Last Updated Nov 17, 2018
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How Much Does a Physical Therapist Make?: Physical Therapists earned a mean average annual wage of $88,080 or $42.34 per hour in 2017 according to bls.gov.
The lowest paid 10% of employed PTs made an average mean wage of $59,080 ($28.40 per hour), and the upper 10% percent made around $122,650 ($58.97 per hour). However, the annual mean wages for PTs will depend on the type of healthcare industry worked in. One of the highest compensated industries for physical therapists is home health care services.
The average mean salary for a PT working for a home health care service was $96,070 or $46.19 an hour. In nursing care facilities, the average annual salary was around $92,270 ($44.36 per hour). PTs working in general medical and surgical hospitals can bring in an estimated $88,660 annually ($42.62 per hour). Physical therapists working in offices of physicians earn an estimated $84,640 ($40.69 hourly). Finally, in offices of other health practitioners, a PT can earn an average of $85,930 ($41.31 per hour).
In 2017, the top paying state for a physical therapist was Nevada with an average mean annual salary of $102,860 ($49.45 an hour). California had the highest level of employment for PTs with an estimated 20,450 physical therapists with an average annual salary of $95,570 ($45.95 per hour).
How Much Does a PT Make by State?
PT Salary with Annual and Hourly Rates
|State||PT Hourly Rate||PT Annual Salary|
|District of Columbia||$41.63||$86,580|
Source: bls.gov, average mean PT salary data as of May 2017 | For more detailed information, try Payscale.com
What Does a PT Do?
The physical therapist assesses plans, organizes, and participates in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and decrease or prevent deformity of patients suffering from disease or injury.
Using physical and functional assessments, level of dysfunction is identified; plan of care is determined and documented. Implements care plan using manual exercise to increase strength, decrease deformity or prevent deformity, use of physical agents, massage or traction to assist in pain relief.
The PT educates the patient and caregivers in treatment and care to be continued at home. Monitors and evaluates outcomes related to the assessment. Confers with patient, medical practitioners and appropriate others to plan, implement and assess the intervention program.
The staff PT independently manages his/her own patient caseload; provides services as part of an interdisciplinary team, and plans, implements and evaluates patient programs. The staff physical therapist adheres to principles of evidence-based practice in daily decision-making and abides by the State Practice Act and the APTA Code of Ethics. Also, follows policies and procedures to ensure compliance with Joint Commission (TJC), and other regulatory agencies.
The PT works under general supervision and is responsible for various shifts. This person may also be subject to work over 40 hours per week and callback hours may be required. Typically, in a hospital setting, the RN may also be required to remain on campus immediately before, during, and after severe weather or disasters.
What Does a PT Do Summary
- Reviews physician’s referral and patient’s medical records to help determine diagnosis and physical therapy treatment required.
- Performs and documents an initial evaluation, devise a treatment plan, carry out treatment plan, assess effectiveness of treatment plan, adjust treatment as indicated.
- Discharges patient from therapy when appropriate and provide follow-up instruction or referrals.
- Interacts with: patients, physicians, nursing, case-management, social workers, dietary, all allied health-care related employees, non-licensed employees, vendors, students, volunteers, and public at large. May supervise: physical therapist assistants, therapy technicians, volunteers, and students.
- Manages stress appropriately, makes decisions under pressure, handles multiple priorities, and works in areas that are confined and /or crowded.
- Coordinates patient care with other clinical team members ensuring optimal patient care and communication as noted in the clinical record.
- Identifies the need for and makes referrals for continuum of care and community resources that are beneficial to the patient to ensure that care needs are met, per manager observation and chart documentation.
- Collaborates and updates other team members about changes in patient status and plan of care.
- Able to coordinate and manage patient care needs recognizing issues that require intervention, being knowledgeable about care provided by other disciplines, and communicating effectively with patient, family, and team members to reach optimum patient outcomes.
- Monitors and updates patient goals and plan of care directly or through collaboration with physical therapy assistant to progress patient in response to services.
- Documents all communication between team members, family, physicians and community resource personnel.
- Maintains and enhances personal knowledge as well as promoting professional standards in physical therapy.
- Demonstrates knowledge of department policies and procedures.
- Participates in quarterly clinical record reviews, if applicable, as documented on completed review form.
- Shares expertise with staff and colleagues at meetings, in-services and case conferences as observed by rehabilitation manager.
- Maintains current license and submits timely evidence of renewed license.
PT Education and Qualifications
- Bachelor’s, Masters or DPT Degree in Physical Therapy from an CAPTE accredited institution
- Current or eligible for State PT licensure
- Current Basic Life Support Training (BLS)
- Good organizational, critical thinking, communication skills in a detail-oriented, multi-tasked, customer- focused organization
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