The hospital setting is a very common setting for therapists to work. In fact, 28 percent of occupational therapists, 28 percent of physical therapists, and 13 percent of speech language pathologists work in the hospital setting. The popularity of this job setting is due to the large demand for workers in this setting and the great variety of skills represented by the various types of hospitals.
Many therapists choose to work in a hospital setting so that they can specialize in serving a niche population. Rehabilitation hospitals specialize in the treatment of brain and spinal injuries. Pediatric Hospitals utilize therapists who specialize in pediatrics. Long Term Acute Care Facilities need therapists who specialize in geriatrics. Large, general hospitals often provide therapists an opportunity to work on floors that specialize in Oncology or Cardiac Rehab.
In contrast, a therapist who chooses to work in a small hospital setting may service a great variety of patients each week. Some hospitals require their therapists to become a “jack of all trades” and cover inpatient, outpatient, home health settings; serving any condition and any age group. These type of hospital positions are great for therapists who enjoy variety in their work.
Benefits of working in the hospital setting
Therapists who choose to work in a specialty or general hospitals enjoy the following career benefits:
- Make a difference in the lives of patients. Therapists serve an important role in a patient’s road to recovery. In the hospital setting, therapists work with critically ill patients and often bring hope and positive support that enables their patient to face the future. Therapists who work in these situations gain satisfaction from helping their patients achieve goals that enable them to move home, or to a different care facility.
- Build experience. Hospitals serve such a wide variety of patients, and therapists can usually easily switch departments, enabling them to gain experience across a wide range of clinical issues. Hospitals are also a structured setting that offers a great way for young or newly graduated therapists to begin their work experience with other experienced therapists to mentor them.
- Earn a great salary. Therapists who work in hospitals are well compensated and among the highest paid in their profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2014, occupational therapists employed in hospitals can expect to make an average annual salary of $78,950. For this same time period in the same setting, physical therapists made an average annual salary of $83,230, with speech language pathologists earning an average of $79,050.
- Enjoy stability. Hospitals are often one of the largest employers in a community. Many facilities are becoming even more influential, as hospital mergers and acquisitions create regional medical centers. This regional presence creates a stable referral base and a strong demand for services that ensures job security.
- Choose your location. Every metro area has a hospital! Therapists who are interested in traveling can find placements in hospitals across the country.
How to choose the best hospital therapists employer
If you’re interested in entering the hospital setting, you’ll want to consider the qualities that great hospital employers possess. For a look at the best hospitals in the nation, visit US News and World Reports yearly report that ranks the Best Hospitals in the USA, as well as the most recommended Rehabilitation Hospitals. Take a closer look at the 2014 Rehabilitation Hospital results here.
Another way to compare hospitals is to look up the facilities in your area using Medicare.gov’s Hospital Compare website. This site is designed to help consumers decide which hospital has the most reasonable costs and the best rankings inpatient experience, however, it contains a wealth of information that could help a potential employee decide if the hospital is a good place to work or not, as well. The Joint Commission on Health Care, an organization that helps ensure that hospitals meet certain quality and safety standards, also publishes the ratings for each of their accredited facilities on their Quality Check Website .
For more information on Hospital Therapists.
To learn more about becoming a therapist in the hospital setting, visit the following Acute Care Chapters of the following national therapist associations:
- The American Physical Therapy Association/acute care chapter: https://www.apta.org/apta/components/public/chaptersandsections.aspx?navID=10737421970
- The American Occupational Therapy Association: https://www.aota.org/About-Occupational-Therapy/Professionals/RDP/AcuteCare.aspx
- The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: https://www.asha.org/careers/
The benefits of a staffing partner
For guidance in choosing a reputable hospital employer, it can help to work with a staffing agency. Recruiters have connections with many top-notch organizations and can provide you with everything you need to know about a potential hospital employer.
Check out PT Solutions
The experts at myPTsolutions specialize in placing physical and occupational therapists and speech language pathologists in travel and direct hire placements across the country. No matter what your preferred setting, contact myPTsolutions today. We’ll help you find the job opportunity you need to propel your career forward.