Physical therapy is a challenging profession. Lifting patients, managing an outpatient caseload, documenting functional progress, and meeting insurance regulations are just a few of the tasks expected from a physical therapist.
How do you find success as a new physical therapist? What can you do to make your clinic day and patient interactions more productive? Here are a few suggestions.
Education Never Ends
Although your formal training as a physical therapist may be over, your education as a physical therapist should continue. Continuing education classes are a fantastic way to keep your mind sharp and learn new things, so take them seriously. Physical therapy blogs and websites can help to keep you up to date on current trends in physical therapy.
Prepare for Your Role
Now that you are out of school, everything will be new to you. You may find yourself treating patients independently or encountering treatment situations for the first time. Make a point of reviewing your notes and articles and do not be afraid to pick the brains of your more experienced colleagues for advice and suggestions.
Get Help When You Need It
There is probably a high likelihood that you will be working with experienced physical therapists. Most of them, if not all, will welcome your questions or be happy to review your techniques. They may even be available to co-treat a patient or give a second opinion. It can be helpful to have a resource person when you find yourself in a bind. Having a mentor that you can discuss matters with goes a long way in helping you achieve success at your new job. Asking coworkers for treatment advice is wise, especially if they have more experience than you.
It is equally important to have fun with and enjoy your new co-workers. Co-workers understand better than anyone what you are dealing with at work. They also make great lunch companions. Plan events, have coffee, who knows you may even become lifelong friends with some of them.
All Work and No Play
Work is vital, but so is having fun. With school complete, you probably have more free time on your hands. It is essential that you have something other than work to spend your free time on. Consider pursuing a hobby, a sport or take a fun class in something that interests you.
Meeting the demands of your new job as a physical therapist will be full of challenges. Please remember to continue educating yourself, get help if you need to, and take care of yourself. If you are looking for an assignment as a physical therapist, take a look at the allied staffing division of GHR, where you are valued and appreciated for your physical therapy skills.