Welker

7+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2010
50
2
141
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm interested in applying to a PT program, so I was wondering where you guys go about to finding a Physical therapist to shadow? or better yet, to volunteer for? so that I get a better idea of what it's like.
I'm currently in the boston area

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!
 
Nov 11, 2009
49
0
0
Status
Non-Student
Hey Welker,

A great way to start is by volunteering at a hospital. Unfortunately they typically require you to commit at least 100 hours or something like that, but a great thing to fit into your schedule in the summer. It will also help you get the hours you need to apply to a program.

Another option is to go to your career center and see if they have a shadowing program. Some schools have a list of alumni who are in the area and willing to have a student shadow them for a day or half day.

Not sure if you are interested in doing it as a job, but you could also go to outpatient clinics and see if they are hiring Physical Therapy techs/aides. That is another great way to learn the ins and outs of the profession.

Hope some of this helps and good luck figuring it all out.
 

MinnDasota

10+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2008
446
0
0
NYC
Status
DPT / OTD
You can also look up physical therapy practices near you and contact them. There should be a ton of outpatient orthopedic practices in the area.
 

rcedillo4

5+ Year Member
Apr 3, 2010
27
1
91
Status
Occupational Therapy Student
If you are applying for PT school in the boston area, I would get a recommendation from a well respected PT in that area. The more experience and most respected, the better. However, in my opinion, focusing on your GPA and GRE should be your top priority as they account highly when applying to PT school.
 

Lizarde

10+ Year Member
Jan 30, 2009
105
3
0
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
A hospital often has an volunteer application process. As for private clinics, first prepare a resume with your contact information, college major, work experience, etc. Would be good to also include when/how long you want to volunteer. Dress professionally and go by a few clinics and tell them you want to speak with someone about volunteering (either now or to make an appointment). Make a good impression with the person at the front desk.
You may need to go by several places, but you'll find someone to take you eventually.
 

Lizarde

10+ Year Member
Jan 30, 2009
105
3
0
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
I would get a recommendation from a well respected PT in that area. The more experience and most respected, the better. However, in my opinion, focusing on your GPA and GRE should be your top priority as they account highly when applying to PT school.
In regards to "the more experience and most respected, the better"... I should add that it can't hurt to review the websites of the places you want to volunteer. If a PT went to your #1 school, know that and bring it up when you drop in. That could be possibly mean getting a recommendation from an alumni.

In regards to "focusing on your GPA and GRE should be your top priority.... Yes of course, BUT. I was recently accepted and it looks like the majority of my class has worked in a PT clinic as an technician, aide, or intern for significantly more the 100 hours recommended. Whether this was a factor in being accepted or just speaks to the overachiever nature of the students is hard to know.
 
Mar 3, 2010
7
0
0
Status
DPT / OTD
Another thing to focus on is shadowing PTs in a variety of settings. Not only does it give you a feel for the different fields of PT, but it gives you a diverse background that will stand out during the application process. I did my undergrad at a large research university (wisconsin madison) and shadowing in the hospitals near the university was not what I expected it to be. Since so many students went through those hospitals, I was assigned to do more house keeping type things than anything else. I would suggest starting at outpatient settings first. From my experience, the pts in outpatients settings were thrilled to show students what their job was like. Good luck!