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Physical Therapy in a Rehab Environment: Why these Jobs Can Be Extra Satisfying

Physical therapy rehab

Physical Therapy in a Rehab Environment: Why these Jobs Can Be Extra Satisfying

By Laure Justice, Contributor

Physical therapy is a rewarding job in any setting, but it's extra fulfilling in a rehab setting for several reasons. You get to see physically broken people become revitalized as you solve the puzzles of their injuries and work with them in the healing process. You also have the opportunity to work as a physical therapist in the role that suits you best and in the locations you prefer.

Physical therapy in a rehabilitation setting is gratifying

One of the first things that make working as a physical therapist in a rehab setting gratifying is the pride you feel watching patients progress. According to physical therapist, Shea Bailey, "The satisfaction received when working in rehabilitation is seeing the difference you make in people lives. They come to us debilitated, and mostly with a broken spirit."

Bailey goes on to explain that, "after weeks of therapy, you begin to see a different person. You see someone who has increased their strength as well as their motivation to do more. It's gratification at its best." As an allied health professional, you gain the satisfaction of knowing your training and the care you provide makes a difference in the quality of life for your patients.

The satisfaction of solving puzzles

Determining what factors are causing your patient's discomfort and finding out how to help can be like detective work. As noted by Dr. Alice Holland of Stride Strong, "Working as a Physical Therapist in Outpatient orthopedics is like solving a puzzle with your patients every day. It is up to you to figure out the cause of a patient's symptoms and provide that answer and solution for the patient." Dr. Holland also mentions that "a 'win' on the puzzle is incredibly satisfying both you and for your patients!"

Variety of physical therapy roles available

Physical therapists can provide direct care to patients, but there are also non-clinical tasks available in the field. According to Meredith Castin of The Non-Clinical PT, " PTs can also fill non-clinical roles in the rehab environment. One of the more popular and sought-after roles is that of rehab liaison." Castin also notes that "rather than performing direct, hands-on patient care, rehab liaisons interview and run insurance for patients, ensuring that they receive the appropriate care for their needs."

Travel opportunities are available for physical therapists

Anthony Sinacore of Action Potential Physical Therapy notes that "Physical Therapists are able to pick the setting and location of their choice! Whether it's working with individuals young or old, able-bodied or disabled, with orthopedic or neurological pathologies, in the home or clinic setting, we have the freedom to be where we want to be!"

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Sinacore goes on to explain that, "Physical Therapists can see the country! With the recent passing of the PT Licensure Compact, PT's can perform contract jobs for weeks at a time in one location and then move across the country for a contract in a completely different location with little hassle!"

Being part of a medical team and adds to the fun

Another important detail is that you're part of a supportive team when working with patients. According to Sinacore, "Physical Therapists are part of a medical team! Something extremely satisfying about being in a rehab environment is that we work closely with other healthcare professionals. Having interprofessional collaborations with speech and occupational therapists, nutritionists, primary care and specialty physicians, and pharmacists (to name a few) are what makes our job so fun."

Demand for medical professionals, such as physical therapists, is increasing in spite of declines in the economy and overall job market, as noted by APTA. This is positive news for people who have struggled to find work and who are considering entering the physical therapy field. When you combine the expanding job field with the satisfaction of working in a rehab environment as a physical therapist, you feel good about the work you do.

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