Once you graduate from a Doctor of Physical Therapy program and are ready to begin your career as a physical therapist, it’s important to find a position that is a great fit for you! Consider your interests, goals and personality when you explore the possibilities, and once you’ve settled into your first opportunity as a PT grad, remember these four tips for success.
As PTs, our most valuable tool is our hands. Our ability to assess soft tissue and joint mobility is critical to our ability to help patients for the length of our careers. Improper form and mechanics during soft tissue mobilization can lead to overuse injuries of our own. As a new grad, it is easy to hyper-focus on the intricacies of each treatment technique and lose sight of the basics. Avoid hyperextension of your fingers and utilize hand over hand over pressure when necessary to prolong your career.
This may be one of the single most important tips for new graduates. Once you pass the boards and get your shiny new license, there may feel like there is pressure to have everything figured out. This cannot be farther from the truth. It is vitally important to have a more experienced reference available in the clinic to allow you to continue to grow as a therapist. Questions during treatment will inevitably arise, and there is nothing more beneficial than having multiple viewpoints from peers who have had the time to develop more robust pattern recognition. Therapeutic Associates has PTs of diverse educational backgrounds and makes intentional efforts to provide mentoring from both clinic directors and company-wide training.
As a new grad, you will feel like you are constantly learning on the job despite the comprehensive program you just exited. It can be easy to develop tunnel vision on your caseload for the next day or week, making sure that you have all of your bases covered. This isn’t a bad thing, but it can cause you to lose sight of future goals and career paths. That is why it is important to have short-term goals in mind that are achievable. They can serve as stepping stones toward a bigger career move whether that is additional certifications, fellowships or specialties. Therapeutic Associates encourages all of their therapists to undergo supplemental education through NAIOMT (North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy) courses alongside their peers.
New referrals mean new patients. With the growing prevalence of direct access, we rely less on referrals, but they are still a critical part of your practice. Committing time to observe surgeries and gain rapport with surgeons in your area is an important facet of your career. It will give you familiarity with the expectations and techniques of the surgeons who are sending patients your way. When we receive a patient referral from another specialty, we want it to be because we are the best, most trusted option. A wider range of experiences will make you a more well-rounded therapist and able to empathize with your pre- and post-op patients.
Physical therapy is one of the fastest-growing careers in the country. One of the benefits of being a physical therapist is that it offers individuals the chance to have a meaningful impact on patients every single day. If you have questions or are interested in learning more about joining the Therapeutic Associates team, visit our careers page to learn more and check out the current openings!
Join the Therapeutic Associates Family
If you’re looking for an opportunity to join a company that is committed to a collaborative culture of growth, inclusion and fulfillment, supported by resources that make a difference in your life, the life of your patients, your local communities and the world, consider a career with Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy. With clinics throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California, we are always on the lookout for exceptional people who would be a great fit for our team!