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Physical Therapists: How Much Paperwork Do You Do?

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Justsomeone9

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I am considering a career in physical therapy. I like the idea of working on my feet, the exercise component, and the fact that physical therapy is a relatively low-stress job in the health sector where I can work with people directly.

What I am not fond of is paperwork and desk work more generally. I read that many physicians spend around 2/3 of their work day on paperwork (including electronic health records, etc.). So what I am wondering is:

1) How many hours of your week and what fraction is typically spent on paperwork/computer work/desk work and how much of your day is spent actually working with the patient?

2) Do physical therapy assistants have to do much if any paperwork/computer work / desk work?
 
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noyceguy

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Home health. About 3-4 hours a day of administrative work/paperwork. About 3 hours driving around. About one hour of therapy.
 
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truthseeker

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rural hospital - 75% OP ortho 10 minutes per new eval (60 appointment) or re-evaluations(30 minute appointments), returning patients 2 minutes (30 minute appointment), document while you treat. For IP - 4minutes/patient each visit which is usually 30min appointment

IP notes are all dictated. PTAs dictate all of their IP visits but do not do evaluations. Daily notes for OP are usually written on a flow sheet as you go, there is some time spent doing charges but it is minimal.
 
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It varies clinic to clinic. In outpatient, some PT's spend like 40-60 min with one patient and then they might have separate documenting time slots.
In other clinics, you have to do your documentation as you go throughout the work day.
I find documentation to be stressful especially if you are hard booked on patients in a day and do not have the speed or time to finish it up. If you're really good at managing your time and know how to work around your documentation software, then it shouldn't be hard.
I personally enjoy working with my patients (around 15 in a 10 hr day) and manage most of my work AT WORK. There WAS a time where I was flooded with too much documentation, but it's all about how you handle it.

:clap:
 

Ndebt

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Home health. About 3-4 hours a day of administrative work/paperwork. About 3 hours driving around. About one hour of therapy.
You doing 5 minute treatments bro
 
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DesertPT

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To answer the OP: PTs do a butt-ton of paperwork every day. I'd say PTA's do about 1 cheek-worth of a butt-ton.

PTs still spend more time on their feet than on the computer though, I find it to be a good mix of physical work and desk work but others may not agree. The problem for me is not the notes themselves, it's the rushing and not having a good amount of time to get them done in many cases. But generally it's manageable.
 
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Justsomeone9

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now you got it

Do you ever wish you became a PTA? It seems like being a PTA is better in every way but the pay. Another potential downside is that you can't open your own clinic, along with the feeling of being subordinate.

On the other hand, PTA's have less paperwork, responsibility, stress, loans, and can start working sooner, and they have more patient interaction
 

NewTestament

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Do you ever wish you became a PTA? It seems like being a PTA is better in every way but the pay. Another potential downside is that you can't open your own clinic, along with the feeling of being subordinate.

You can't open your own clinic as a PTA? It depends on the state I suppose. I don't think it's illegal to own at least part of a clinic. However, I have seen very few PTA's do that. I also haven't seen a lot of PTA's conduct research or invent new devices.

The advantage of being a PT is more responsibility and autonomy within the clinic. Of course, that has a huge cost (loans, schooling) that everyone needs to consider.
 

noyceguy

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Do you ever wish you became a PTA? It seems like being a PTA is better in every way but the pay. Another potential downside is that you can't open your own clinic, along with the feeling of being subordinate.

On the other hand, PTA's have less paperwork, responsibility, stress, loans, and can start working sooner, and they have more patient interaction


Most definitely not
 
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