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What are some qualities that are required to be a physical therapist?

I’m very patient and cooperative with other people, but I’m still very shy and trying to break out of my shell. I feel like at first I’m awkward talking to people that I don’t know, I’m hoping I’ll continue to grow more out of it. #physical-therapy #healthcare


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Rod Mark’s Answer

In my opinion, as a Physical Therapist, we need to be patient, dedicated, good listener and effective communicator, gentle but encouraging, compassionate but practical, flexible, open minded, and quick to respond.

We need to be patient and dedicated. A lot of times and frequently, we deal with people who are in pain, people who are unable to accept the current situation, or people who are just frustrated. It's very easy for them to lose their control over their emotions and reactions. We as Physical Therapists need to have the patience to understand their situation, to emphathize, and to look above and beyond the situation to help them get better and help them achieve their and family's goals, and to promote quality of life no matter what circumstances they are in.
We also need to be a good listener and effective communicator. Most of the time, when patients think the Therapist looks uninterested, they will not talk further. We need to hear them out. We need to establish rapport and develop a more personal and customized plan of care that will optimize their recovery and facilitate a good discharge plan. Most importantly, we have to communicate effectively and carefully to avoid confusion and misrepresentation.
Lastly, Physical Therapists need to develop the art of balancing how to be gentle but also encouraging to keep the patient going. We need to be compassionate but also avoid creating false hopes that when not achieved will most likely cause more frustrations. We need to be flexible and understand that not all cases we will meet will be the same and what worked for the other case might not work for this one. And lastly, we need to be able to respond in a quick, smart and reasonable manner because the work place is always dynamic and things can come up surprisingly and abruptly.

I did not have all of these when I started but I developed these qualities throughout my years of practicing as a Physical Therapist and every day is always a learning experience!
Good luck to you!

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Rodolfo’s Answer

I’ve always been an introvert and still is but because my job demands communicating with people, I’ve become an outgoing and outspoken person as the need arises so don’t worry it’ll come naturally with experience and maturity.

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