Physical therapists need to have minds full of knowledge, from the right treatments for various injuries to the medications used to treat rare, chronic conditions. But beyond a profound database of knowledge, it's also important for a physical therapist to have certain personality traits. If you recognize these traits in yourself, then pursuing a career as a physical therapist may be a good choice for you.
In physical therapy, you must sometimes try several approaches before you find one that works for a a particular patient. If you are the type of person who becomes discouraged easily if the first thing they try does not work, this may not be the best job for you. On the other hand, if failure just makes you feel more determined to succeed, you'll probably do well as a physical therapist.
How well do you handle spending time with others who are unlike yourself? As a physical therapist, you will work with patients from diverse backgrounds. It's important to practice tolerance and to treat each one of your patients with the same level of kindness and respect, regardless of their income, race, gender, age, and personality type.
Can you operate calmly even when you're feeling stressed out? If you become flustered very easily when you're worried or busy, this will show through to patients and may make them feel less confident or comfortable with the treatment you're providing. On the other hand, if you can manage to come off as cool and comfortable even when you're under stress, your patients will come to respect your advice and guidance.
When you see someone hurting or in pain, do you feel natural compassion and an urge to help them? This natural compassionate feeling will make you a very good physical therapist because it will drive you to base your decisions on your patients' well being, rather than other factors like time or cost.
Cooperation with Others
As a physical therapist, you will often have to collaborate with physicians, chiropractors, and other practitioners in the care of a patient. It's important that you're able to work on a team, listening to and respecting others' opinions. You may also have assistants to help you with your day-to-day work, so make sure you're able to delegate tasks and manage others effectively.
If you possess the qualities above or believe you can foster them within yourself, then physical therapy jobs may be perfect for you.