Physical therapy is an emotionally and physically draining job, requiring you to be able to take on as much work as possible in the beginning so you can build a reliable customer base. Although it’s incredibly rewarding, many younger physical therapists can struggle to get to the rewards.
These are the top five things young physical therapists find hard about the job: what to do if you’re experiencing these issues.
Getting Comfortable Being Hands-On
Some younger physical therapists have a hard time getting used to being hands-on with their patients. The urge to be hands-off and avoid touching other people is ingrained a lot in American culture, especially for men, and has only become more noticeable since 2020.
Your patients need your physical and emotional support: if you struggle when being in contact with other people, you can wear gloves or use things like support bands to help.
Keeping Patients Returning Every Time
As a physical therapist, you only make money as long as your patients come to their appointments. It’s vital that you help them complete their allotted sessions, not only so you can get your paychecks but also to help them finish their healing cycle.
Beyond this, patients who can finish their sessions and go to all of them are more likely to give good word-of-mouth reviews that will ensure your business can continue to grow.
Remembering a Work and Life Balance
Many younger physical therapists struggle to find a balance between how much time they spend working with patients, doing paperwork, advertising their skills, and maintaining their offices while having a personal life. You deserve time and health outside of your job, so it’s important for you to take it.
The Physical Exertion Required With This Job
As a physical therapist, you’ll be required to be able to lift large amounts of weight, stay on your feet through most of the treatment phase, and physically show your clients what behaviors, stretches, or exercises you want them to replicate. You may have to help lift patients out of their beds and help support them as they walk or perform exercises: and this can be a lot to take on if you don’t have any strength yourself.
The best way to avoid struggling with this is to work your upper body a lot and keep in shape. This doesn’t mean the cliche diet culture: but instead to build some muscle and keep your flexibility.
Deciding if this is The Career to Keep
It’s easy to give up on being a physical therapist once it gets too stressful. Don’t let this happen to you! Many aren’t sure if they can handle all of the physical and mental requirements or if they can keep their patients coming back week after week. You’re not alone in this, and what you do for work is vital.
Every Career Has Ups and Downs
Although it would be fantastic if every career was a perfect fit for everyone who tried it: it doesn’t always work out that way. Consider seeking career help from someone who’s more practiced in physical therapy if you feel lost in this job.