Ways To Shadow A Physical Therapist

How to shadow a physical therapist? So you’re interested in becoming a Physical Therapist! Before anything else, make sure to go shadowing! You’ll want to know it’s right for you before committing your time and money. Let me help guide the way through this process so that by the end of reading this article, you should be confident about what is yet another long but rewarding career path.

I’m going cover some questions to ask PTs when interviewing them, expectations we have as their patients/clients while on-site with them during our shadows (and ways they can impress us!), and how best to spend our limited time there for maximum effect – all without overloading anyone along the way with too much information at once. So let’s get started:

What Is The Purpose of Shadowing?

– “Shadowing” can be considered a way to get an insider’s perspective on what it really means to work in the medical world. By following someone as they go about their day, you are able to explore and observe everything that goes into caring for patients.

– You’re also given time during this experience of learning how things operate so you can come up with honest assessments about whether or not your chosen career is right for you!

– When it comes to shadowing a physical therapist, there are many goals you should focus on. A few of these goals include how the PTs interact with their patients and what they do during the sessions.

– You will also want to know how much time they spend talking about future plans for therapy as well as how long it takes them to provide feedback after each session. The more information you can gather by shadowing, the better prepared you’ll be when it’s your turn in the hot seat!

How To Shadow a Physical Therapist | Some Shadowing Tips

Do your best to follow the advice given. If you want to get the utmost utilization from your shadowing then you have to follow the advice given by your PT or the hospital authority.

Don’t ask too many questions. Sometimes your excessive question may lead the Physical therapist to anger. This will obviously distract his attention from his work.

What to wear when shadowing a physical therapist? Fashion Tips for Volunteers at Medical Clinics has a casual dress code. For volunteers, this means no t-shirts and jeans, but also make sure your outfits aren’t too revealing or the wrong color – many patients can be sensitive to certain colors. Make note of any tattoos you have because some clinics may not allow them either!

What To Take? During your shadowing of a physical therapist, you must note down whatever you learn from the patient’s case. So, for this, you have to take your notebook and pen with the things you are allowed to take with you.

How to Answer Questions? You might be asked about your experience with physical therapy while you’re in the middle of a patient’s treatment so try to give an informative but concise answer that doesn’t take over.

Who Can Shadow A Physical Therapist?

Shadowing is a burgeoning requirement for becoming an occupational therapist. As the amount of time to graduate increases, more and more programs are requiring shadowing experience hours on one’s application before beginning their DPT program.

For example, many PT schools require applicants to have at least 1-2 shadow days included in their applications so they can get firsthand experience with what it’s like being part of the profession from the inside out.

How To Find a Physical Therapist To Shadow?

It’s vital to ask if any of your availability matches up with the facility you are shadowing. Physical therapy observation hours maybe one hour a day for one week may not be enough time, but 2 hours on Thursday or Friday morning could work out well!

Asking In Person:

Since few people show up to an outpatient clinic in person, you will stand out as someone who really wants to shadow that particular one.

Showing up in the morning is recommended since it tends to be less busy then and therapists are more likely able to give their attention when they have free time available. Remember though, just because no clients were there doesn’t mean all of them won’t come later!

By Calling:

One of the best methods to find a location is by calling. The trickiest part, however, isn’t in making a call – it’s getting information about what you’re looking for and where that place is located! You can go shadow both outpatients and inpatient clinics.

Through Email:

If showing up in person cannot be done then there are other options such as emailing their contact page with your query.

It can take some time before finding someone who knows how to help so if possible wait until lunchtime when most people will have finished eating and may answer more emails than they do during busy periods like after work hours close (just make sure not too many people from one team are trying this).

Surrounding Suggestions:

If you’re looking for a physical therapist and find yourself at the start of your journey to wellness, ask friends or family if they know any. It’s always better to get recommendations from people who have experienced their services firsthand as opposed to strangers on Yelp.

The best way to communicate with a recruiter is not always the same. In order to maximize your opportunities, you should be willing and open-minded enough to try different methods of contact.

Procedure For Shadowing a Physical Therapist

Setting up a Plan:

After getting the opportunity of shadowing a PT in a clinic or hospital, you should first set up your plan clearly based on these questions:

– What do you want to get after finishing the experience?

– How PTs interact with patients and how they work during sessions

– How much time is spent on talking about future plans for therapy as well as how long it takes them to provide feedback after each session, etc.


Shadowing is a great way to observe the work of physical therapists and learn more about what they do, but you have to be paying attention, or else it won’t count. Make sure that when shadowing, you are not on your phone and distant from both patient and PT- stay close by so you can watch carefully as therapy progresses!

Asking Questions:

When you start shadowing, your ability to ask the right questions at the appropriate time will be one of many parts that make up a great education. And when asking those questions, don’t let it take away from what they are doing for their patient or turn them into an interview about yourself.

Stay mindful and think about how many words you might have said before actually getting everything out there because sometimes notes can disappear in this fast-paced world we live in today- so get all the information down quickly!

Common Questions to Ask a PT During Shadowing

– What really makes you want to become a physical therapist?

– What do you say for those who are interested in physical therapy to take it as a career?

– What method do you follow to conduct more difficult patients?

– Would you please tell me about this patient’s condition?

– How do you treat the patient who is with progressive or degenerative diseases?

– Will you recommend any books or resources that help us to learn more about physical therapy?

These types of questions to ask a Physical Therapist whenever you get the opportunity to chat during your shadowing.

Final Verdict:

How to job shadow a physical therapist? It’s important, as a physical therapist, to stay informed. With that in mind, this post will teach you how to ask to shadow a physical therapist so that you can stay up-to-date on their findings and how they work.

At present pt shadowing during covid may become different from before. Now, most of the processes will be online based.

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