November 19, 2020

Overworked and Underpaid

Last week in “Courage to Take the First Steps,” we discussed Danny Matta’s experience in a conventional physical therapy setting. “I felt like a cog in a wheel, and I hated it.”

Many of us in the physical therapy and fitness industries have felt this way more than once throughout our careers.  Just because many of us have felt this, though, does not mean it’s an acceptable place to remain.  Life is too short to be spent “going through the motions.”

Here are 5 actionable tips to help you break this cycle.


1.  Identify Your Stressors

Hit pause. Create space to reflect and evaluate. Maybe it’s an afternoon, a full day, or a weekend. Use whatever time you can set aside to separate the components of your job and consider which aspects leave you feeling the most bogged down and worn out. Is it the management side of things? The number of patients you’re seeing? The number of hours you’re working? All of the above, or something else entirely? Once you’ve identified what’s causing your burnout, you’ll be equipped to address the necessary changes.

2.  Define Your Working Hours

Particularly for business owners and those of us who are self-employed, it’s difficult to know when to stop. Work-life balance can be elusive when there’s always more to do and you aren’t clocking in and out conventionally. Establishing healthy work-life boundaries is essential to the enforcement of all else to come. Set your working hours and stick to them. When the clock runs out, put your work down and get on with the other aspects of your life.  Not only will this help you to achieve balance, but having defined working hours can increase your productivity and efficiency within your set time frame.

3.  Simplify Your Practice Management

With patient profiles, scheduling, HEP, and billing, physical therapy practice management presents a lot to keep track of. Wouldn’t it be easier if it were all in the same place? Good news: it can be! With the PtEverywhere mobile software platform, your practice management can be synced up and accessible from anywhere. Not only this, but PtEverywhere provides physical therapists with a library of pre-recorded exercise videos, saving you time as you prescribe home exercise plans. See “Do Your Homework” for more on how PtEverywhere makes HEP a breeze.

4.  Ditch Insurance

If patient volume is the hamartia of your business, ditching insurance and transitioning to cash-based physical therapy is perhaps the best way to increase both your personal and professional longevity. Cash-based PT will allow you to increase revenue while decreasing patient volume, such that you’re able to provide a higher quality of care with increased flexibility. To learn more about cash-based physical therapy and what it could do for you, see “Back to the Basics: Starting a Cash Practice.”

5.  Prioritize Your Own Care

If the fitness industry has taught me anything, it’s that prioritizing my own self-care is essential. Physical burnout is just as real as mental burnout, and the two often go hand in hand. Create space in your schedule for your own workouts, therapy sessions, and rest days. Leading others in movement, while wonderful, will not produce the same release and restoration as your own workouts will. Instruction becomes monotonous when you simultaneously lack energy and feel pressured to hit some movement quota for the day. Developing a sound schedule for your own fitness regimen and self-care will help you go into work energized and focused on the tasks before you.

Learn more about PtEverywhere today.