What Makes a Good Physical Therapist: 9 Qualities You Should Look For

what makes a good physical therapist

What Makes a Good Physical Therapist: 9 Qualities You Should Look For

If you are searching for a physical therapist to help you recover from an injury, you might be wondering: What makes a good physical therapist? Choosing a successful physical therapist can make all the difference in your treatment. A skilled and caring physical therapist can treat your pain and help you return to normal life.

This article will help you find the perfect physical therapy professionals for your needs. While every patient’s needs are different, some qualities are always vital when looking for a therapist.

What Makes a Good Physical Therapist?

We have narrowed our list down to nine of the most important personal traits:

1. Compassionate Communication

When you are choosing a physical therapist, it’s wise to work with someone who has strong communication skills. If you have never been to physical therapy before, it can be intimidating to work with someone who does not a have professional bedside manner.

Patients can benefit greatly by working with physical therapists who possess good listening skills. If you are experiencing pain, you should be able to speak about your problems without being intimidated by your therapist.

2. Transparent and Reasonable Therapy Goals

When you see a physical therapist, you will be performing a variety of movement exercises during your sessions. This can be stressful after an injury. Your physical therapists should set clear and reasonable goals that can help you achieve progress.

Treating patients without setting any accountable goals is bad practice. Your PT should give comments on your progress. It is the best way to know that the process is moving forward. 

3. Clear Treatment Plan

As with all health providers, physical therapists should provide you with a clear medical treatment plan for your physical therapy. This allows you, the patient, to understand the processes and techniques that will be used in your treatment.

Patients should ask questions about treatment plans upfront. Understanding your recovery plan can help you stay positive throughout your therapy. A detailed treatment plan often leads to a better outcome. 

4. Patience

Patience is another vital factor in physical therapists. Therapists who are patient and understanding are likely to improve the motivation of their patients. Physical therapy can be a daunting process, especially if a patient is in pain.

When the therapist shows patience throughout an appointment, it can make the entire process much more rewarding. A successful physical therapist will be aware of the importance of being kind and understanding throughout any type of treatment.

If you attend an initial therapy session and you feel rushed or misunderstood, this may be a clear sign that your therapist is not the right fit for you. Trust your gut instinct if you are not enjoying your sessions.

5. Ongoing Support

An experienced physical therapist will understand a patient’s need for ongoing support and guidance. If a patient has questions about a treatment, program, or therapy techniques, they should be able to contact their therapist easily.

It is also critical to be able to contact your therapist once the program is complete. A patient should feel that a therapist is accountable throughout every stage of their recovery program. 

A clinic should also maintain support before and after the recovery program. A patient should never feel abandoned by a practice.

6. Knowledgeable

Physical therapists help patients with a broad range of physical injuries. If you are searching for a physical therapist that can best help you with your injury, it may help to ask if they’ve treated similar conditions before. You will find that some therapists focus on specific types of injuries.

By choosing healthcare providers that understand your injury, you will have a better chance of a positive outcome. Knowledge of your injury is key when choosing a physical therapy practice. It contributes significantly to clinical ability.

Do not be afraid to interview your therapist about their relevant experience. Knowledge of your injury is essential if you want help regaining your physical function. A good therapist should be able to outline their relevant knowledge and discuss how it applies to your injury.

7. Professionalism

This might sound like an obvious trait to seek in a physical therapist. Sadly, some physical therapists do not show professionalism in their work.

If you are undertaking physical therapy sessions with a therapist, you will need a schedule. The medical recovery process depends on your ability to undertake sessions at the correct intervals.

Make sure to choose a therapist who values timeliness and reliability. Rushed or canceled sessions can affect your capacity to recover. Keep your therapist accountable if they do not treat you with a professional attitude.

8. Education

It is always important to verify that your therapist has the professional education that is required for a career in physical therapy. Double-checking will help patients ensure they are receiving treatment from licensed practitioners.

Therapists should be able to provide you with their licensing information. You should also choose a therapist with education from a well-regarded school and ample experience treating patients.

9. Location

Lastly, be sure to consider location when looking at potential physical therapists. Long journeys can have a negative impact on your treatment.

Patients need to ensure that their therapist is easily accessible. If it is hard for a patient to travel to therapy appointments, they will be less likely to attend all sessions.

A Professional Physical Therapist Can Help You Get Your Life Back

If you are hoping to achieve a full recovery from an injury or chronic pain, you need to understand the skills and personality that define a successful physical therapist

Now that you understand what makes a good physical therapist, keep these qualities in mind when selecting your health provider. Play an active role in choosing the best physical therapist for your recovery needs. If you’re looking for a successful physical therapist in Morganville, NJ, the skilled and compassionate PTs at Advance Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation can help. Give us a call at 732-851-7607 to make an appointment. See how we can help you move forward with increased function and less pain.

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