"You need to understand how important your grades are during your undergraduate courses. There are many applicants for a few slots - PT School is very important. Keep your grades up!"

Role Model Photo Jann Barnett

Health Field: Physical Therapist

Number of years in the profession:
30 year

Years in College: 4 years

Professional Credentials:
Bachelor of science in physical therapy

How did you know this career was what you wanted to do?
I liked all sciences and math classes, but did not want to focus on any one of these for my degree. After looking at several degree plans, I chose physical therapy. I was also given a career psychology exam which also put physical therapy high on my interest list.

What other careers did you consider?
Math teacher

What experiences in your life developed your interest in your career?
strong high school background in sciences and math.

What early preparations did you take (in high school and college) to reach your career goal?
I took all advanced classes in sciences and math.

What things did you find to be difficult as you prepared for your career?
The most difficult barrier to admission to a physical therapy program was the differences in requirements to all the different schools. You need to be able to apply to several schools so it is very important to be aware that you have completed all prerequisite courses for the training programs to which you want to apply.

How did you overcome these challenges?
I sent off for applications from all the schools in Texas to make sure that I had all prerequisites for all the different schools. I also did this by my sophomore year in college. Now you can find that information on their websites.

Was your family supportive of you through your college (or other training) years?

Did you have a job and work while you were going to college or other training? Yes

Present Career as a Physical Therapist

Describe an average work day for you.
I worked part time at the college of biology at my university. This fit into my class schedule. I did not work when in physical therapy school. The program for PT is all day and 5 days per week. This did not allow for work due to the rigorous class schedule and studying.

How many hours do you work in an average week?

What kind of health care setting do you work in?
Outpatient physical therapy clinic and a few hours per day at hospital.

What do you see as strengths needed for your career?
Desire to help other people. Ability to look at the whole puzzle (whole person) when evaluating patients. Goal oriented. Ability to work with people. Patience.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Being able to evaluate patients and see them progress.

What advice would you give to those who are interested in your career?
Look at all areas of the field (pediatric, sports injuries, geriatrics, neurology, wound care, inpatients, and outpatients) to find what area most interests you.

If you could start over, would you still make the same decision to pursue education?
Yes, it is a very rewarding career. I might have gone on to get my masters or doctorate before I started working, because it is difficult to go back to school after you start working. When I graduated from PT school it was a bachelor program. Now it is a doctorate program.

Do you plan to pursue opportunities for advancement in your career field?
No. I do continually take classes to improve my clinical skills, however, I do not plan on working toward a masters or doctorate.

View Other Professionals in this Field
Pickle  | Barnett  | Charles  |
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