If you’re a therapist working in home healthcare: congratulations! You’ve made a smart career move. First of all, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that therapy positions—such as physical therapy and occupational therapy—rank among the fastest growing occupations. Physical therapy positions are expected to increase 36 percent from 2012–2022; occupational therapy positions are due to increase 29 percent in the same time frame.
And there’s more good news. Physical therapists working in home healthcare are among the highest paid in their profession, according to U.S. News & World Report: the best-paid therapists reportedly earn around $112,000 per year.
Home care is a growing industry. Per a recent Forbes magazine report, home health franchises increased from 13 in 2000 to 56 in 2014. For therapists, the boom in this sector of healthcare is due to several different factors:
- Our large population of Baby Boomers is quickly becoming elderly, in need of increased care and assistance with activities of daily living. Currently, we have almost 50 million seniors, and the Department of Health and Human Services expects 72 million by 2025!
- The cost of healthcare continues to increase each year, and home care is less costly than hospital- or facility-based care.
- Hospital stays are much shorter than in years past, and many discharged patients need continued care in their homes.
If you’ve chosen a career as a therapist in home healthcare, the future is bright! Now that you’ve made a promising step towards your future, how can you be sure you sign on with a great employer?
What to consider when selecting a home healthcare employer
A good home care agency should help prepare you to begin every assignment with confidence and positive energy. To find a home healthcare employer that helps you grow in your career, take the time to evaluate the agency. Visit the website and ask questions during your interview to learn the following:
- Is training included as a condition of employment? A good home healthcare agency should offer initial orientation and ongoing refresher training free of charge. Your employer should support you in doing your very best.
- What is the rate of pay, and how will I be paid? Home health therapist pay differs by location and level of experience. Some home health therapists prefer to receive per visit payment, others prefer hourly compensation. This article reviews the pros and cons of each option. To help you determine average salaries in your area, use PT Solution’s Salary Wizard .
- Does the agency have a good reputation? Visit its website to determine how long it has been in business, the mission and vision, and its overall business philosophy. Do you like what the company stands for? And, although you can’t believe everything that you read online, you can find out what other workers’ opinions of the agency are by looking up reviews of the company on sites such as Glassdoor or
- Where are patients located? How far do you prefer to drive to assignments? Ask your contact at the home health agency where the majority of clients live, and how far you may need to travel between assignments.
- What kind of system is used for documentation? An inefficient paper or computerized documentation system will be a constant frustration. Be sure to investigate the quality of the software and devices that are used for documentation.
- What benefits are available for employees? Ask about the healthcare plan: how much are premiums and what services are included (medical, dental, vision, employee assistance program, wellness program, etc.)? Does the agency offer 401(k), paid time off, flexible scheduling, career mentoring, or other employment perks? All of these benefits add to a satisfying employment experience.
- Can I choose my patient caseload? Do you prefer working with geriatrics over pediatrics? Or vice versa? Ask how your appointments will be scheduled and if you’ll have a say.
Time spent researching your employment options is time well spent.
After all, you’ll spend up to 40 hours per week (or maybe more!) at your job, so you’ll want to make sure it’s a good fit for you. Home healthcare can be a rewarding career, so to be successful, take your time and find a great employer.
What’s your next move?
If you’re currently in search of a great new home healthcare position, look no further than PT Solutions. We offer travel placement to therapists and allied health professionals in positions across the country. Contact PT Solutions today to learn more!