Helping others recover from otherwise debilitating injuries by becoming a physical therapist can be extremely rewarding. On top of being able to work face-to-face with your clients and watch their progress, you also get paid a decent amount. A physical therapist who is neither a seasoned vet nor fresh out of school earned a national median annual salary of $85,400 in salary. Unfortunately, while there are many perks of the job, it is also easy to burn out fairly quickly. To prevent yourself from burning out, look for an employment position that offers the following 3 features.
Flexible Work Hours, So You Have Ample Time to Rest and Relax
Being a physical therapist is a very taxing job. You're not only always on your feet and always busy, but you probably have to work your muscles on a regular basis. To avoid burning your body out and potentially injuring yourself, look for an employment position that offers flexible work hours, so you have ample time to relax and rest. Ideally, you want to look for an office that will allow you to have some control over your work schedule. This allows you to take a breather or a day off when you start to feel your body breaking down.
Keep in mind that you'll also have to control and schedule your clients yourself. While being able to help a lot of people can be exciting and rewarding, you need to figure out what your own limit is and plan accordingly. Depending on your abilities, taking on too many clients at a time might not be feasible. Look for a work environment that will allow you to refer your clients to other physical therapists in the office should you feel too stressed or tired for the job.
Learning Opportunities Offered or Paid For by Your Company
Another reason many physical therapists may burn out is if they feel like they are in a professional rut. You'll feel a lot more tired and overworked if you feel like you are simply going through the same motions day in and day out. Many employers will encourage you to further your education while you're with them. These companies either offer learning opportunities directly to their employees or they will compensate you for taking courses elsewhere.
You might be able to negotiate the terms and conditions of this benefit with your employer. Keep in mind that some employers will require you to sign a contract with them for a specified length of time if you take advantage of the learning opportunities that they offer. This guarantees them that they'll be able to enjoy the education that they paid for.
Physical Therapy Consultations and Services Offered by In-House Physical Therapist or Coworkers
As mentioned before, being a physical therapist can be a very taxing job physically. You'll need to engage all of the muscles in your body at times. If you're working back to back from client to client, your own muscles will quickly feel sore and tired as well. If you don't pamper your own body, you might end up injuring yourself. One of the occupational hazards of becoming a physical therapist is that your muscles often get overworked and overstressed.
Look for an employer that offers free physical therapy consultations and services either from an in-house physical therapist or from coworkers. Employers that are willing to cover the cost of any physical therapy that you might end up needing will help you prevent yourself from burning out. Take advantage of these benefits, and get your body looked after and examined regularly. You won't be able to help your clients to your full abilities if you're injured yourself.
When looking for a physical therapist job, don't just focus on the salary that you'll be paid or the location of the office. It's important that you carefully scrutinize all of the benefits that each employer provides as well. These benefits are designed to help prevent you from burning out.