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What’s the biggest problem you’ve had while trying to peruse being a physical therapist ?

I’m going to college and I want to pick being a physical therapist as my major but from the videos I’ve watched they don’t tell much about there struggles. #choosing-a-major #challenges #physical-therapist


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Catherine’s Answer

I thought about studying in a specialized physical therapy track. I chose to study biomedical engineering because I wasn't sure if PT was the career choice I wanted at the time. I knew that biomedical engineering would still allow me to pursue PT later, so it left the door open.

Something that led me to ultimately pursue a career in engineering over PT was the PT lifestyle. I worked in a physical therapy office as a front desk assistant for 2 years and was able to see first hand how PTs spend their time at work. Some days can get very hectic if there's a heavy volume of patients. There were long hours involved (sometimes 12 hour shifts). Patients can be in pain so you sometimes need to deal with grumpy attitudes or no shows. However, there were plenty of rewarding experiences seen that can for sure out-value these areas of concern.

My shadowing experience definitely allowed me to evaluate the pros and cons for myself and I highly recommend that exposure to anyone considering the field. All jobs have their ups and downs so understanding them no matter what career you are thinking about will ultimately give you some reassurance in your choice.

If you're like me and want some extra time to think about your career through the beginning of college, make sure you pick a major that gives you a couple of different career paths you are interested in. Understanding the challenges of the job itself is just as important as the challenges in schooling, considering you will be in you career far longer than your studies.

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Laura’s Answer

Biggest problem was trying to get student loans. Biggest struggle during PT school was learning how to study properly

Hey Laura, thanks for the answer! How did you overcome these challenges? Gurpreet Lally

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Dolly’s Answer

Challenges that are inherent in persuing a degree/certification in physical therapy include maintaining your grades above a 3.0 to get into a program, some programs will require a 3.5 GPA or higher as getting into a program is generally highly competitive. Cost of a program can also be challenging.
Once in a program, it requires complete dedication, hard work and many hours of study to successfully earn your degree. Many programs do not allow you to work while in school.
Most programs require that you have taken specific core classes prior to entry though some programs may require a few additional classes to help weed people out and better prepare them for success. I believe it is still a requirement that you gain over 100 hrs of experience before applying to school by working as a PT aide in a clinic or hospital. You may need to volunteer if you are unable to find a paid position.
You can contact the programs/schools you are interested in or look them up on line to see their requirements for application.

Dolly recommends the following next steps:

Research programs for requirementss
Compare costs of different programs
Volunteer/work as a physical therapy aid
Look into financial aid availability

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Kendrick’s Answer

Good Morning!
Physical therapy is going to be a challenge if you are not use to studying, not able to prioritize, and not willing to give up for a short time to get what you desire. My struggle came from within. While others appeared to be enjoying their college experience to the fullest, I felt like I was stuck studying. I just had to keep reminding myself that this was my career and not just some job. Physical therapy was also a bit pricey. We had courses off campus. Gas, eating out because the campus cafeteria maybe close once getting back to campus, items needed during school, attending PT association events whenever possible were costly to me. If you feel like your are called to be a physical therapist, don’t let anyone’s situations deter you from pursuing your call. Our issue and problems may not be your issue or problem. Different schools have different requirements and expectations.

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Marcia’s Answer

Here's a couple of webpages that may be helpful:

https://www.masmedicalstaffing.com/2018/02/20/pros-and-cons-of-being-a-physical-therapist/

https://www.webpt.com/blog/post/6-things-i-wish-anyone-would-have-told-me-about-being-a-pt/

Good luck!

Hey Marcia, these links look like they could offer some really good information but dropping a link isn't the most helpful answer. Try adding context around the site and highlighting things you found interesting Gurpreet Lally

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Kusuma’s Answer

It requires lot of patience. You will be working with patients who might have lost a leg and feeling frustrated with themselves and may not respond during your therapy. Other situation is you will be working with people with dementia. Try to volunteer/ shadow so that you can assess yourself.

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