dcsimg

Career Story: Home Care Physical Therapist

Home Care Physical Therapist

Job Title: Home Care Physical Therapist

Type of Company: My company is a visiting nurse association in western Massachusetts.

Education: BS, certificate, Physical Therapy, Boston University

Previous Experience: I've worked in many different clinical settings--acute hospital, acute rehabilitation, long term care-- but I've found working with patients in their homes to be the most flexible and functional.

Job Tasks: My agency receives physician referrals for physical therapy from hospitals, surgeons, and private practice physicians. Examples of patient diagnoses include total joint replacements, orthopedic injuries (fractures or sprains), progressive neurological diseases such as Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis, other neurological problems such as stroke and traumatic brain injury.

Once I receive a referral, I make an initial visit to the patient in their home to do an assessment. I evaluate such things as range of motion, muscle strength, balance, gait, ability to transfer from chair to chair, bed mobility, sensation, and motor control. From the results of my evaluation I develop a physical therapy program of exercise and mobility training aimed at correcting or minimizing the patient's problems and improving their independence, function, and safety at home. It is also important to involve the family in the rehabilitation process as they may be the patient's caregiver or assistant. We also keep in close touch with other clinical team members such as nurses, physicians, occupational therapists, speech therapists, social workers, and home health aides in order to provide a cohesive, complete program for the patient's benefit.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is working with patients. I have been able to meet and help people in all walks of life. It is very rewarding to know that your services and assistance have made a positive change in someone's life at a time of stress or illness.

Worst part: our current health care system can be difficult to work in. Federal and state mandates and insurance limitations can be frustrating. I have found after thirty years in the field of physical therapy that home care is the setting that provides me the most freedom to treat the whole patient and make a significant difference in their lives.

Job Tips:
1. A strong science background is helpful in P.T. school. Take life sciences as early as you can in your school career.

2. Become familiar with health care settings early on. Volunteer at your local hospital, VNA, or skilled nursing center.

3. Before you work in a home care setting, it is helpful to first get some experience in clinical settings such as out-patient departments, rehab centers, long-term care facilities. When you work in home health you are very much "on your own" and it is good to work more closely with peers and mentors before venturing into a setting where you are more autonomous.

Popular Schools offering Physical Therapy Assisting Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

  • Programs: Therapy Health Technician
  • Degrees: Associate

Since 1996, Southern California Health Institute has been dedicated and committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing an exceptional education that enables them to become skilled and successful manual therapists.

  • Programs: Physical Therapy Aide/Sports Rehab Program
  • Degrees: Certificate
California College San Diego
San Diego, San Marcos

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

  • Programs: Respiratory Therapy (AS)
  • Degrees: Associate
San Joaquin Valley College
Ontario, Temecula, Visalia

San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.

  • Programs: Degree - Respiratory Therapy
  • Degrees: Associate

Start your career with training from Blake Austin College - Beauty Academy.

  • Programs: Massage Therapy, Esthetician / Massage Therapy
  • Degrees: Certificate

Earn Your Diploma from Home!

  • Programs: Relaxation Therapist
  • Degrees: Diploma
Platt College
Alhambra, Ontario

Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

  • Programs: Respiratory Therapy
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Associate
National Holistic Institute
Emeryville, Sacramento, San Jose

At National Holistic Institute, our history and network of relationships in the field continue to help our graduates succeed. With campuses across California, we offer a comprehensive massage therapy training program that prepares our graduates for a successful career in massage therapy. Whether you are looking to start your career or take it to the next level, NHI has a program for you.

  • Programs: Massage Therapy/Therapist
  • Degrees: Diploma
Mayfield College
Cathedral City

Give your career a boost with an education from Mayfield College.

  • Programs: Massage Therapy
  • Degrees: Certificate

American Career College (ACC) offers hands-on training that will prepare students for careers in the healthcare industry at three campuses in Los Angeles, Ontario, and Orange County, California.

  • Programs: Massage Therapy
  • Degrees: Diploma
Matching School Ads
You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Physical Therapists, including:

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104