Winter, spring, summer, and fall – with every seasons comes a different set of activities. During winter, we may need to shovel our driveways or wear rubberized footwear to avoid slipping on the ice. We may also go skiing, snowboarding, and other fun winter sports. During spring, allergies, especially to pollen, are the prevailing nuisance. During summer, the beach is where most folks go to take a dip, surf the waves, or participate in other water sports. During fall, predominantly, most of us get the flu. Some injuries and illnesses are seasonal and the health care system to be highly adaptable to these year-round changes.
Physical therapy is one such allied medical science that has been adapting to the steady changes of the calendar. During the Christmas season, many are injured because of fireworks and physical therapists work around the clock to rehabilitate these patients. During the summer months, sports-related injuries are common as youngsters and adults alike go outside to play football, basketball, frisbee, or what have you.
With that frequent change of seasons, it is now wonder that seasonal physical therapy is a slowly growing field. Physical therapists are hired during seasons of peak activity and injury when they are needed the most. Although patients do go to the hospital for therapy year round, there will always be that time of the year when the rehabilitation center becomes packed like the emergency room. Agencies hire physical therapists on a contractual basis, usually for 3-6 months. Physical therapists are dispatched to areas where injuries tend to be common such as in young neighborhoods where sports is a norm and in elderly care facilities.
Salary-wise, seasonal physical therapists get paid as much as their hospital counterparts, $76,310 per year or $36.69 per hour. The downside is that the contract tends to be short term and there is not much stability. But with the aging baby boomer generation, seasonal physical therapists will be in high demand as this generation has turned to sports to stay fit; and where there are athletes, there are injuries. Currently, there is an estimated 15,000 seasonal physical therapists but as contracts are mostly short term, this figure is not highly accurate.
So, if you are up to seeing new places, getting the feel of snow, and rubbing the soles of your feet on sand, why not give seasonal physical therapy a shot? It is a great an exciting and growing field with unique opportunities.