PT observation hours

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

FuturePT11020

New Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2015
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
How many PT observation hours did you have before applying to PT school and in how many/what settings did you do them in? I know most programs require ~100 hours in 2 settings but I've heard people getting upwards of 2,000 hours. Were most of them just shadowing or working as a tech/aide? Thanks!

Members don't see this ad.
 
The people with 1000+ hours were most likely working as a tech. I had about 300+ hours in many different settings/clinics (outpatient ortho, inpatient, pediatrics, sports medicine). I personally feel that a lot of schools look at the variety of settings more than the quantity of hours, as long as you meet their minimum requirements. If I could go back, I would do some observing in more unique settings such as home health, wound care, amputee rehab, or in a school setting. Hope this helps, good luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Most people get their hours as a PT aide in outpatient settings (ortho, sports).
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Members don't see this ad :)
I agree with what @ajc4cz said, many schools look at how many types of settings you observed in (and some have requirements of a certain amount, such as 20 outpatient, 20 acute, 20 rehab etc - so make sure to check that to make sure you meet the requirement!). If you have to opportunity to observe in multiple locations/setting then definitely do and if you can't then just do what you can but try to vary your experience as much as possible. I believe a lot of applicants get many hours from outpatient is because it is one of the most widely available settings but there are plenty of settings you just have to look for them!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
I had 800 hours in a few different settings. I was lucky enough to land an internship at a neuro rehab hospital which gave me well over 600 hours in both in and out patient from that setting alone.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
If we shadow OTs in addition to PTs (I'm at a burn hospital where both work together and some days I shadow OTs) do you think we should include those hours somehow? I feel like that shows I've seen the difference and have clearly chosen PT over OT...but I'm not sure if it's a bad idea to mention OT at all seeing as it may end up looking like a backup plan or something. Thoughts?
 
If we shadow OTs in addition to PTs (I'm at a burn hospital where both work together and some days I shadow OTs) do you think we should include those hours somehow? I feel like that shows I've seen the difference and have clearly chosen PT over OT...but I'm not sure if it's a bad idea to mention OT at all seeing as it may end up looking like a backup plan or something. Thoughts?
If your hours need to be verified, only a licensed PT can verify them. Any hours verified with an OT will not count.

Edit: If you're at a hospital, then you're probably getting signed off by head PT or something in the end, rather than every individual therapist. In that case, you can lump all hours together probably :)
 
I got around 170 hours between inpatient, outpatient, and rehab.
 
If your hours need to be verified, only a licensed PT can verify them. Any hours verified with an OT will not count.

Edit: If you're at a hospital, then you're probably getting signed off by head PT or something in the end, rather than every individual therapist. In that case, you can lump all hours together probably :)


Well, it's a pedi burn hospital and the dept. manager is actually an OT! But I'm sure I can have the PTs sign off instead.
 
Top