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Beaverton SC & AW: 71-245-6663

Clackamas SC & AW: 503-794-0103

Gresham SC & AW: 503-491-1666

NE Portland SC & AW: 503-257-9881

Salem SC: 503-990-6393

Sandy SC: 503-668-5321

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how to get started in the physical therapy profession

The Physical Therapy Profession, How To Start

At SportsCare Physical Therapy, we treat many young student-athletes during a time in their life when they are curious about future career choices. Often, during their course of care, the student will ask how I came into the Physical Therapy profession?

I love this question and will tell you why…

Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy are great professions! A newly graduated or experienced therapist can almost always find a full or part time physical therapy job depending on what setting or hours they desire. There are many different working environments which appeal to our varying personalities and strengths.

Our Physical Therapy Clinics

Gresham, NE Portland, Clackamas and Beaverton SportsCare clinics and all the Armworks Hand Therapy clinics are considered “Outpatient Orthopedic,” meaning we mostly treat muscle, tendon, bone and joint injuries and pathologies. Care is given outside a hospital in a clinic setting. The most common injuries we treat include Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist, Hand, Hip, Knee, Ankle, Foot, Neck, Low Back and Spinal injuries. We will treat injuries before or after surgery or in effort to avoid surgery.

Other Types of Conditions We Treat

Other than Outpatient Orthopedics, Physical and Occupational Therapists also treat the following types of conditions:

  • Neurological patients after a stroke or conditions such a Parkinson’s disease.
  • Pediatrics: the care and treatment of children to develop and improve core strength, balance, neurological control and many other aspects to help them live a normal life.
  • Geriatrics: the care and treatment of the elderly. Treatment is often given in nursing homes or in the patient’s own home helping to restore strength, range of motion, balance and the ability to walk.
  • Cardiovascular and Pulmonary: the care and treatment after heart surgery or disease to regain as much strength and endurance as possible to live a normal life.

Getting into Physical Therapy school

I don’t sugar coat the fact that a high GPA is important when applying to college or graduate school. Getting accepted into a Physical Therapy school is very competitive. Good grades along with many hours of volunteer work in different Physical Therapy settings is critical!

There are two Physical Therapy schools in Oregon, Pacific University in Forest Grove and George Fox University in Newberg. Both are excellent school’s but I often encourage a student who has been in Oregon their entire life to apply out of state to experience something new!

Now, to the part I like best…

I know I speak for all of us when I say it is hard to describe how much satisfaction and gratification, we receive from helping someone recover from and injury and return to sports, work or back to their favorite hobby. I will never forget the time a high school shot-put thrower walked through our doors with a first-place medal around his neck, his arms raised in the air, and a HUGE smile on his face! He took the time to stop by and show us the medal he had won during the state track meet and he brought in a picture showing him on the top of the dais for us to hang in the clinic. It’s times like these we realize we are truly blessed.

In summary, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy have much to offer as occupations and are excellent choices for those students who are willing to put in the time and effort. After 33 years, I still love it!


George Eischen, PT