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What do Physical Therapy Jobs, Sports-Related Injuries and the World Cup have in common?

Author Travel Force Staffing | 06.30 | Category Allied Healthcare, Ellen Bloome-PT, Ongoing Education, Physical Therapist Jobs, Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Therapy, Therapist Jobs, Therapy Jobs, Travel physical therapy jobs, Travel Therapist, Videos

For those of us who live for sports, it’s all about soccer this summer. Many of us are on the edge of our seats wondering who will capture the World Cup as the competition plays out in South Africa. So what does the World Cup have in common with physical therapy jobs and sports-related injuries?

Whether players are competing at the World Cup or playing on their high school soccer team, physical therapists treat plenty of patients with sports-related injuries who play the game. Here’s a fact to back up the claim: the US Consumer Product Safety Commission reported more than 186,000 soccer related injuries in 2006 alone; 80% of those were owned by players less than 24 years of age. Soccer is a fun game and even better exercise, but videos like the one we’ve included here show what a fierce sport it can be. Watch a physical therapist at the top of her game, administering a third therapy session with a patient who tore her ACL, meniscus and MLC in a challenging game of soccer.

This video helps us appreciate a new reality impacting physical therapy careers: more girls are participating in high school and college sports—and it’s not just them creating more work for physical therapists, in what has become for PTs, a seemingly recession proof industry—it’s the Baby Boomers, too.  Born in an era stretching from the 1940’s to early 60’s, the Boomers are reaching retirement age and with it, the aches, pains and haunts of old sporting related injuries that keep physical therapists in high demand.

As most of you reading this already know, sports related injuries drive a lot of patient traffic through ERs and into the eventual care of physical therapists. If you’ve ever wondered what a PT feels like on the other end of the therapy equation, you can read about one of our own receiving post op therapy after sustaining a sports related injury.

CDC stats on sports related injuries may be grim, but physical therapy careers are providing rehabilitative light at the end of that tunnel. PTs have a lot to feel good about; the press they receive is incredibly positive. In November of 2009, CNN ranked physical therapy jobs at # 7 on the list of America’s best occupations. Since then, physical therapy careers are a continuously rising star; however, experts advise that landing a successful PT career requires a lifelong commitment to continued education. The APTA encourages specialization in one of 8 areas of physical therapy with the long-term goal of (the majority of) PTs earning doctorates by 2020.

Keeping your eyes on the prize is well worth it, as evidenced by the turnout at this year’s American Physical Therapy Association’s Annual Conference & Expo in Boston. Whether it’s the influx of young female athletes matriculating into colleges or more Baby Boomers seeking physical therapy, business is booming for PTs. Observes remarked that the conference made them momentarily forget the country is in a recession; the event reported a surplus of physical therapy jobs in home health systems and large medical centers across the country.

When it comes to finding physical therapy jobs, seeking education at top physical therapy schools or playing the sports that challenge our bodies enough to one day seek physical therapy ourselves, the sporting motto from Nike said it best, “just do it!”

Side note: Until mid-July, we hope you enjoy FIFA. Feel free to post a comment about who you hope wins the World Cup!

Physical Therapists Working with Recovering Arthroscopic Surgery Patients …

Author Travel Force Staffing | 03.03 | Category Ellen Bloome-PT, Locations, Medical/Surgical, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapist Jobs, Physical Therapy, Therapist Jobs, Top Therapy Blogs

Knowing more about new tools in medical robotics is a help.

Arthroscopic surgery means allowing a surgeon to repair or remove tissue from a joint with virtually no disruption to other critical parts. The surgery is achieved via insertion of microscopic instruments and camera through the portal of an incredibly small incision site. Sufficed to say, surgeon careers are changing in the new millennium—and most medical professionals, including those in therapist jobs agree those changes are positive and exciting.

Arthroscopic procedures are monitored on a television screen, and to laypeople and healthcare professionals alike, it sounds like the stuff of science fiction. Physical and occupational therapists that work with recovering surgical patients, understand that sci fi or no, arthroscopic operations are stories that generally end well.

Here’s why. Patients benefit from this procedure because they are at a substantially lowered risk for blood loss and infection; as ideal as an arthroscopic procedure can be, there is, however, room for improvement, especially in the area of arthroscopic surgeries on the hip joint.  Mechanical engineers, like Emily Geist are working now, in a collaborative effort with engineers at Carnegie Mellon, to ensure patients like Ellen Bloome, PT continue to receive, should they need one, successful arthroscopic surgeries in the future.

To better understand what warrants further research on arthroscopic surgeries to the hip joint, therapists may be the first to point out what a tricky place in the human body the hip joint resides. Says Geist, “The hip is a lot deeper in the body than the knee or the shoulder, and it’s a lot tighter. The hip has a ball and a socket. It’s a little more difficult to get an instrument in there. There is a navigation challenge often times when you are that deep in the body.”

Luckily, there are mechanical engineers working with surgeons, that can navigate that challenge, as evidenced in a recent article about computer aided arthroscopy becoming the wave of the future—for therapists who love a good career enhancing read, please click here to learn more about some of the inspiration and research behind medical robotics. It’s all fascinating stuff, and, who knows, it could lead to future therapist jobs at a top rehab hospital—check out Colorado Therapist Jobs to further that possibility and earn up to 20% more!

How to Train for a Marathon – Valuable Tips from a Physical Therapist

Author Ellen Bloome - PT | 01.19 | Category Allied Healthcare, Ellen Bloome-PT, How to Tips, Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Therapy, Therapist Jobs, Therapy Jobs, Top Rehab Careers, Travel Therapist, Traveling Therapist

As a marathoner and a Physical Therapist, I would like to share some tips for training and conditioning for a first marathon…

First, it’s a good idea build up to being able to run 15-25 miles a week…(that’s running 3 -5 days) before beginning your marathon training program. If you already run 2 -3 miles a day, you have the basis to start preparing for your first marathon!

This base is important both physically and psychologically, because you can anticipate about 18 weeks of training. Here’s a a good tip: follow the ten percent rule for mileage building. Increasing your weekly mileage more than 10% from the previous week can cause injury and lead to burnout. So if you begin your program running 3.0 miles, 3-5 times a week, week 2 you might increase that to 3.3 miles each day you run. Week 3 would be 3.63 per day and so on.

To find more marathon training tips and to connect with other expert runners interested in running marathons go to

4  Tips from a Physical Therapist & Avid Runner that focus the Mental Preparation:

  1. Setting an appropriate time goal is important. Training at goal pace is the best way to run that pace in the latter part of your training. Most first time marathoners are looking to finish the race and enjoy the journey. Setting an unattainable goal will render that journey disappointing.
  2. Visualization; another excellent tool. You can see the finish line, or what you will be feeling at mile 20… When you are out on the course, that déjà-vu helps! There is comfort in familiarity.
  3. Joining a marathon training group will give you specific guidance from seasoned marathoners, and having a social peer group will increase the likelihood that you won’t skip those long runs……
  4. Finally, and possibly most importantly…determination and discipline are part and parcel to successful training and performance. Be sure to bring them along as you lace up those running shoes.

If you have additional comments or suggestions, we would love to hear them! Running for fun and fitness is fantastic by itself and also a popular means to enjoy travel therapy jobs no matter where you are currently working!

Happy Running!

My Hip Surgery Rehab

Author Ellen Bloome - PT | 12.09 | Category Allied Healthcare, Ellen Bloome-PT, Physical Therapist Licensing, Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Therapy, Therapist Jobs, Therapy Jobs, Travel Therapist, Traveling Therapist


There I was…24 hours after hip surgery, crutching in for my first physical therapy visit at one of the world’s most famous orthopedic therapy clinics. I allowed myself to be the patient to absorb all that these highly skilled PT’s were teaching me. My hip was grateful to be there during those first 4 days…

I was in awe of the PT’s who were fortunate to work in this rehab clinic with my surgeon who is internationally known, and his patients, mostly high-level athletes with sports injuries. I speculated how traveling physical therapists are exposed to therapy career resources such as this! (Note to self…after my rehab is complete, consider looking for a Colorado physical therapy job as a traveler!)

Those early treatments were consistent with the surgeon’s suggested protocol. I did some work myself; isometrics to my hip and stationary biking, but was thankful for the hands-on hip flexor releases and gentle passive ROM. The biggest challenge I faced was potential hip flexor tendinitis, and after I returned home that was the yardstick upon which I based all interventions’ success or weakness. I kept a log of my experiences and shared it with my surgeon as I coyly announced at my follow up visit that I ‘broke protocol’ but had no tendinitis! He agreed that protocols are merely guidelines as he considered my suggestions for improvement.

PT’s … have you made adaptations to orthopedic surgery protocols? How were your suggestions received by the referring surgeon? Please comment!

BTW – The picture on the right is me during my hip surgery rehab process.

From PT to Patient – Part 2; Compassionate Rehab Therapy

Author Ellen Bloome - PT | 12.07 | Category Allied Healthcare, Ellen Bloome-PT, Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Therapy, Therapist Jobs, Therapy Jobs, Travel Therapist, Traveling Therapist

Anticipating hip arthroscopy, I was a basket case. As a runner, I wanted to be pain-free, stable, and fast again. As a Physical Therapist I had seen enough behind the scenes to know what could go wrong.

I discovered that people at my physical therapy job did not understand why I was so concerned. My supervisor, herself a physician, stated, “Enough about your surgery already! It’s not like it’s heart surgery!”

The light bulb flickered in my head…the blogs and posts of hip arthroscopy patients flooded back to me. I felt terror reading them. Was I afraid of the acute post operative pain? Or was it fear of being worse after the surgery…I knew that I could almost deal with my life the way it was now…I’d made my concessions and a pact with my higher power. The fear was…what if after was worse?

My hip surgery was uncomplicated and my rehabilitation therapy was provided by caring, knowledgeable professionals at Howard Head Sports Medicine. Taking my experience as a patient to my Florida PT job didn’t change how I treated my patients in Home Health settings. What my experience reinforced was that compassion is a gateway to trust. In this era of corporate methodical productivity within the health care environment, I as a PT,  have the responsibility to preserve that compassion and get great job satisfaction.

PT’s who have been patients; please share your stories! I’d love to hear from you.

From PT to Patient

Author Ellen Bloome - PT | 12.02 | Category Allied Healthcare, Ellen Bloome-PT, Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Therapy, Therapist Jobs, Therapy Jobs, Travel Therapist, Traveling Therapist

I couldn’t believe this could happen to me. After 25 years of a physical therapist career I thought I had seen all injuries. But a year ago I discovered that a simple thing like swollen, bruised toes can lead to a severe hip injury.

I was training for a half marathon when my toes turned purple. Because of those painful, agitated toes I got scared. I took advice from other runners… not ones with physical therapy jobs… to increase one size in my running shoe. I did, and the next day at the end of a five miler, having to to clear those size 10’s from catching on the ground… I felt a painful tear in my leg.

I was diagnosed with injuries from a hamstring pull to sciatica. All I knew was that I had pain and was falling frequently. No one mentioned a hip injury until I diagnosed myself with a labral tear of the hip.

Frustrated… I had to stop running until my hip arthroscopy surgery. What could I do to get stronger and pain-free? I began indoor cycling, 20 miles a day for 6 months to prepare for hip surgery. Hip arthroscopy has inconsistent outcomes and I was afraid I could be worse afterwards … but the regularity and intensity with that closed-chain bicycling really paid off. The muscles around my hip joint were so strong before surgery that 7 weeks afterward I could hike down mountains. 3 months later… won a 5K race!

Stay tuned; my next blog will share what I learned as I rehabbed my own hip. This is info thatPT Blogger I am now applying to my hip arthroscopy patients in my current physical therapy job. Would love to hear from other PT’s that want to share their experiences as a patient, too!

About the Author: Ellen Bloome, PT, has been has been a physical therapist for 28 years and has worked in variety of settings, including acute care, home health, rehab and sports medicine. Ellen is a competitive masters’ runner and recovering successfully with a structured intensive rehabilitation therapy program from a recent hip arthroscopy procedure.