Dear PT Students (or should I say new PTs),
Those four letters have been thrown around for the last three years of your life.
“You’ll need to know this for the NPTE”
“This will definitely be on the NPTE”
“Make sure you review this for the NPTE”
For a while the NPTE was so far in the future that it didn’t seem real. Something you would think about, but quickly forget. But for many of you, right now the NPTE is all you can think about.
I’ve heard from a lot of students about the stress, uncertainty and worry that they’ve been feeling as the test quickly approaches. Many who have been studying and preparing daily for weeks and months.
I’ve heard things like ‘I’m not a good test taker’ and other narratives that are all different shades of being afraid of failing. And that fear is understandable. That fear is real, but….
Here’s what I know and what you should know
1. No matter how ‘bad of a test...
Did your PT school tell you an average salary to expect after graduation? Was it accurate?
Sometimes that salary projection may have been spot on, but for others it may have been very different. It isn't your PT school's fault. Salaries are not always accurate when you find them online.
Sure, you can look up the average salary for a PT, but that number varies depending on where you are, your experience, and in what setting you work.
This is exactly why we created the salary calculator, to take real data and make it available to PTs. So you're paid what you're worth... and also, not surprised by a co-workers salary like I was.
Find out what a physical therapist salary is by years of experience, setting, and region with the PT Salary Calculator
While there aren’t many things more terrifying to people than public speaking, what is worse is public speaking in front of your peer group. This weekend we had a communication course for all of the University of Evansville Residency Programs (Sports, Ortho, Neuro, and Acute Care).
In our course, you stand in front of everyone and give a persuasive talk while you are recorded. The recording is played back as you sit there. You then get to critique yourself, then your colleagues give feedback, then finally the course instructors give their two cents. Then you have an hour and a half to redo your presentation and implement all the feedback and give it again after lunch.
It is beyond exhausting. It is beyond terrifying.
But I couldn’t be more proud of the people who came and engaged in the process. Here is why I think these people are so awesome:
1) They put themselves in an uncomfortable situation in order to be...
Dear PT Students,
“Do you think students will be prepared after a year of their education being affected by COVID?”
You are over a year into navigating your education since COVID.
I don’t know how you’ve done it. I’m impressed. The adjustments you’ve had to make, the constant changing and the lack of certainty only adds to an already difficult program.
I hope you know how awesome you are and I hope you know that while I’m sure it wasn’t enjoyable, it has already made you a better physical therapist.
Being a PT is ALL about being able to pivot and change course when needed. It is about constantly wondering and assessing whether you are on the right track. It is about taking it one session at a time and knowing that you may have to adjust daily.
So yes, I think PT students will be better prepared for their careers than ever before. I think the fact that...
I vividly remember the first class in PT school that focused on the topic of clinical placements. The Director of Clinical Education (DCE) started by saying “don’t reach out to clinics yourself in an attempt to get placed there, because you may forfeit the rotation.” I did not put much thought into this because I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go, and more importantly, I was extremely focused on understanding the concept of the “concave-convex rule.”
What I did know is that I wanted to build relationships with professionals that shared similar interests and worked in fields that motivated me. Innocently, I sent an Instagram message to a PT working with a professional sports organization that I am truly passionate about. I was simply trying to ask for resources to learn more about a population I aspired to work with. The PT replied and not only provided me with the educational information, but also...
PTs leave a lot of money on the table. It is a mix between not being taught what to do and not knowing exactly how to go about the negotiation process. We weigh in on how to go about a negotiation so that you can get what you're worth and still build the relationship.
Wondering how your salary compares? Use our free salary calculator
Dear PT Students,
Have you ever seen an amazing public speaker and just thought about how incredibly talented they were?
As I started the process of becoming better at public speaking, I was always in awe of the people that just had such a natural ability for it. They moved intentionally, spoke smoothly and had a presence that could not be ignored.
The admiration mixed with intimidation I had for public speakers was the same admiration and intimidation I felt as a student and as a new grad when I was with awesome clinicians.
But the farther I got into public speaking, the more it became apparent that it wasn’t all talent. In fact so much of what each engaging speaker did was something that could be learned. How to move on stage, how to manipulate tone, and timing were all things that could be taught and practiced. It wasn’t talent, it was training.
The same is true for the clinicians you admire. They studied, they practiced, and they got...
Dear PT Students,
I was guilty of this (and still am). I think many students and graduates think like this.
We look at where we want to go and how far we are from where we want to be.
We see these HUGE gaps. We feel like we may never get there. But most of all, we ignore how effective small, consistent steps move us forward the most. It is the little things we do on a daily basis that add up quickly way more than the big accomplishments that only come by once in a while.
I remember hearing that if you are struggling in any area of life it can usually be traced back to consistency.
For school we need consistency with reading, studying, and practicing. In relationships we need consistency with communication, engagement, and demonstrating we care. With physical goals, we need consistency with healthy eating, activity, and sleep.
So, what small step can you take today and tomorrow?
Dear PT Students,
It took me 26 minutes to fill out my March Madness bracket (Illinois is going to win in case you were wondering).
It is always hard to predict. Anything can happen in March and you can look at what a team did during the season, but that doesn’t always translate to success in the tournament. Over the next few weeks we will see upsets, surprising outcomes, and some expected ones.
Number one seeds can fall in the first round and eight seeds in the final four. I think this is the perfect analogy for PT school. Once you graduate, once you prove you know enough everyone has a shot at success. Some will see it immediately, some will see it down the road, but don’t think how well you did in PT school predicts it at all.
4.0 students may struggle (and that’s okay) and 3.0s may thrive immediately. Once you graduate, don’t worry about what it took to get there. ...