Maybe you are considering your career path for the first time or you feel stuck in a job you hate and are looking for a change. Physical therapy is a career which has been around for many years in some form or another, some believe that physical therapy began as far back as the age of Hippocrates. Obviously the profession has evolved along the way and has developed into a wonderful profession that helps people in many aspects of their lives. As a physical therapist, I wanted to share with the reader five benefits enjoyed by this amazing profession.
1. Satisfaction of Positively Impacting Lives
Physical therapists are trained professionals that specialize in assisting the body in restoring maximal function.. Therapists help people with a variety of conditions including: musculoskeletal injuries, neurological conditions such as strokes, cardiac insults such as heart attacks, and even balance disorders or wound healing. The number of people you will positively influence in your career is staggering. You will witness tears of joy as people learn to walk again, receive a patient's infinite gratitude for helping them decrease chronic pain, and encourage people to make positive, life-altering decisions. Physical therapists truly make an difference in people's lives.
2. Variety of Settings
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, physical therapy is quite a broad field. I view this as an excellent benefit of the field as it allows a person multiple avenues to pursue their passion. There are several unique settings in physical therapy such as an outpatient clinic, hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation center, and military bases. This list is not all-inclusive as there are other niches available within the field. This is great because a person can "test the waters" to find the setting they love the most and this also allows the therapist several different options should they want a change in venue. How many careers allow a person to do that?
3. Competitive Pay
Something everyone is concern with, "How much does it pay." Well like most jobs, salary vary somewhat depending on location and setting. However, in general this is a pretty competitive field in terms of pay. A new therapist should be able to land a job in the $50-80k (estimated) range depending on several factors. While this is not a career you will make a fortune pursuing, you will definitely make a great salary at a job you love!
4. Job Security
Job security is an important ideal to many people is today's fickle economy. While no job is 100% "secure," the field of physical therapy is still in high demand. There should always be a good supply of people in need of therapy as the average population ages and people will always find a way to get hurt unfortunately. Physical therapists are bombarded with job offers literally on a daily basis through mail, phone and email. This profession is here to stay, which make this a very stable profession to choose.
5. Evolution of the Profession
Physical therapy is a fluid profession. While many concepts remain constant, our understanding of the body is constantly moving forward. I would hate to be in a profession that never changed throughout my career. How boring would that be? Physical therapists are required to take continuing education courses to keep up their licenses issued by their state. This allows therapists to keep up with current trends and learn new ways to assist their patients. Personally, I find myself constantly learning new ideas from many sources including other therapists and courses. This really helps keep a career feeling fresh when you are continuously honing your skills.
If you are looking for a career where you can impact people, make a great salary and never get burned out, physical therapy the right choice for you. I love my career, and I hope that these insights can help you in determining your path.
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