Physical therapy internships are training programs designed for students and graduates, which focus on complementing the theory learnt in class with practical applications. During these clinical internships, the future therapists receive training in the precise area of their expertise. Apart from approaching the general physical therapy field, which deals with common medical disorders, internships may also offer insights into narrower areas such as physiology or applied anatomy. Internships are vital for students who want to work in the medical field, because the school does not offer them the required hands-on training. Without an internship, you have very little chance to find a job, as, in this profession, you must have strong skills and a lot of experience.
What Do Physical Therapy Internships Look Like?
If you are still studying, you will need to gather a certain number of hours of hands-on training in order to meet the criteria for the bachelor’s degree. Normally, internships are taken at the beginning of the senior year, during the first semester.
During your internship, you will be working in a healthcare facility where you will perform various tasks, which may not be exactly what you have hoped for. You will attend various patients, with various problems, and you will have to offer them professional medical care, even if they are not the kinds of patients you expect to work with in your future career. Also, you may not get to work in the health care unit where you would want to be employed.
Being an intern is a tough job because you are the new, inexperienced person and you may not know what to do to fit in. You will have to work a lot, and you will have to complete every task that falls under your responsibility; for this, you will have to leave your insecurities aside and rely on what you have learnt until the present time.
In the end, there will be a lot to gain. Even if you do not like the place where you are working, the people whom you work with or the patients you attend to, you should be grateful for the opportunity. Treat the whole experience as a long-lasting process, because physical therapy internships are highly similar to real jobs. If you fail here or if you act insensitively, this will most likely be your path in your actual career.
Where to Find Internships
There are a lot of health care facilities that offer students and fresh graduates the possibility to come and work for them without being paid, in exchange for accumulating essential knowledge and training their skills. You can ask the school you are studying in about what possibilities they can offer you in this regard. You can search online for the best healthcare facilities that are near your house, and you can submit your application.
One ordinary place where students look for physical therapy internships is the senior care center. These centers have a large demand for volunteers, so you are extremely likely to receive instant approval. It may be the perfect partnership, as seniors would enjoy physical therapy a lot, and you will work with nice, respectful people. If you do not like these centers, you can resort to the local clinics and offer them your help. Here, you will be working with a wide variety of patients, which can be a little uncomfortable; however, this will also be extremely valuable in terms of experience.
Fresh graduates have better chances of finding internship positions. The luckiest ones will find physical therapy internships in reputable health care facilities, and will get the extraordinary opportunity of getting employed there.