Physical therapists serve an important role in healthcare today. When a patient suffers an injury or undergoes surgery, the therapist helps them regain their mobility or maintain their current level. They do so by helping the patient through stretching exercises while building their strength. The therapist might also use manual therapy techniques or electrical stimulation. What qualities are needed today to be a successful physical therapist, one who helps patients achieve their mobility goals?
A person must have the proper training and educational background to work as a physical therapist. The first step is to obtain a bachelor’s degree and enroll in an accredited graduate program. They must finish this program to secure a DPT or MPT. The final step involves taking the physical therapist licensing exam. Review this information from CompHealth to learn more about the educational requirements for physical therapists today.
Certain conditions are difficult to treat. A successful physical therapist understands this and works with each patient to achieve the highest level of mobility possible with their specific condition. The therapist should never encourage a patient to believe they can be cured or healed if there is little possibility of this happening.
Work as a Team
The physical therapist and patient must work together to obtain the best outcome from the established PT program. In addition, this therapist needs to work with other members of the patient’s medical team to provide the highest level of care. Doing so benefits not only the patient but also the therapist. This collaboration will help them learn and grow in their field.
Resilience is Important
Physical therapists get to know their patients over time. When a patient overcomes a hurdle, they celebrate together. When the patient has a setback, the therapist may experience the same disappointment the patient does. The therapist must be able to adapt to these setbacks and keep the patient motivated even when they want to give up.
As with every medical field, advancements are being made in physical therapy. Therapists must keep up with these advancements. While doing so is necessary for keeping one’s license, there is another reason to do so, one that is more important. Knowing the latest physical therapy advancements and best practices ensures the therapist can provide patients with the highest level of care.
Communicate with Patients
Physical therapists need to maintain open lines of communication with patients. The therapist must know how the patient is progressing and also learn about any new symptoms they are experiencing. Furthermore, the therapist must educate the patient on their condition and what steps the patient can take at home to help in their recovery. Patients who take part in developing their care plans tend to have better outcomes than those who don’t.
Keep a Positive Attitude
Individuals who visit physical therapists are often experiencing high levels of pain. The therapist must understand this and keep a positive attitude even when the patient wants to give up. They need to turn negatives into positives for each patient and overcome any negative self-talk that may come with being criticized by a patient. A positive attitude will help them keep pushing forward even on hard days.
A career as a physical therapist is very rewarding. The feeling a therapist gets when a patient succeeds in improving their mobility is incredible. The above qualities are ones every physical therapist needs, so keep this in mind when determining if this is the right career for you. Many people will find it is.