Job Title: Physical Therapist
Type of Company: My company provides in-home therapy and nursing services.
Education: BS, Physical Therapy, UMass-Lowell
Previous Experience: I have worked as a physical therapist in many different settings: in-patient, out-patient, rehab and aquatic.
Job Tasks: As a physical therapist I evaluate patients, document their deficits and provide them with treatment. I coordinate the therapy I provide with other therapists, nurses and doctors to assist in the patients recovery. I design a treatment plan and teach the patient exercises that will help him on the road to recovery. I teach other caregivers, family members and the person involved proper techniques with adaptive equipment and exercises as well as pain reduction .
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that it is different every day and that I make a difference in the lives of my patient. Sometimes just by showing up I can change a person's outlook. By working on their deficits I can help them get well and become independent again. It is very rewarding to see a person go from being in a wheelchair to walking on his own. Since I am working in home care right now, I can schedule my patients when I want to schedule them and therefore have autonomy over what I do and when I do it.
Job Tips: When pursuing a career in physical therapy, you need to take as many science courses as you can. It also helps to volunteer in a rehabilitation facility. I would recommend that once you have graduated from a physical therapy program you start your career off in a rehab facility with a lot of other therapists whom you can learn from. Experience is the best teacher and so if you are working with only a couple of therapists you will not learn as much.
Additional Thoughts: Any job in healthcare is a stable job. You can always get a job in healthcare even in the worst of times because there are always sick people. As a therapist there are a number of different settings that you can work in. The variety of settings means that you are never stuck in a job that you don't like. You must be a "people" person and if you don't like to sit at a desk but would rather talk to people, help them and actually see success in their daily life this is the job to have.
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