Physical therapy, also known as physiotherapy, is a rewarding career. Physical therapists work 37.5 hours per week on average. However, the number of hours typically varies. For example, a physical therapist may work in various settings, including a hospital, sporting team, nursing home, clinic, or home setting.
The number of hours depends on the type of work, the location, and the therapist’s position. Working in a hospital may involve days, nights, and weekend shifts, while working as a sporting team physio may include working on the weekends or extra hours.
Travel nursing allows physical therapists to travel around the country working in various areas with many different people. Therapists can expand their experience and boost their resume as they discover a new place and enjoy a new adventure in life! Physical therapy offers a variety of opportunities, various services, different schedules, and hours.
Roles of a Physical Therapist
Therapy reduces the risk of injury and disease in the future by taking a holistic approach. The NHS states that a physical therapist, also known as a physiotherapist, helps restore movement and function after an injury, illness, or disability.
Because physical therapists work with all kinds of health conditions and injuries, they work with the joints, bones and soft tissue, brain or nervous system, heart and circulation, and even lungs and breathing.
Physiotherapists are an integral part of the healing process of many patients. Whether their injuries are small or big, they use their unique skills to heal and prevent further damage in the future.
Physical therapy is a very social and active job, and many find this career path rewarding and incredibly enjoyable. Therapists have the opportunity to create significant connections in various physical therapy programs. They teach patients about their bodies and what they can do to reduce pain in their day-to-day lives.
Physical therapy work is a fulfilling career choice. It is gratifying to watch patients reach a point where they are not in pain, reach big goals proudly, and become confident in their daily movements. Travel therapists have the bonus of moving around and discovering numerous parts of the country.
How Many Hours Do Physical Therapists Work a Day?
Most clinics have hours that accommodate working individuals, so they offer appointments early at 7:00 am and stay open until 7:00 pm or later. Physical therapists typically work five 8-hour days or four 10-hour days that begin at 8:00 am and end at 6:30 pm. Either of these schedules works well for patients.
Home health therapist hours vary depending on the client, but most therapists see their first client around 8:00 or 9:00 am and end their day around 3:00 or 4:00 pm. While outpatient therapy clinics are known for their long hours, PT in a home health setting typically provides shorter days.
Physical therapists usually work a 40-hour week in a clinic and spend additional time making notes on-site or at their homes if permitted.
Home health jobs allow the therapist to experience flexibility on how many patients they want to see per day/week. It’s possible for home health physical therapists to see a few patients a day and to complete work by noon. However, it’s important to note that physical therapists are paid based on the number of patients they see.
Physical Therapist Hours and Schedule
There are several different factors involved when choosing therapy hours. For example, physical therapists working in a therapy center, hospital, or nursing home may have an option to choose a four or five-day schedule.
Outpatient physical therapists typically see patients twice a week unless three visits are needed. Working four longer days allows therapists to schedule patients on a Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday interval. Therapists may consider the following points when choosing their hours and schedule:
Save Time and Money with 10-hour Days
If the physical therapist considers a clinic that involves a lengthy drive, four 10-hour days could save time. For example, if it takes 30 minutes to arrive at work in the morning with 20 minutes in traffic each way, the therapist will save roughly one hour each week by consolidating traveling to four days versus five.
In addition to saving time in travel, the therapist can reduce travel expenses, such as tolls, gas, and wear and tear on the vehicle. For example, fuel costs are reduced by 20% when therapists reduce travel to four days instead of five.
Childcare and Family Routines with 8-Hour Days
Physical therapists with children typically drop their children off at school or childcare before starting their shift. Therapists responsible for dropping their children off and picking them up from school or aftercare programs may prefer five 8-hour days rather than four 10-hour days. Caring for a family may require more flexibility than a 10 hour day.
Gain an Extra Day with 10-Hour Days
Working four 10-hour days gives the therapist three days off a week. Many people prefer to have an extra job to help pay bills or reduce student loans, and physical therapists working four days could use that extra day for a second job. PTs who have three days off per week also gain spare time with family or enjoy hobbies and travel.
Flexible Hours with Variable Plans
Working an eight-hour shift provides a steady schedule for individuals who need to be home by a specific time each day. But, some physical therapists prefer a variable plan where they come in early on two or three days and finish their day by 3:00 or 4:00 pm. Other schedule options may include working from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays and working from 9:00 to 5:00 on Tuesday and Thursday.
Do Most Physical Therapists Work on the Weekend?
When outpatient therapy clinics are open on the weekend, therapists may cover Saturdays using a rotating schedule. Therapists who work at the hospital, a nursing facility, or a home health setting will likely need to have someone cover the weekend shift.
These facilities typically have higher physical therapy staff specifically for the weekend. However, if the facility is shorthanded, therapists may be asked to work overtime to cover a Saturday shift.
What Do Physical Therapists Do Daily?
People may experience accidents that lead to twinges, twangs, or severe injuries. Those who experience these situations find themselves heading over to a physical therapist for their recovery. Physical therapists, or physiotherapists, perform physiotherapy, a hands-on job.
The great thing about taking on physiotherapy as a career is the various career opportunities and specialties available. Physical therapists (PTs) may perform at a clinic after receiving a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy or a master’s degree in physical therapy (MSPT). Therapists may also earn a doctor of physical therapy degree (DPT).
Physical therapists are an integral part of the healing process of many patients. Physios work with all kinds of health conditions and injuries, leading them to work with their entire bodies, including the joints, bones, soft tissue, brain or nervous system, heart and circulation, lungs, and breathing. Whether their injuries are small or big, they use their unique skills to heal and prevent further damage in the future.
Rather than only focusing on the area that hurts, physical therapists look at the whole body to understand what is happening, reduce pain, increase mobility, and help the patient improve physical activity in the future. The therapist educates the patient on what they are experiencing, why it is happening, and how they can prevent it in the future.
Contact TheraEx Staffing
Physical therapists are a valuable help for patients and are in high demand. TheraEx Staffing connects physical therapists with medical offices, hospitals, long-term nursing care facilities, rehabilitation centers, and physical therapy clinics. Contact TheraEx Staffing for help finding outstanding physical therapist opportunities nationwide.