- How was the transition/learning curve coming out of school and starting your first job?
- What is your work load like and what is typical day is like for you?
Arrive at work and settle in
Check my schedule and determine which OTs have the same patients as I do so we can coordinate treatment
Review patient information on the EMR (electronic medical records)
Head up to the floors and begin seeing patients
Depending on the day I will either see a patient and chart or I may see a few patients and then chart on all of them
Finish my day, complete my charting, turn in my billing sheet, organize my scheduling board and then head home to work on newgradphysicaltherapy.com
What do you wish you would have known/been prepared for after graduating?
I feel like I was very prepared coming out of school. I read a lot of books, blogs, etc on subjects I was curious about while still a student (and I have to admit I may have done a lot of this reading during class lectures). I made sure I was knowledgeable about finance, the implications of student loans, and how to make sure I could live the life I desired - growing as a person and as a PT.
That being said, I would have liked to be more prepared for the simple things, such as how to apply for the NPTE. I feel I would have also benefitted from having a mentor - someone to tell me that PT is a journey that is not defined by this moment. We are professionals who evolve. Every day we have the opportunity to grow and learn something new. I feel this is very important to understand at a deep level. Many decisions are driven from the perspective that life is stagnant. The reality life is a process of personal (and in this case professional) evolution. Understand that you can always change and grow, and you can do great things as a physical therapist.
- Coming out of school, what was compensation is like/managing student loans, etc?
Freedom to work in the geographical location I desire
Work somewhere that would allow me to grow as a professional
Make the most money possible without sacrificing #’s 1 and 2
From there I created a spreadsheet that helped me discover the minimum amount of money I would need to live the life I wanted. I considered both pay rate and time as variables so that I could either work more (or less) or get paid more.
I figured out early that working per-diem in an acute care hospital would afford me the freedoms, education, and compensation I desired.
In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill describes the process of focusing on what you desire, and stating out loud daily what you hope to achieve. Well, after doing all my budget calculations I came up with a specific number, focused on that number and strangely enough… I got offered the EXACT pay that I wanted to the penny.
Food for thought.
- Additional thoughts