Meredith Castin, DPT and Sara Cates, PT, DPT sat down to discuss tips on how to find passion in your physical therapy career. Incorporating your interests into your work in the clinic will help you obtain underlying self-fulfillment in your career.
1. Make sure you have something in common with the people you’re treating
The first tip is one of the simplest: make sure that you’re interested in what you’re doing! Sara Cates has a sports medicine background, and uses that to connect with her patients. This also means listening to your patients and discovering what's important to them.
2. Keep a flexible mindset
Even when your background is similar to your patients’, however, you’ll find yourself treating people with very different lifestyles than your own. Staying flexible means listening to your patients’ goals and needs, even when your personal tastes (in Sara's experience, for CrossFit!) run in a different direction. Knowing what matters to your patients will help you prioritize their goals.
3. Make time for yourself
Physical therapists spend so much time giving other people exercises and care, and can find themselves arriving home exhausted and in pain. It's especially important at times like these to practice good self-care. “You have to do your own flexibility, you have to do your own strengthening, your own cardio, so you can actually practice what you preach,” Sara Cates says. Don’t forget: practicing self-care allows you to care for others! This is especially important when it comes to avoiding burnout as a physical therapist.