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How many hours do Physical Therapists usually work on a weekly basis? Is there any overtime?

I am in my senior year of high school and I am interested in applying for PT school. #physical-therapist #physical-therapy #physical

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Casey’s Answer

The typical job as a staff physical therapist regardless of the setting will be a full-time job at 40 hours a week. There is always flexibility though. I’ve seen several PTs do 32 hours a week, but some companies do not offer the ability to do that. Let’s say you want overtime but your 40-hr a week job does not offer any. You will still be able to find an additional job for one or two days a week for supplemental income.

As a high school student, you will need to earn a 4-year degree to enter a PT program. Observation hours and recommendation letters are necessary to be accepted into a program. The more hours you have in a variety of settings, the better. I suggest looking for a job as a tech or volunteer at a hospital. Not only will you get hours and experience, but you will meet PTs who can write you a recommendation letter.
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Maria Cecilia’s Answer

The amount of hours worked is really dependent on the type of position. Assuming a full time position that is usually salaried, 40 hours per week minimally is the norm. As such, 'overtime' is not compensated however all work is expected to be completed. This is part of the expectation of being the skilled clinician as well as professional. As a clinician, I typically worked an average of 45 hours per week. When I transitioned to a combination of clinical and managerial work, I typically worked 55-60 hours per week. All in all, however, providing purely clinical services typically consumed 45 hours per week of work time.
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Rebu’s Answer

I agree with Casey, and want to add that based on your work hours you may have the flexibility to do homecare PT for adults or pediatrics before or after your full time 8 hours/day. This can be done easily by joining a homecare agency for perdiem. You can also work as a perdiem PT on the weekends in a hospital to make extra income and expand your experience. The perdiem rate per hour is usually much higher than hourly rate for full time position.
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Donna’s Answer

PT's can work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities, health, school systems, etc. The various settings require varying coverage of patient care. For example, a hospital PT will probably rotate through weekend coverage and many outpatient clinics are open on weekends. Depending on how your department is set up, you may work five 8 hour days, four 10 hour days or three 12 hour days per week.
That said, you need to be prepared to work for as long as needed to complete the patient care for the day and finish up paperwork, too. So it is not unusual that a PT works more than 40 hours a week on a regular basis, as do most health care workers.
If your position as a PT is categorized as “salaried”, you will likely not be paid for any overtime that your job requires—the idea being paid as a professional and you will work for as long as is needed. If you work at an hourly pay rate, you would have to learn about the possibility of overtime pay from your supervisor, depending on the standards of the organization where you work.
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Lauren’s Answer

Hello Shi!

I have worked in an outpatient physical therapy clinic for more than 10 years. When I started out as a Physical Therapy Technician, I was an hourly employee and had to clock in/out. Overtime, which was anything beyond 40 hours per week, was discouraged due to the higher pay rate of time and a half.

As a Physical Therapist Assistant, I continued as an hourly employee, maintaining a 40-hour workweek. There was an unspoken rule that I should prepare and review my notes before officially starting my day at 9AM. I was expected to strictly adhere to my 30-minute lunch break and clock out at 7:30PM, ensuring all patient care and paperwork were completed within this timeframe. On the rare occasions when I finished early, I would clock out, providing a buffer for later in the week if I needed to stay late. There were also opportunities to work overtime, especially when a colleague was absent or another clinic required assistance, which was compensated at time and a half. After becoming a parent, I reduced my hours to 30 per week but remained a full-time employee with benefits.

Time management was a challenge, particularly when it came to treating all my patients and completing my daily documentation within the allocated time. Depending on the clinic director, I was either allowed to stay on the clock to finish paperwork or expected to leave it incomplete. Despite these challenges, I always strived to do my best with the resources I had available. Therapists who have it all figured out have founda way to integrate their documentation into their treatment sessions so this doesn't end up being such a daunting task at the end of the day.

I started out working three 10-hour days and two 5-hour days. I have also worked four 10-hour days. So the workdays are longer, but it can provide an extra day to pick up additional work if needed. This can be done in a different setting like inpatient (hospital), sub-acute (like a nursing home), or home health (going to patient's homes to treat them) that offer registry work.
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