How to Avoid These COMMON Early OncoPT Career Mistakes, part 2

Gone are the days when PTs take a job & work there for 25 years.  

There is a tremendous amount of opportunity for physical therapists, especially newer therapists, to build a career you love.  BUT, you have to be abundantly clear on what you want & what’s important to you.

In today’s episode, we continue our conversation with Dr. Tori Crook, PT on common job red flags to avoid & how to protect your time, your sanity, & your license.  

Tori gave these tactics to protect your time & your license: 

“They are going to keep asking for your yeses”

If you say yes to something once, it’s really hard to say no in the future.  If you’re a yes-person, they will keep seeking your yes because they know you have said yes in the past.  Be careful with what you agree to, & don’t be afraid to think on your decision before giving an answer.


If a company promises mentorship, get it in writing.  What does mentorship mean, what does it look like, when will it take place, is there a curriculum?  Get it in writing.

There is a difference between nice & kind.

Nice is the surface-level pleasantries.  Kind is the true caring for the people around you AND yourself.  

You can be kind to your patients, your colleagues, yourself, without killing yourself to be “nice.”

We often let ourselves be steamrolled in efforts to be nice.  But in doing so, we are acting unkind toward ourselves.

Our favorite response now: “respectfully, no.”

Know the numbers beyond your paycheck.

Before you sign on to a company, you should know what other benefits are included with your employment:

  • Paid time off (PTO): how much do you accrue per pay period?  Is there a cap?  Is there a deadline to use your PTO?  What happens to your PTO when you leave?
  • Health insurance: do you get health insurance through your position?
  • Advancement: what is the clinical ladder/advancement process?  Get specific here.

“Managerial tasks are for managers with manager’s pay.”

If your manager cannot keep up with their workload, there is a managerial problem &/or an institutional problem.  It is not your responsibility to take on extra work so that they can get their job done.

ESPECIALLY if you’re not going to be fairly compensated for it.

As Tori says, “act your wage.”

Questions to ask when interviewing for a position:

  • What was the last continuing education course you took?  When?
    • Are the staff invested in their own improvement?  You should want to work with colleagues who are committed to improving their patient care.
  • Why is this position open?  How many PTs have been in this position?  How long did they stay?  Why did they leave?
    • The answer (or lack thereof) can be very telling about the culture of the company.

Protect your license at all costs.

If you are concerned in any way about the ethics of your position, LEAVE.  You can always get another job.  You can’t get another PT license.

Until next time, this is Elise with TheOncoPT. And remember you are exactly the physical therapist that your patients with cancer need. So let’s get to work.

Links to include:

Follow Tori on Instagram.

Follow Bonnet on Instagram.



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