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As a Physical Therapist , What's it like behind the scenes?

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Susie’s Answer

This is a great question, Aaron! I work in the field of pediatric PT and "behind the scenes" for me means spending time each week, outside of my clinic, reading the research journals, doing PICO searches for answers to clinical questions, and collaborating with my pediatric PT colleagues or other professionals (OT, Speech, Developmental Therapist, Pediatrician, Orthotist, Social Worker) to make sure that I am prepared for the children I will treat in my clinic. I also teach and mentor, so I spend time "behind the scenes" reading and writing papers, creating course content, and fielding questions from colleagues and students.

Keeping up PT licenses and pediatric specialization certificates can also be considered "behind the scenes". I just returned from 3 days at Marquette University, attending a fascinating neuroanatomical dissection course, with 40 colleagues and some of the most interesting professors in the world! In order to do the work in the clinic and make everything look "easy", we have to put in the hard work behind the scenes to ensure we know what we are doing and following the most current evidence, so that means going to courses, conferences, and seeking out new knowledge. I keep a stack of books and journals on my bedside table and I truly learn something new every day, even after 30 years in the field.

Another thing I do behind the scenes is participate in the national PT organization, the American Physical Therapy Association. At the moment, I'm tasked with helping to educate my PT colleagues on my favorite topic, caring for children and teens who identify as gender-expansive, non-binary, and/or transgender. So I spend a few hours each week working on this project, pro bono. As part of our professional ethics code, PTs are supposed to spend a portion of our time doing pro bono work, so this is one way I choose to spend my time.

Is that what you meant by "behind the scenes"? There are things like billing, insurance, cleaning toys, writing grants, sourcing equipment, hiring/firing, etc. Things you need to do to keep the clinic doors open, for sure. All part of a days' work.

All the best from Chicago,
Susie
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Ken’s Answer

My wife is a physical therapist and she loves her job and career. She helps people improve their lives every day and actually gets to see her patients improving, which provides her great work satisfaction. Her schedule is good with regular hours and weekends off. There are many open work opportunities for PTs and the pay can be very good, especially if you are good with the business side of it.
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