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Physical Therapy

Want To Be a Physical Therapist? You Need These 8 Personal Qualities

February 24th, 2023 | 3 min. read

Want To Be a Physical Therapist? You Need These 8 Personal Qualities
Chris Brandt

Chris Brandt

Licensed Physical Therapist, PT, DPT // Director of Marketing and Sales // Certified Dry Needling Specialist // EW Motion Therapy Homewood

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Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who work with patients to improve their physical function and mobility. They help patients with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities to regain movement, manage pain, and improve their overall quality of life. But the word “therapist” is in their job title for a reason: an element of personal connection is involved in the profession. To be a successful physical therapist, one must possess several key personality traits. Our physical therapists at EW Motion Therapy prioritize patient connections, especially in their evaluation, so our patients feel seen and heard from day one. Even if you decide our services do not fit your needs, read on for our discussion of the top 8 personality characteristics a physical therapist needs to have. 


The top 8 personal qualities required to be a great physical therapist


  1. Compassion: Physical therapists must be compassionate and empathetic towards their patients. They must understand and relate to their patient’s pain and suffering and offer support and encouragement. A compassionate physical therapist can build a strong rapport with their patients, which can help them better understand their needs and provide them with the care they need.
  2. Patience: Physical therapy can be slow, and patients may take longer than expected to recover. Therefore, physical therapists must be patient and willing to work with their patients to help them achieve their goals. A patient physical therapist can help keep their patients motivated and focused on their rehabilitation.
  3. Good communication skills: Physical therapists must have excellent communication skills to communicate effectively with their patients and other healthcare professionals. They must be able to explain complex medical concepts in simple terms, listen to their patient’s concerns, and provide clear instructions to ensure their patients understand their treatment plans.
  4. Flexibility: Physical therapists must be adaptable and flexible in their approach to patient care. Every patient is unique, and physical therapists must be able to adjust their treatment plans based on individual needs and preferences. They must be able to change their plans as necessary to ensure their patients' progress and success.
  5. Attention to detail: Physical therapists must have a keen eye for detail, as small changes in a patient's physical condition can significantly impact their treatment plan. They must be able to identify subtle changes in their patient’s conditions and adjust their treatment plans accordingly.
  6. Problem-solving skills: Physical therapists must have strong problem-solving skills to address their patients’ challenges during rehabilitation. They must be able to develop creative solutions to help their patients overcome barriers and achieve their goals.
  7. Professionalism: Physical therapists must exhibit high professionalism when working with their patients and other healthcare professionals. They must maintain a professional demeanor and always act in the best interests of their patients.
  8. Passion: Physical therapists must genuinely love helping people. They must be committed to their patients' success and be willing to go above and beyond to ensure they receive the care they need. A passionate physical therapist can inspire and motivate patients to achieve their goals.


What else do physical therapists do?

Physical therapy is a rewarding and challenging profession that requires individuals to possess several key personality traits. Compassion, patience, good communication skills, flexibility, attention to detail, problem-solving skills, professionalism, and passion are all essential traits that a physical therapist needs to have to provide their patients with the best possible care. But a physical therapist must also have the proper educational background and knowledge to succeed, and choosing the right therapist for your health journey is essential.


The best physical therapists meet you where you are and create an individualized plan to help you work toward your goals - this is what our team at EW Motion Therapy strives to do daily. If you are curious about what else physical therapy can do for you, click the button below to download our answers to 20 frequently-asked physical therapy questions.


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