Careers Advice Blog

What makes a good physical therapist?

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There may be times in a person’s life where illness or injury causes them to need to relearn simple skills, such as walking. In addition to this, physical therapy can help to reduce the amount of pain that a person feels because of a long-term or degenerative problem.

Specialising as a physical therapist within your medical education can help you to make a difference in people’s lives, without needing to gain the ability to perform surgeries or need to deal with numerous types of illnesses. You may also want to consider whether you will work within a hospital, or instead set up your own private practice.

Educating Yourself

As with many medical careers, you may need to undergo training or gain qualifications before you can work as a physical therapist. This might involve attending college and gaining a degree. If you have decided to take this path later in life, or are currently working to provide for your family, it might feel like this is an unattainable feat. Thankfully, it is possible to seek an online program for physical therapy degrees, allowing you to complete part, or all, of your studying online. You might also wish to consider part-time degrees if available, so that you are able to manage both your education and the other current aspects of your life. Either way, this availability means that it may not be too late to alter your career path.

Gentle Touch

When you are aiding people with past injuries, or even painful joints, it can be helpful to have a gentle touch. Not only does this help with the exercises that you are giving, but it can also reduce any further pain they may feel, and allow the person to give you that bit more trust with their care. Undergoing physical therapy can be daunting for some, particularly if they have never experienced it before, so knowing that they will be well looked after can make a big difference.

Good People Skills

While you may be working on a person’s body, that doesn’t mean that your other personal qualities are not important. When helping a person via physical therapy, it can be imperative to communicate in a simple, easy-to-understand manner. While you might know the scientific terms for problems, it is unlikely that your patient will, so keeping your discourse informative yet straightforward can be reassuring. On top of this, you also want to make sure that your patient knows exactly what is being asked of them, especially if they will also need to practice any parts of their therapy between sessions on their own. Building up a good rapport with your patients can also help to make this communication easier.

Physical therapy can make a large difference to a person’s life. You can help them to remove potentially life-limiting pain, as well as to give them some semblance of independence back. By increasing your knowledge and skills, you may be better prepared to deal with more uncommon conditions.

Are you training to become a physical therapist? What attracted you to the job?

Career CamelWhat makes a good physical therapist?

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