A Fresh PT Experience
To find your first job in the setting you favor most, with the caseload you prefer, the mentorship you require, and with a company that supports the opportunities you ask for must be something from a dream, right? Not for Brady Martin, PT, a 2015 graduate from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. He found all that at RehabVisions Outpatient Clinic located in Dickinson, North Dakota.
Brady’s final clinical rotation was with an outpatient clinic in Darby, Montana. Realizing outpatient clinics were where he wanted to focus after graduation, he found the Dickinson clinic’s reputation sealed his decision to take a job.
“I’d had family members come through the clinic who had good experiences,” Brady said. “My friend’s wife is also an OT in Dickinson and I’d heard the atmosphere was team-oriented, and the clinic employed younger therapists so I would have a peer group.” Most importantly “they ‘do the right things’, in that they are evidence-based,” says Brady.
Ten months later, Brady has already received a professional certification and brought a new line of service to the clinic and surrounding community.
Brady recalls during a manual therapy course in PT school, hearing a guest speaker on dry needling. “It immediately sparked my interest. During my interview for this job I actually inquired if they had a therapist certified in dry needling and expressed interest in bringing that to the clinic. When I started in August we talked about getting it set up, and that February RehabVisions paid for my course.”
While he still sees a little bit of everything including ortho, neuro, pediatrics and geriatrics, he is able to involve his new certification as an upper-body dry-needling specialist (upper extremity, craniofascial and cervical/thoracic) in a number of therapy sessions that involve chronic neck pain, back pain or headaches.
His experience one year after graduation has exceeded his expectations. But perhaps listening to his own advice for other fresh therapists served him well as he moved from student to practicing physical therapist:
- Be proactive in what you want to do
- Find your passion for a setting and chase it
- Seek guidance and mentorship, and don’t be afraid to ask questions
“I was fortunate to start out at a clinic like RehabVisions and have therapists around me that have been working longer,” says Brady. “Going out on my own and being the one to make decisions was nerve-racking at first, but as I saw my plans of care working and my patients improving I felt a sense of comfort. And to receive mentorship from multiple therapists is nice–they will always help guide me in the right direction.”