Joined: November 15, 2003
A word or two:
Shutter, I know what you are saying. The stress of teaching is probably not comparable at all with clinical PT; it is an entirely different ball game. Most teachers I know work on their weekends during term/semester, and in the holidays as well. They're the good ones; the indifferent ones work only during prescribed teaching times. The myth of all teachers having half the year off is that - a myth. Why do they do it? Maybe they are suited to the job and gain satisfaction over $$$s. Maybe they can't think of anything else to do that they feel they would like...
Shutter, if you keep talking, no one will go into teaching. The teaching shortage will continue for ages if it was truly how you depict it. You should enjoy your summers more! I can only imagine that you haven't been teaching long if you spend all day Sunday planning your week. C'mon guy, isn't that a bit of a stretch. You are cracking me up. I know many teachers, and they all must be slackers. They enjoy their summers or work as tutors for extra cash. My wife does take summer classes, but she sure as hell doesn't spend all day on them and spends most of the summer with our children. That is the benefit of teaching. No, a teachers job is not a joke. They do put in long hours. When I got home tonight my wife was grading. But she is also very routed in reality and I have never heard her complain about the pay or the hours she works. She also gets paid for the additional education she pursues for herself. Both of our jobs have their ups and downs. Unfortunately for me, her career is more valuable, IN MY AREA. Well, you are right we have gotten off track. But it has been interesting. I hope I can solve my PT profession issues and I certainly hope you enjoy your summer and your weekends more. You still don't want to tell me what state you are in eh? Enjoy
Joined: December 28, 2006
Clydes i think its better to get some part time job Thats my plan... probably after 2 years im gonna be PT,then after that im gonna try to get some part time job..if i cant find any part time job as PT im gonna try to take some License vocational Nurse course to get even more money.
Im a DPT student and I have to say, posts like this are discouraging. I read have way through this, so hopefully this has already been said, but isnt it about patient care. Ill come out of school with 105K in loans, and im not really concerned about how much Ill make, Ill be in debt forever no matter what. But I wouldnt change it in a heart beat. Like i said, you can call me out for being inexperienced and unaware of what its like in the real world, ive heard it before, but I think the future of PT looks pretty depressing if the biggest thing I have to look forward to is arguing over how much I should get paid or whether the profession is ready for direct access. I think my time would be better spent investing in the profession. and further more working on having a sense of pride for the profession and working to provide more evidence based practice in order to increase the validity of a profession already respected by many.
?50% of a Successful Outcome After Injury or Surgery is Accounted for by Rehabilitation? Jack C. Hughston, MD
Im not sure, but I have a pretty good idea he knew what he was talking about.
Joined: October 24, 2006
From: New York
Don't be an ostrich J. Face the reality of the profession. Don't run from the immense insight and knowledge to be gained here. Use it to either confirm your career choice or to make an informed decision not to persue.
Joined: December 28, 2006
Im not even starting yet and Im loosing interest already.U guys are talking about for helping people not for the money blah blah blah.When is the last time u see a person go to school just to be in debt and help other people....
You know what, Im gonna think about this career again... Instead of encouraging other people to pursue their career all I hear is We do this job not for the money....we call this profession not a job..PT sucks.Im gonna be in debt forever.This words come from PT"..this is embarrassing.
Do u think people who is CNA like their job...they do that job for the money...
I know Helping people is a good thing.....But whos gonna help you?...
Joined: August 25, 2000
Those who are in debt have a legitimite gripe about how long it takes to pay for an education and how much they get in return for working in their chosen profession. Its not their fault but the reimbursement issues that seems to be dwindling how much they get in return for their PT services.
I have always heard of those who wanted to be general practitioners in medicine but they know that they would graduate with debt way in advance. Did they still persue medical school, despite knowing this? Yes, they did, for the same reason, to better serve the community's health needs. The doctors at the hospital I work with talk those who are volunteering or observing make sure that they know what kind of debt their profession entails, primarily with malpractice insurance. It up to them to figure out the math but they still persue it anyway.
Now take the concept of debt out of the equation and you wouldn't hear much argument. However, even with that, you would still have to work hard and longer hours to make a reasonable salary to be happy with. That comes with the territory. That comes from personal experience with no debt to worry about.
I agree with most of the comments made in this posting but also disagree in some respect as well. LAtely, I hear many therapist's compaining about their reimbursement. Fair enough. But as a profession we also need to demonstrate our value of service compared to the "other professions". More and more research is demonstrating this but more needs to be done. Research does not have to be full blown random clinical trials - although the best evidence they are not easy to accomplish. Instead, if evcery therapist wrote a case study we might amass enough "cases" to prove somehting is more effective. Marketing your skills to everyone is also integral in success. When an MD says "US the C-spine", I schedule a meeting/lunch with thta MD and educate him on best-evidenced based practice - know what - I get more referrals from that MD because he respects me more for what I do. Cash based business is also booming. Educating the community and demonstrating your value, you may even be able to get out of the managed care reimbursement. With fewer practioners in it, perhaps the insurance companies will change reimbursement fee schedules as demand grows. I agree with joining the APTA - but it is not enough to just jin - you need to be vocal and address your concerns at state and national meetings. The ATPA is only as strong as the members it has and what their opinions are. Yes, the APTA has a political agenda as well, but if you aren't happy with an officer vote them out or run yourself. PT salaries continue to increase as demand continues to grow. Baby boomers have dsposable income and are willing to pay it if they see value in the service yu provide. Pschologists used to be paid by insurance companies. Now they are a cash based business and I don't see any of them complaining. To often PTs are passivists and I believe we have allowed ourselves to be in the position we are in because we did not voice what we knew and felt was right regarding our profession. So, now is the time - quit writing forum posts and take action. Market yourself, your skills and your profession. Do it locally, regionally, nationally and I belive you will continue to see a change in the better for our profession.
Joined: January 28, 2005
From: West Vancouver BC
Philly PA, You say " Cash based business is booming". Many many years ago the government here paid the full fee for treatments. The fees were not great and no one was allowed to charge the patient extra. After a few years with the growth of many practices the government docked the fee by one quarter and the PTs were expected to retrieve this amount from the patient A few PTs began charging much more than the full fee at that time and the government payers didn't object. When the government delisted physiotherapy the practices charging the big extra were well established and certainly did better than the others who were late in the game. I must admit that the more daring ones were probably the better PTs. The practices that I know of who have the higher fees are the busiest. You must be good if you are expensive. So charge cash and don't be cheap! Jim McGregor
Strange. I think some of my comments in this thread were deleted. *sigh*
for JMA and all the other potentials...
I'm someone that didn't finish PT. I had a cherry 2nd year spot in a Southern California public program by the beach, the state was paying for all my books and fees, I had a free apartment managing a building and a part-time gig doing private patient PT-aide work @ $25/hr. Life was good for being a student as I was looking at coming out of MPT school with zero debt.
I walked away though. My heart wasn't in it.
I would say if you're not 100% for PT, if you have other ideas about what it will take to make you happy, then truely you will have problems completing a program no matter how favorable or unfavorable the circumstances. You should seriously reconsider your position.
As scary as it was walking away, I know I made the right decision in hindsight. My advice to you would be to figure out what drives your personality and then works backwards. Things will become clear after you distill the things that excite you and then connect occupations to that.
Joined: May 11, 2004
Welcome back, Johnny. None of your posts have ever been deleted (to my knowledge). I don't believe you ever yanked anyone's chain to such a degree that anyone complained... good ol' Bobcat and I are probably the only therapists that have had posts vanish. This thread started in 2006 - after the experience you had in determining what you really wanted to do with your life.
So, where did you finally land after all these years? What are you doing?
I'm now a project manager doing strategy & capital planning for a major health org. I'm part of the crew that decides where our company should expand and what aquisitions, real estate and otherwise, we should make to get there. I enjoy every minute of it.
Re: the personality bit...I mention this because there are others in my department I discovered I share big swaths of personality & orientation. My co-worker summed our job best (I think) in that she likes to work on 'what can be'....as opposed to working on 'what is'.
Joined: May 11, 2004
Good for you! If your role in the health organization ever happens to include determining fee schedules to providers, remember that providers want to be paid reasonably well for services. ;)
Personality isn't everything - the big picture, goals, priorities, strengths and weaknesses are other factors that are important considerations too. My personality definitely does not fit what one would typically expect for a physical therapist - I am 90% happier owning my own clinic, making my own decisions and reducing my interactions with colleagues that I do not respect nor want to emulate. You are absolutely correct in the "what can be" philosophy - I now have that - full control of how things should be and the pursuit of trying for what can be combined wtih never resolving for "as is" if something can be better. One day, I'll be in a different place doing I have no idea what (consulting, legal work or research), but for now, I'll take whatever opportunities come my way to prepare me for what lies ahead.
It is great to hear that things worked positively for you.
Wow, it has been over a year since I started this thread. Our PT dept has been able to make changes since then. We were able to get things to lign up in our favor. Our facility had a hard time finding a PT, most of our work horses stopped O.T. and got a second job instead, and two PTs quit. The end result is we ended up with a nice 13% raise. This came as a direct result of the market and the numbers working in our favor. I hate to put it this cold, but we had administration "over a barrel". We could not see the patient load anymore, we didn't have enough PTs. Our boss, who is a genuinely great guy, supported us and acted as our liason with administration and helped get us our deserved raise. That being said, I still would not go into this profession again. I got into this profession because I wanted to help people and be able to live a nice lifestyle. I thougth PT would give the best of both. I get to help people, but I also get to have two jobs for many more years. I predict that things will get better financially, because there will be a shortage. There will be a shortage because for 6-7 years of college, the pay of a PT is simply not adequate. But atleast things have gotten genuinely better for us.
I agree with you about the mercy of the MD's. Sometimes I feel like I am a salesman and not a practitioner. I have found that MD education is the trick, you have to establish good relationships so they trust you, then make the change. There are several things that I see as big problems. First is the lack of consensus. Half our profesion wants direct access, the other half fights it. I do know that our profession is NOT ready for it yet. Tell an MD that you're going to have patients stop going to them first and see what happens. Also wait and see what happens to your 65K when our malpractice jumps to $10,000/ year. It could be a great thing, but there is a lot of work to do first. Otherwise, it could ruin our profession. The next big step is this....STOP GIVING AWAY OUR JOBS. I refused to abide by the PT's do legs and OT's do arms philisophy. We are needed enough right now, that you can stop this. Look at what has happened...what's wrong? Hands- that's OT, Massage- that MT's, Cardio/Pulm- Cardiac rehab the list goes on KT's, RT's and Chiros/ traction. That is our first step. Don't paint yourself into a corner, I think it's making us look less qualified and it's why some physcians feel like a prescription is a "script".