested in practicing.
Certifications are available for eight specialized areas of physical therapy. These include cardiovascular and pulmonary, clinical electrophysiology, geriatrics, neurology, orthopedics, pediatrics, sports and women’s health. Obtaining your specialty certification is voluntary, however, it can lead to additional career opportunities.
Management is another area of practice that may be of interest to you. Management will allow you to handle hiring and training, scheduling, the creation of patient treatment plans, and other administrative tasks as you supervise the clinical staff.
Interacting with other therapists in person and online can advance your career. Networking gives insight into the profession, the latest research, upcoming PT events and current issues. Of course, it helps career options tremendously as you learn of open positions and become a potential candidate.
Networking online with social media opens up possibilities, too. Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and professional blogs are fantastic places to connect with colleagues, learn and advance as a PT. Remember that the more people you know, the more comprehensive your influence becomes. Online interaction is far-reaching, yet attendance in person at an event will give you the chance to network with speakers and colleagues in live discussions.
Working With a Recruiter
If you are at crossroads in your PT career, check out the healthcare opportunities at General Healthcare Resources. You will find per diem, long-term, and direct-hire opportunities. We are a quality provider of healthcare staffing and workforce management solutions.