Thinking About a Career in Physical Therapy? These Are the Skills You Will Need.

Thinking About a Career in Physical Therapy
Cross Country Allied
May 04, 2020 06:08 AM (GMT-05:00)
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There are many rewarding career options in the healthcare industry, but when it comes to the desirable combination of excellent compensation and low stress levels, you can’t beat the life of a physical therapist. That said, you’ll want to ensure you possess, or are willing to acquire, a number of skills that will make you a good fit for the role of a physical therapist. Most importantly, as with any career in the healthcare field, it helps to have a passion for helping others. Additional skills are generally divided into basic skills, transferable skills and workplace skills. We’ll go over each in more detail below.

Basic Skills Required to be a Physical Therapist

Basic skills are considered the building blocks necessary for you to expand your knowledge and succeed in your career. The basic skills cited as being most important to anyone considering a career as a physical therapist include the following:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Active listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Science
  • Critical thinking
  • Active learning
  • Learning strategies
  • Monitoring

Transferable Skills Required to be a Physical Therapist

Transferable skills are those that translate into a number of different careers, like adaptability, teamwork and attention to detail. Here are some of the transferable skills that are useful to physical therapists:

  • Giving clear medical instructions
  • Operating diagnostic equipment
  • Planning healthcare treatments
  • Working as a member of a healthcare team
  • Treating physical and mental problems

Workplace Skills Required to be a Physical Therapist

Workplace skills are general skills that can help you succeed in a number of different careers and settings. When it comes to physical therapy, these are some of the workplace skills you may find most beneficial:

  • Complex problem solving
  • Strength and coordination
  • Giving instructions
  • Judgement and decision making
  • Management of personnel resources
  • Operations analysis
  • Persuasion
  • Service orientation
  • Social perceptiveness
  • Systems analysis
  • Systems evaluation
  • Time management

This is a pretty comprehensive list of the basic, transferable and workplace skills you will need to have a successful career as a physical therapist. Additionally, the role of technology in this profession is something you should be comfortable with, as communication with your patients is likely to increasingly include using apps and online communication tools such as video chat. In any case, it’s important to stay current with the latest trends, research and treatment protocols, and take advantage of any ongoing educational opportunities whenever they present themselves.

Ready to create a physical therapist career that lets you use the skills you have and acquire new ones, as well? Search our current job opportunities.

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"Absolutely amazing to work with! Ashley Steen and Amanda Valenziano are perfection. I couldn't be happier to be working with cross country. Despite multiple recruiters calling daily it isn't always about the money but the way you are treated. Thank you for the opportunity." - Amy D RN RRT-NPS