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InterviewQuestions

1.Whatcollegedidyougoto,andwhatwastheeducationalpathyouchoose?
EastCarolinaUniversity
PhysicalTherapy
2.Whatarethethingsyouloveorenjoyaboutthiscareer?
Ilovetryingtomotivatepeopletodothingsthattheythinkthattheycan'tdo.It'sfuntowatch
peopledothingsthattheyneverthoughtthattheywouldbeabletodoagain.Iworkin
geriatrics,somostofourpatientshaveacombinationofproblemsandcometouswith
significantproblemsordisabilities.Whenyouworkingeriatrics,youlearnthatthereareso
manythingsthatpeopletakeforgranted,andthathelpskeepmegrounded.
3.Whatarethethingsyoudislikeaboutthiscareer?
Becauseoftherisingcostofhealthcare,therehavebeenconstantchangestocoverageand
regulationsforprivateinsuranceandMedicareoverthelast20years.Tryingtokeepcurrenton
howallofthoseregulationsdictatehowyoucanprovidecareforyourpatientscanbe
overwhelmingattimes.Withhealthcarereformgoingonnow,thereisalottotrytolearnand
understandinordertobeabletocontinuetoprovidetheclinicalcarethatyouknowyourpatients
need.Andmanytimes,notallpeoplegetthesamelevelofcarebasedontheirinsurance.So,
thatcanbefrustrating.So,justnavigatingtheresourcestogetwhatyouneedforyourpatientsis
adislike.But,itissoimportanttobeanadvocateanddotheextrathatisnecessarytoprovide
thebestservicethatyoucanwithintheconstraints.
4.Whatdoesanaveragedayinyourofficelooklike?
Atypicaltreatmentdayisaboutan8hourdaywithabout61/2hoursofdirectpatientcare.
Duringthattime,Icouldbedoingevaluationsofnewpatients,orprovidingongoingtreatmentto
patientswhohavealreadybeenevaluatedandarenotreceivingthetreatments/exercisesthatwe
havedeterminedaremostappropriatefortheirconditions.Partofthepatientcareresponsibility
isalsocompletingrequireddocumentationoftherapyservices.Becausewetrytodocument
whatwedidasclosetotheactualtreatmentaspossible(tohelpbesuretorecordaccurate
information),thetreatmentsgenerallyendwithaquicksummaryofpatientgoalsandreviewof
progresswiththepatientsothatwecangetitalldocumentedandremindthepatientofhowfar
theyhavecome,orwhattheystillneedtoworkon.Onedayperweek,wealsodoaclinicalcare
conferencewithallthedisciplinesthatareinvolvedinthatpatient'scare(nursing,PT,OT,ST,
Respiratory,andsometimesMD)tobeabletodiscusshowthingsaregoingoverall,
communicateconcerns,andthenadjusttheplanofcareifneeded.Thatusuallylastsaboutan
hour.Physicaltherapistassistantsalsoworkunderthedirectionofaphysicaltherapist,soa
typicaldaywouldincludeprovidingcollaborationandsupervisionofthepatientsthatarebeing
seenbytheassistantandcompletingsupervisionpaperwork.
5.Whatisyourresponsibilitytoyourpatients?

1.Doathoroughevaluation/assessmenttodetermineunderlyingproblemsanddeficitsthatneed
tobeaddressed.Someofthesemaynotrequiretheskillsofaphysicaltherapist,butitisstillour
responsibilitytodeterminewhatthosemightbeandmakereferralstootherdisciplines.
2.Developshorttermandlongtermgoalsthataremutuallyagreeabletotherapistandpatient.
3.Developaplanofcare(exercises,activities,modalitieslikeelectricalstimulationor
ultrasound,etc)thatisdesignedtohelpaddressthedeficitsidentifiedandmeetthegoals.
4.Providemotivationandencouragementtomeetthegoals.Givepatientsclearinstructionsand
expectationsandhelpthemunderstandtherelevanceoftheactivitiesthathavebeendesignedto
meettheirgoals.
5.Reassesshowtheplanofcareisgoingonaweeklybasisandadjustthegoalsandplanofcare
asneeded.
6.Providerealisticideaofhowthepatientshouldbeabletofunctionattimeofdischarge.This
includeseducatingthepatientandthefamilymembersaboutwhattheyshouldbedoingonan
ongoingbasistocontinuetomaintaintheimprovementsortocontinuetoimproveontheirown.
Thisalsoincludesmakingeveryoneawareofanysafetyconcerns,precautions,orlimitations.
7.Securingnecessarymedicalequipment(walker,cane,braces,orthotics,etc.)Thiswouldalso
includemakingreferralsforanyongoingneeds(homehealthoroutpatientservices).
8.Helpthemachievetheirhighestlevelofrecoverpossibleinthemostconcise,costeffective
mannerpossible.
9.Documenttheserviceswellsothattheirinsurancecompanydoesnotdenypaymentofthe
services.
10.Communicatewiththereferringphysicianandotherhealthcareproviderstobesurethatthe
physicaltherapyplanfitsintotheoverallrehabilitationofthepatient.Makingnurse/physician
awareofanyproblemsnoticedduringtherapy.
6.Whyisyourjobimportant?
Peoplerelyonphysicaltherapiststohelprehabilitatesuchawidevarietyofproblemssome
moreimportantthanothers.But,everyonewhocomestoseeaphysicaltherapistiseither
experiencingpain,disability,injury,ordysfunctionthatisimpactingtheirabilitytoleada
normallife.Aphysicaltherapisthastheopportunitytohelpmakelifeeasierforpeopleandto
helpthemunderstand/learnhowtomakeadjustmentstolifebasedontheirproblems(sometimes
temporaryproblemsandsometimesmorelifechanging).
7.Whattypeofpersonorpersonalitydoesthiscareerrequire?
Physicaltherapistsneedtobeempatheticnotsympathetic.Youhavetobeabletorecognizethe
problemsthatapersonisexperiencing,buttohavetheabilitytomotivate(push)peopletodo
thingsthattheydon'tbelievethattheycando.Youalsoneedtobealifelonglearnertoensure
thatyoukeepcurrentwithresearchandtechniquesinordertohavetheconfidenceandthe
knowledgetodothatsafely.Becausedaysareveryfastpacedandtherearealotofexpectations
aroundpatientcareanddocumentation,youhavetobeorganizedandabletomanagetimewell.
Youalsoneedtobedetailorientedandagoodobserver.Watchingandlisteningtopeoplewill

giveyoumoreinformationthanaformalassessmentsometimes.Youhavetobeableto
assimilatealotofinformationandtrytoputtogetherthebigpicture.Youalsohavetobepatient
anddiligentaboutworkingyourgoalswithapatientandrealizethatifyourpatientisnot
meetingtheirgoalsitmaybesomethingthatyou(thetherapist)hasnotyetidentifiedor
properlydesignedtreatmentfor.Sohumilitygoesalongwayaswell.:)
8.Onceyouareoutofcollege,whattestdoyouconstantlyhavetotaketokeepyourlicense?
Oncegraduated,youhavetopassaNationalBoardExamtoobtainyourlicensetopractice.If
youpassthatonthefirsttry,youdonothavetotakeitagain.Youdo,howeverhavetocontinue
totakecontinuingeducationcoursesinordertomaintainyourstatelicensure.Therequirements
foreachstatevary,butinNorthCarolinawearerequiredtocomplete30hoursofeducation
every2years,includinganethicsandjurisprudencecourse.
9.Whatdoesthiscareerdemandofyou,howmuchtimedoyouspendonaweeklybasis?
Typicalworkweekis40hours,butImayspendsometimeonmyownreadingarticles,or
researchingaparticularproblemortreatment.Usually,thatisjustacouplehoursperweek.You
getemotionallyattachedtoyourpatients,soitcanbeemotionallydrainingattimesand
physically,youcangetsomepatientswhoarehardertohandlethanothers.So,thereisatypical
workweektimedemand,aphysicaldemand,andanemotionaldemand.Butyouhavetolearn
worklifebalance,whichistypicalwithanycareer.
10.Whydidyoudecidetodoenterthisfield?
MygreatgrandfatherhadastrokewhenIwasinmyearlyteens.Hehadbeenotherwisehealthy
andstillworkingaregularjobupuntilthatpoint(hewas73whenhehadthestroke).He
recoveredwellfromthatstrokeandIhadmetthephysicaltherapistwhowouldcomeouttohis
hometoworkwithhim.Ihadneverreallyhadanyotherexperiencewithaphysicaltherapist.
Hehadacoupleotherstrokesoverthenextcoupleyearsthathedidnotrecoverwellfrom,buthe
continuedtohaveaphysicaltherapistcometohishometoworkwithhimandIwastherewhen
shevisitedquiteoften.Iwasimpressedbyhowmuchphysicaltherapyhaddoneforhimbut
alsofrustratedthathewasnotabletorecovermoreofhisfunctionbeforehepassedaway.Iwas
motivatedtotrytolearnhowtohelpotherpeopleinthewaythathistherapistshadhelpedhim.
andtotrytounderstandwhyherecoveredsowellinitially,butdidnotgetthesameresultslater
on.