Man after car accident in an orthosis and on crutches learning to walk in the clinic, helpful therapist near him

10 Qualities of a Great Physical Therapist

Searching for a physical therapist? Whether you’re recovering from an injury, surgery, or need pain management, physical therapy can be the best decision you ever make. However, this only happens when you work with a fantastic physical therapist. But how do you find one? What do you look for? What are the signs of a good Long Island physical therapist?

In this post, we’ll discuss the ten characteristics of a great physical therapist. With these, you’ll know you’ve found the right therapist and your best treatment option.

1. Qualified.

First, begin by examining qualifications. A physical therapist must complete a doctor of physical therapy program (DPT), which usually takes 3 years at an accredited institution. Then, they must also pass an exam to gain licensure in the state where they practice. Physical therapists can also earn specializations within the field, such as those in this list of qualities.

2. Knowledgeable.

Next, make sure any physical therapist you consider has a good working knowledge of physical therapy strategies that pertain to your needs. This should be apparent when you meet with a PT to discuss your potential treatment.

3. Experienced.

Find out how many years the physical therapist has been practicing. Of course, a good physical therapy practice will most likely have staff with a varying range of experience so that newer therapists can learn from the experience of others. Don’t visit a brand new practice where all the therapists are fresh out of school.

4. Skilled.

With experience comes the skills needed to be a physical therapist. There is a specific skill set that a good physical therapist should start with and develop through experience. Obviously, they need to be strong enough to help their patients, agile and dexterous as well. Physical therapy is a highly physical job that requires someone to be in excellent physical shape. There is also skill required to properly use physical therapy equipment so that it helps the patient without causing any further harm.

5.  Patient.

Physical therapy is challenging, for both the patient and the physical therapist. It requires a gargantuan amount of effort from the patient and it can be painful. A good physical therapist understands this and knows they must exercise patience in every moment of treatment.

6. Positive.

A physical therapist must always have a positive attitude. Obviously, this can be difficult when the patients they work with do not always mirror the same positive attitude. But staying positive helps the patient to work harder at their stretching and believe that they can get better and achieve their goals.

7. Encouraging.

A physical therapist’s positive attitude allows them to be encouraging to their patients. While the majority of the effort must come from the patient, encouragement from the physical therapist goes a long way toward helping them make progress. And, for some patients without a strong support system, encouragement from their physical therapist may be the only encouragement they receive.

8. Effective Communicator.

A good physical therapist is an effective communicator. A PT must be able to explain what the patient needs to do in order to make progress. But they must also be a good listener so that they understand the needs of the patient and the barriers that may be hindering progress. Interpersonal communication in physical therapy is absolutely crucial for effective treatment.

9. Realistic.

Above all, a good physical therapist must be realistic. Physical therapy can help people make miraculous recoveries from car accident injuries and pain, but it doesn’t work like magic. A good physical therapist can help you set realistic goals in small increments that are reachable.

10. Excellent support staff.

A good physical therapist should also have good staff. Qualities of a physical therapist assistant are many of the same qualities listed above. Since you may also come in contact with assistants and other staff, you want to find a practice that employs excellent support staff.

Conclusion – Lake Shore Physical Therapy

At Lake Shore Physical Therapy, we’re passionate about maintaining a team of therapists with each of these qualities and more. Obviously, no one should live their lives in pain. Contact Lake Shore Physical Therapy now to schedule your consultation with a physical therapist.