The age-old saying goes: “Experience is the best teacher.” It’s important to equip yourself with theoretical knowledge, but hands-on experience is another necessary step before you start working in your field. This is especially true if you’re pursuing a career in healthcare such as physical therapy. As an aspiring physical therapist (PT), practical application is something you’ll have to deal with on a regular basis.
A physical therapy internship is a great way to start gaining experience. With a good program, you’ll be able to gain cross-disciplinary skill sets, handle a wide range of responsibilities, learn from mentors, and directly help patients on their road to recovery.
What is a Physical Therapy Internship?
A physical therapy internship is a great opportunity to put your knowledge into practice. These out-of-classroom sessions are a culmination of all you’ve been taught so far. You’ll work shifts, spend your days (or evenings) in clinics, and get a glimpse of the daily lives of PTs.
During the internship, you will also start honing other skills, such as dealing with patients and working with other professionals. You might rotate different environments, from hospitals to rehabilitation facilities to community centers. These kinds of interactions will help you develop your collaborative skills and fulfill various roles that come with the job.
How to Choose the Right Physical Therapy Internship Program
Fortunately, you can find tons of opportunities to get an internship for physical therapy. There is a high possibility that your school already has programs available on its roster. You can also seek out organizations that offer a credible physical therapy internship.
When choosing a program, pay close attention to your needs. What is it that you’re after? Some may have factors like skill-building, meeting colleagues, novelty, or even compensation. Sift closely through your options and remind yourself to reap long-term benefits instead of short-term ones.
Completing an Internship for Physical Therapy
There’s no set time for completing an internship. This ultimately depends on the program you choose or the clauses you’ve signed. Some last a few weeks, while some can take up to months. For instance, if you pursue a physical therapy internship abroad, it might take longer due to logistical concerns and processes.
A Quick Overview of Therapy Abroad’s Physical Therapy Internship Program
Some internships for physical therapy involve collaborations across other disciplines and places. Therapy Abroad, for instance, offers more than just on-the-job training—you also get once-in-a-lifetime experiences with other places and cultures.
Our goal is to help undergraduates and post-baccalaureate students study in wider settings. Our Thailand Pre-Physical Therapy (PT) College Prep Program allows you to observe global and localized techniques plus work with trusted PTs. Additionally, you’ll get the chance to collaborate with the following:
- Government organizations
- Non-government organizations (NGOs)
- Private clinics
- Charitable organizations
Best of all, perhaps, is the sense of connection you can gain with local communities in Thailand. You’ll also be able to enjoy off-work activities such as exploring the jungle, visiting animal sanctuaries, and learning about indigenous cultures in the area.
Applying for Therapy Abroad’s Physical Therapy Internship Program
This program welcomes anyone from any relevant department, especially those in healthcare. There are no technical prerequisites prior to application, which means you don’t need hard credentials to be considered.
Regardless, working in the field—especially in a different country—tends to go beyond one’s comfort zone. Attitudes, such as adaptability and determination, are some of the things the committee will scrutinize. Don’t forget to prepare yourself for evaluations regarding your openness to work.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Physical Therapy Internships
An internship is one of your first career moves, so naturally, you’ll need all kinds of information before you get started. Here are some answers to a few concerns you might have.
What are the Requirements?
Physical therapy internships are typically considered your first direct exposure to the field. Therefore, no prior experience would be expected. But these vary from program to program, so it’s still best to check with the committee.
Another thing to consider is your specialization. Students with backgrounds in healthcare are eligible for PT internship programs, but chances might be higher for those pursuing careers in physical therapy.
What Will My Responsibilities Be?
Physical therapy for undergraduates is at a learner’s level, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have essential tasks on your hands. Some of the things you’ll be expected to do are:
- Assist physical therapists in the diagnosis
- Educate (or help educate) patients on their treatment program
- Observe and document patient progress
- Monitor range of motion exercises
- Utilize technologies involving ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and the like
When Is the Best Time to Pursue a Physical Therapy Internship?
One of the challenges you can encounter is juggling an internship with other requirements. You might end up working long and hard shifts while worrying about school the next day. This is why many people consider summer breaks to be the best time for optimizing the program. Balancing work and responsibilities fosters productivity and a good experience.
Why Take a Physical Therapy Internship Abroad?
The healthcare sector goes through constant changes and developments. The best way to be exposed to these learnings is through engagement in different settings—from local to international contexts. When you learn abroad, you tend to pick up health practices that you otherwise have no access to. Additionally, if you build a good relationship with colleagues abroad, you’ve widened your connections around the world.
Training worldwide will also help you learn other things, such as flexibility, collaboration, and global awareness. These can enrich your personal life as much as they will provide you with professional experience.
Discover Internship Opportunities with Therapy Abroad
At Therapy Abroad, we make sure that your internship is both productive and meaningful. It is our mission to help aspiring professionals gain valuable insights, connect with trustworthy people, and engage with communities.