Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Interviews and Insight

This must be the week for interviews.  I seem to be the subject of said inquiries.  Who thought I was that interesting?  Huh.

My week started with a phone call from a neighbor who never talks to us.  Mostly because we don't see them out and about and because they are rather private.  She called to ask if I'd be willing to have her nephew call me as he needed to interview a PT for an assignment for one of his college classes.  He is aspiring to a career as a PT.  I said sure.  I spoke to him this evening.  A delightful young man.  He had his questions all ready.  Literally 20 of them!

Many of them were a bit of a walk down memory lane.  What inspired you to pursue a career as a PT?  How long have you been at your current job?  What do you do?  Do you enjoy it?  What is the starting salary?  What is the best thing about your job?  The worst?  Is it easy to start your own business?  What extra courses should I focus on?  Do I need to minor in business?  What can I do to make myself more marketable as a PT?  How is the job market?  Describe a typical day...

Gosh.  It's been 20 years since I graduated from college with a BS in PT.  It's now an entry level doctorate program (don't even get me started).  I really chose it as a career on a whim.  It was either that, or social work, which I'd have enjoyed as well, but health care really intrigued me.

I've experienced quite a few different settings as a therapist from outpatient to acute care, chest PT, cardiac rehab, sub-acute rehab, long term care and I even dabbled in pediatrics.  I've worked in private clinics, small hospitals, large hospitals and nursing homes. I've been a clinical instructor for PT students.  I've taught 'back school' and countless other orientation type classes for other health care professionals.  I've been a middle manager and a regional consultant.  I've hired and fired people.  I've used my clinical knowledge in my other pursuits as a birth doula and childbirth educator and as a member of the medical reserve corps.  I've used my knowledge in articles I've written and classes I've taught.  I am now in a marketing and rehab liaison/screening position and the front seat of my car is my office.  The only thing I have not done is home care!  If nothing else, my career choice has afforded me great flexibility and many avenues to pursue.  I have learned a tremendous amount and I've met some amazing people along the way.

It was an opportunity to reflect and be grateful for the choice I made 25 years ago to be a PT.  It really wasn't made with a whole lot of forethought.  It was made because health care appealed to me and all the nurses in my family said 'DON'T go into nursing!'.  I toyed with medical school or the Physician Assistant program after I graduated.  I pondered getting my Nursing Home Administration License or a graduate degree in business.  I never followed up on any of them, mostly because of the expense and the uncertainty of where I wanted to go with my career.

Turns out, I ended up exactly where I needed to be.  Go figure!  This job has long been my 'dream' job.  If only it were able to be done part time!  :-)  There is so much more I want to do with my life and other pursuits... I do enjoy the opportunity it affords me to use my clinical knowledge, my love of teaching and the flexibility to reach out to my customers in a way that can be tailored to their needs.  It's... fun!  At least a good amount of the time.

It may not be the job I retire from, but it's a good fit for now.  I guess pursuing PT wasn't so bad after all.  :-)

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