10 Characteristics of a Great Physical Therapist

Sep 13, 2023
Are you in search of a physical therapist? Whether you’re recovering from an injury, surgery, or you’re in need of pain management, physical therapy can be life changing, but only when you work with a great physical therapist.

10 Characteristics of a Great Physical Therapist

Are you in search of a physical therapist? Whether you’re recovering from an injury, surgery, or you’re in need of pain management, physical therapy can be life changing, but only when you work with a great physical therapist. But how do you find one? What do you look for? What are the signs of a good physical therapist?

When you’re doing your research, look for these 10 Characteristics of a Great Physical Therapist. When you’ve found one that checks all the boxes, you know you’ve found the right one.

1. Qualified.

Start by looking at qualifications. A physical therapist must have completed a doctor of physical therapy program (DPT), which usually takes 3 years at an accredited educational institution. After the completion of the program they must also pass an exam to gain licensure in the state where they intend to practice. Physical therapists can also earn specializations within the field of PT, such as those in this list of physical therapy certifications.

2. Knowledgeable.

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. A good physical therapy practice will most likely have staff with a varying range of experience so that newer PTs can learn from the experience of others. Don’t visit a brand new practice where all the PTs 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. PTs 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. 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 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. 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 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 PT assistants and other staff, you want to find a practice that employs excellent support staff.

Manhattan Physical Therapy Exhibits All 10 of These Characteristics

If you’re looking for a top notch physical therapist, Manhattan Physical Therapy checks all of the above boxes and more. A physical therapy program through Manhattan Physical Therapy can help relieve your pain, expand your range of motion, and improve your overall mobility. Still need more reassurance? Watch these testimonials from satisfied patients. 

Call (212) 213-3480 today to schedule a consultation or contact us. We look forward to guiding you through your physical therapy transformation.