Wednesday, August 15, 2018

High Road: Empower Utah Physical Therapy

As I have thought about why I wanted to start a clinic there are some many reasons but it boils down to just a few things. I'll expound:

1. Corporate PT wants you to bill as many high paying units as possible and they will mask it by saying "it's what is best for the patient"

2. PT's are highly educated and are capable of providing a plethora of help for people but corporate PT wants you just sign evals. Community health and wellness services could be revolutionized by movement/exercises experts corporate PT makes us too busy signing herding people in and out.

3. Autonomy to give the patient what is best. Corporate PT wants you to see people 2-3 times a week for several weeks but good PT in my book is empowering people to manage their conditions independently. So, in essence, I want to see people less often and facilitate independence.

So far opening a clinic has been fun (11 days in now). It is also scary! Very very scary because I look at my schedule and it is pretty empty but I feel if I am good to my patients they will be good to me (and send their friends to me, I hope)

In the end, at Empower Utah Physical Therapy I just want to give people what is very best for them.

Dr. Dalin Hansen, PT, DPT
385.985.7499
d.hansen@empowerutahpt.com

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Still Creating A PT: Opening A Clinic

I've been out of school for 2 years now! It has gone by so quickly. Some might say mission accomplished you're a PT now... but it just does not work that way for me.

As I was working at a corporate PT job I felt like I was growing complacent seeing patients 2 at a time. I felt like I could help people more. So what was I supposed to do?

Get another job... well not exactly. I got another job but that other job is a whole new adventure because my wife and I moved 1000 miles to open Empower Utah PT.

Yeah! We decided the best way to push ourselves was to open a clinic. So here I am sitting in a tiny one-room office having only seen 3 patients my first 3 days.

Is it scary you ask? Well of course! I'm scared to death this thing won't take off but on the other hand, it is exhilarating.

If you are thinking about opening a clinic hit me up I would love to talk strategy or marketing!

A little further info: I'm an LLC with no insurance contracts only taking cash/card payment. I am working solo (with some help from my wife from an admin standpoint).

Again if you are thinking about doing it text or email... I'd love to chat!

Dr. Dalin Hansen, PT, DPT
d.hansen@empowerutahpt.com
385.985.7499

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Pre-PT Interview Stress: Part II


Critical feedback was painful in my first meeting with my interview coach. He counted each and every one of my um’s and ah’s, pauses, stutters, and bad answers. The was no sugar coating and ultimately, he told me I needed a lot of work. I took his advice to heart and practiced on my own time over the next couple of weeks. I interview myself in the bathroom mirror. When my follow up session I walked in and he was impressed with my appearance commenting that I even carried myself with more confidence. He as question after question with tough questions and I came right back at him. I had taken his tips to heart and refined my skills. I gave heartfelt answers about real life experiences. Not just your typical I had an injury and I did PT and it helped so now I want to be a PT. With personal experiences, I was able to win him over. After 30 minutes of tough to answer questions he announced to me that a grad school would be nuts not to take me. I walked out 2 inches taller that day. Shortly thereafter the invite came. I accepted the interview with excitement and let my interview coach know that I had received an interview. We met for one more short session just to fine tune and then off to Austin, Tx. With a fresh haircut, a pressed suit, and refined interview skills I was ready for the challenge. They called a group of 4 applicants into an interview and started asking questions. The interview went as smooth as butter. I felt confident I was doing well. After exiting the interview the other 3 applicants started asking me how I know what they were going to ask. I didn’t know what they were going to ask but came prepared. I just told them about my practice and preparations and all 3 of them praised me for knocking it out of the park. After going home, I knew I had done everything I could to get accepted. A couple of long weeks later anticipating the news I finally received a letter informing me I had been accepted into a DPT program.

If you are looking to prepare for an interview for a DPT or PTA program check out some of my previous post below.


If you are trying to get into PT school I would love to hear from you! Find me via:
Twitter: @DPT_USA
Facebook: Dalin Hansen 
If you are looking to take your interview skills to the next level contact me for a one on one interview with me for critiques and advice. Email me at dalinhansen@gmail.com

20 minute one on one interview session for $35 via Venmo

If you are not happy with the interview prep session just email me and I'll give you 100% refund.

Pre-PT Interview Stress: Part I


Applying to PT school = stress + research + essay writing + paperwork + pay money. Then repeat. It's expensive, it’s scary, it’s exhilarating. At the end of my under-grad I studied PTCAS constantly. I looked endlessly at programs, dates, requirements, matriculation rates. I calculated, hypothesized, theorized, wrote, studied, worried. The deadline arrived and I submitted loads of paperwork, essays, and application fees. And then I waited. Forever. And finally, I got invited to interview, all the way across the country at the University of New England. Unbelievable! Surely, an interview meant I would get accepted. Arriving in Portland, Maine with a crisp new haircut, and dry cleaned suit I felt cool and confident. When I arrived, I noticed everyone else also had a fresh haircut and dapper attire. But I had one thing nobody else did – a really great personality! As I started to chat with the other interviewees I soon realized they too seemed to be really good people persons. What was I going to do to stand out?  I reassured myself that I am a really good people person and I will knock this interview right out of the park. Only problem was my homerun hit felt more like a pop fly to center. From the start of the interview, I struggled.  My answers were choppy, cliché and full of um’s and ah’s. Nothing I said made me stand out from anybody else. Having looked over their website and reviewing the pros of their school I thought I was ready to go, but I wasn’t nearly enough prepared.

At the end, I had a doubtful feeling but tried to remain optimistic. Perhaps I did not do as poorly as I thought. In anticipation, I checked the mail daily and then it came, an envelope from UNE. I ripped the envelope open to read a letter. WAITLIST! Remaining optimistic I just knew I would get in. As time went on I ultimately ended up waitlisted at 3 schools and eventually, I was not accepted to any of them.

Obviously, I needed to improve as an applicant. So I took physics I again and got an A. I took more time researching programs that were a better fit for my stats. Lastly, I knew I needed to address my poor interviewing skills. Just being a people person didn’t equal a quality interview. I hired an interviewing coach. At our first meeting his first words were “I hate your shirt, there is not a chance I would accept you into my grad program.” Boom, it just got real, but that is exactly what I needed.

If you are trying to get into PT school I would love to help you! Find me via:
Twitter: @DPT_USA
Facebook: Dalin Hansen 

Also check out some of my other posts about my interview experience and advice. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Welcome to Budget Meeting

My wife and I have been working on successful budgeting for our 7 years of marriage and for most of those years we failed. We started using Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University (FPU) a little over a year ago which gave us a good start. Luckily we started this during physical therapy school because now that we have student loan payments every month we know where were at financially.

When we started budgeting my wife would make a monthly budget, I would not follow it, she would get frustrated, and then we would start the process over the next month. This was the worst possible system! Then we got on the FPU budget and had budget meeting every couple of weeks. Now more recently we have started using the manual Personal Finances for Self-Reliance (Free online) created by the LDS church. We are now doing a weekly budget where we crunch the numbers for our weekly needs. We have found our families financial needs change every week so why would we do a monthly budget when our budget needs to be more dynamic than that. Along with this weekly budget we have a very short (5 minute) nightly budget meeting where we look at our expenses from the day and minus them off of the available balance for the weekly budget.

For example, we budget $125 for groceries per week if on Tuesday we spent $22 we would plug into our budget that we have $103 for the rest of that budget cycle. We keep track of what we have spent every day. Yes, that is correct a DAILY budget meeting.

It seems like we spend a lot of time budgeting but money is involved in every aspect of life (whether you like it or not) so why wouldn't we dedicate a lot of time to this endeavor. We have found by assigning our money where to go, we end up spending less on things we didn't actually want. We no longer look at our debt card statement and wonder where all the money went. We use to find ourselves saying "what in the world did we buy for $68.73 at Wal-mart!?" Not only do we know what our money is buying, we tell it what to buy.


PT school is expensive and the loans add up quickly so wherever your are in the process (pre-PT, SPT, or a DPT) start now.

Please leave your budget experiences or advice in the comment section below. Share what has worked or has not worked!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

NPTE: Time Flies Since

The one year anniversary of my passing the NPTE quickly approaching and I cant believe how fast the time has passed. I took the NPTE (passed thank goodness), graduated just about a month later, and started working almost immediately. So I have been a licensed PT for just about 10 months now and I have learned a lot. The clinic where I work just hired a new PT and this has given me the chance to reflect. I remember my first few evaluations being a tough. As my caseload started to build it felt difficult to handle the load but applying Wolff’s law, my capacity to handle the load has grown. 

If you are preparing for the NPTE I have a few words of advice/council: 
  1. You have been in PT school and it has been tough… you already know your stuff. It just a matter studying a little bit more so you can pass one more exam. 
  2. Don’t stress too much. Take a minute to breath. There is such a thing as over studying. 
  3. You score does not matter. This is not a grade… a 600 and an 800 end up with the same “grade” it’s call a license. 

Good luck! and get those initials PT, DPT after your name. 


For more here is a study schedule from when I took the boards. Click Here

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Student Loan: What Now

Okay so I am in deeper than I thought. So going to a private school sounds all find and dandy until the bill comes in the mail. Since my parents are not independently wealthy that bill comes by way of student loans. I look at this MASSIVE loan and think how am I going to get through this thing. Well ready or not here I come. The grace period recently ended and have now made some payments. The payments feel pretty huge. Something that adds the fact that I have some hefty loans is that I have 3 kids and one on the way. In other words I am not just a bachelor who wants to waste money on personal gratification, I gotta put food on the table. Something I have going for me is this, I budget religiously. My wife and I have set up a plan that will help us pay our loans, cover our bill, and even save for a rainy day.

While in physical therapy school my wife and I purchased the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University (FPU). We went through the DVDs and worked on the work book and we got into a good budget groove. The FPU gave us a great starting place for our budget and getting on the same page in regards to our budget. I would listen to some of the Dave Ramsey radio shows and I often walked a way discouraged. I always felt like the people calling in often had consumer debt. So they would sell their over price boat, RV, and cars and next thing you know most of their debt was paid down. I still felt inspired to stick to our budget understanding this would not be an overnight fix.

I thought if I started reading student loan pay off success stories I would feel better about getting the money paid down. I soon found my situation was somewhat unique to most of the stories I read. I have a family of 5 which is soon to be a family of 6. This is not common place for a recent grad trying to pay down loans. I realized my story is unique to me. This has made me want to share my journey not because I think anyone should feel inspired to do it the way I am but to feel empowered to find a way that is going to work for you.

So as I ask myself the question about my student loan: what now? Be responsible an pay it off.

In posts to come I will lay out how my wife and I plan to chip away at the student loan, pay our bills, and tuck a little away. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please write them below.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Experiences: New Grad By Dr. Dalin Hansen, DPT

To start I would like to thank all those who have contributed to the Experience Series here on creatingapt.com. It has been received very well. If you are a DPT, PTA, SPT, or a SPTA and you are interested in contributing send me an email at dalinhansen@yahoo.com
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 Bio
My name is Dalin Hansen and I recently graduated from PT school. I grew up in Utah. Through high school I wrestled which helped me gain a work ethic and to love exercise. I served a 2 year mission in the Philippines for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Upon returning home from the Philippines I went to Utah Valley University where I graduated Cum Laud with my BS in Exercise Science. While in my undergrad I got married to a beautiful woman and had two kids. After graduation I applied for PT school and ultimately got rejected after a painful process of waiting lists. After finding out I did not get accepted into PT school my wife and I moved to Corpus Christi for 8 months, returned to Utah, and applied for PT school again. This time I got an acceptance to the University of St. Augustine ATX. When I did not get accepted to PT school my first try I was devastated and crushed but now that I look back I feel like I needed that growth opportunity for some reason. While in PT school my wife and I added to our family with a third child.  After graduation my wife and I decided to move to Southeastern New Mexico (2 hours north of El Paso, Tx). So far small town livin’ has been pretty nice. 

How was the transition/learning curve when starting your first job?
Honestly the transition has been smooth. I was so worried that I was going to have a tough time after getting going in the “real world” as a PT but it has been awesome. I accepted a job in SE NM which is a pretty small place. Because it is such a small place I feel like we see a wide variety of diagnosis in the clinic. When I was in school one of my clinical instructor's co-workers said she was finally starting to feel comfortable as a PT, I asked her how long ago she graduated and she said 3 YEARS AGO. This really freaked me out! I was thinking I am screwed when I graduate but that has not been my experience at all. The company I work for does an excellent job of helping you transition into a full case load (which at my job is 50 patients per week). I am by no means saying everything about being a new grad is easy, there are some challenges like getting notes done and knowing what to do when you have patients that say they have 12/10 pain, etc. Physical therapy allows you to investigate ones condition and facilitate their healing. Sometimes I feel like Sherlock Holmes and I figure out the mystery that is reeking havoc on ones body. Other times I feel like a small fish in big water just trying to figure things out. Really the biggest things I would say about the “learning curves” have been the paper work/notes and the psychology on pain. The paper work is self explanatory… paper work stinks. The psychology of pain has been somewhat difficult to deal with. In short pain is so much deeper than tissues that have been damaged, there is such a huge cognitive component to pain and dealing with it. In other words, get out you abnormal psych book and start studying, just kidding, but seriously. 

What your work load is like or what a typical day is like for you?
Well, let me see if I can get you into my shoes and walk with me for a day. I arrive at work at 7:30-7:45 to look over my schedule for the day. During this time I like to make a mental note as to who needs an updated HEP and who will need a progress note or a discharge summary. If I have time I will put together the HEP and have it printed and ready to go so I don’t have to try to put it together while the patient is there. A few minutes before 8:00 I look at the first pt and see if it has a body part listed and if there is I will open up a note for that body part. I get my lap top and put it where I am going to bring the pt to, then I go get the pt. We see everything from head to toe (so if you’re a PT student and you think you are going to refer your hand patients to an OT think again… go study up on your carpal bones). After my evaluation which is a one hour slot I see people I have already evaluated who are on my case load. Depending on the insurance and what they require I see one or two patients at a time. I do that until 12:00 when I have lunch. I try to get my notes done while working with the patients but usually have a little bit that is not finished when lunch rolls around so I spend the 15-20 minutes of my lunch finishing up morning notes and trying to finish writing my assessment, goals, and plan from my eval. I eat lunch until about 12:45 then get back to my desk to prep for my afternoon. From 1:00 to 3:00 I see one to two people at a time then have an eval from 3:00 to 4:00. From 4:00 to 5:00 I have one or two more people. Again I try to get all my notes done while I’m with the patients but I usually end up spending anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes tying up loose ends as far as notes go and then I go home. All in all I see anywhere from 8-14 people in a day and my weekly visit goal is 50 patients. The company I work for is awesome. My boss had a review with me to see how things were going and he told me he wants me to get out of work sooner so I can spend more time with my family so I have been trying hard to get notes done while I am working with people. If you are going to graduate soon or if you are a DPT and you are interested in an awesome company shoot me an email (dalinhansen@yahoo.com). The biggest change to my schedule was mentioned above… I finish with my notes and I go home. During school I would finish class and then study and then go home and study more. It felt like my life was fully encompassed with school and studying. I feel like my work schedule is busy but I actually get to enjoy my off time. On that note something that has been a bigger change than I would have guessed is school and studying are busy but if you are busying studying you can take study breaks every so often. This has not been the case since I started working, if you have people coming in one right after the other you can’t just take a 10 minute break to refresh. Not that I would take tons of study breaks but I definitely took them every couple of hours. 

What do you wish you would have known or been prepared for after graduating?
I wish I would have had a better grasp on what daily notes are like. We did SOAP notes and things like that but I would write a novel. I am trying to note just what is important and pertinent to the case. I was really worried about this transition from school to clinic and not knowing what I need to know but it has been fine. I wish I would have had a better understanding that if you get people moving in a safe way and help them improve their impairments they will get better than when they started. A lot of the things I wish I was better at are really just things that come with practice in the clinic, such as: scheduling, managing a case load, and taking care of paper work/notes.

What is it like/managing student loans on a physical therapist salary?
Alright this to me is the elephant in the room. It is not fun to talk about and I just happened to go to a private for-profit school. It was $13,000/semester… yes you read that right. I wish I would have been a little more aware of how much money that actually is but I was so excited to get accepted to PT school I did not worry much about the bottom line. Now that all is said and done the number is huge and it is painful! I will break it down a bit further. I was at school for a total of 7 semesters. That means 13,000x7 which comes to $91,000. Alright, that is a large number and we’re only talking tuition at this point. Now, I had to live during those 7 semesters and I just so happen to have three kids and a wife. As a family because we were so poor during PT school we qualified for Medicare and for food stamps (as a proud person this was not easy to accept but we had to do what we had to do). Anyways to make a long story short we ended up with all in all we ended up with a few loans  which are as follows: $67,110.66, $2,329.16, $49,592.17, and 52,870.14. I know what you are thinking… HOLY MOLLY! This all comes out to a grand total of $171,902.13. I know I am pulling out all the numbers but I think it is important for prospective students to see this before they just dive in head first. I wish I would have looked at the financial implications a little closer before going to school. I am not trying to scare anyone away from PT school but only help others make informed decisions. In total honesty if I had to do it all over again and this was the only option I had I would do it again. That being said I would make sure I didn't have any other options. We are a single income household which makes things a little tighter. Our average interest rate on these loans is about 7.5% so we are in the process of trying to refinance and get a lower interest rate because these loans will eat us alive. I plan to break down our loans and our payment plans here in the next few weeks.

Additional thoughts
Overall, I would say school is so hard! I thought getting in was my it, that I had finally arrived so to speak but later learned I was just getting started. There is so much pressure to pass tests and perform on practicals. It sends your stress levels through the roof but then you just do it and you suddenly graduate after all the sacrifice and you suddenly realize why you did it. I take so much satisfaction in my job and it makes me realize that even though PT school royally sucked it was worth it. 
My other thought is don’t complain. Yes your professors are not perfect and maybe they wrote a question on a test that was impossible. Just enjoy the journey (easier said then done). As long as you pass and you move forward don’t fret. I am yet to have a pt ask me what my GPA was. Yes it is fun to get As but seriously don’t argue with your professors over one point (unless it is the difference between passing and failing, then you can argue all you want). 
Final word about PT school… get in and get out as painlessly as you possibly can. 
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Thanks for checking out my blog here on creatingapt.com. If you think you have some good words to share let me know I would love to post them here. Find me on Twitter @dpt_usa or email me at dalinhansen@yahoo.com.


Click HERE to read about other PT's experiences.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

More Busy Than I Thought

Since finishing school I figured I would have so much time. I was wrong... Time gets eaten away in one way or another. Don't get me wrong my time spent is very different than it was in PT school. My time is spent at work and after that it is pretty much dominated by family time but I wouldn't have it any other way. Having the ability to be with my wife and kids in the evenings has been magical compared to studying evey night. So in short life after graduation has been slightly different than I thought it would be but I am really enjoying it! PT school was so hard to get through but now that it's done I would say it was well worth it.

Monday, October 10, 2016

5 Weeks Now

I have been a PT, DPT for five weeks now and the time has flown by. I feel like I was in school ages ago but really I graduated just less than two months ago. I have seen a variety of patients thus far and I feel like I want more tools in my tool kit. I'm hungry to keep learning! This drive is something I never want to let die. I am now technically a PT, I made it to my goal but in reality it takes a career of education to create a PT. So I will keep learning and reading so I can be the best PT that I can be.