Deborah R.’s Answer
I am now retired but I worked in two hospitals, several schools, senior home care, Early Intervention, and in my own private practice. I worked in one school for almost ten years and of all my jobs I was happiest there, particularly when I worked with one specific principal who was there for about five of those years.
In general, every work environment has positive and negative aspects. It is unlikely that any work place would be perfect. The goal is to find an environment that has more positives than negatives. Physical therapists have a huge number of possible working environments. If you like the patient population, the next most important element in the environment, I think, is the people you work with and the people you report to.
It was most important to me that I liked the people I worked for and felt respected by them. I felt that the special principal I referred to above liked me, I liked him, and I also felt that he respected not just me, but all the other therapists and teachers in the school. To me, that is a good workplace environment.
It is really important to feel primarily good about your workplace environment. I had one principal who made my work life very difficult and eventually I got sick and had to go out on disability. So, if you don't feel comfortable at your job, it is important to move to a different job before that happens. I stayed too long because I loved the children I was working with and didn't want to leave them, but I should have looked for work elsewhere before I got sick.
Since I don't know why you asked your question, here are some questions that may be relevant to you that you can ask yourself. See the list below.
Deborah R. recommends the following next steps:
- Do I feel respected at my job?
- Do I feel supported to use my strengths and work on my weaknesses at work?
- Do I like the patient population and feel like I am being helpful?
- Is my continued professional growth supported?
- If you are a new therapist or a frustrated therapist, ask your self what your ideal work environment and patient population would be and try to create them in your work place, or find them somewhere else.