Outside of having conversations with other people in travel therapy jobs, reading books about physical therapists is one of the best ways to gain a little bit of insight into the industry. In celebration of Library Lovers' Month, here are five books that everyone in the physical therapy industry should read. Give that library card a workout and borrow some of these books this month:
Levine's official website describes the book as "'M*A*S*H' meets 'Scrubs,'" with a dark sense of humor. This hospital was a popular stop for celebrities and politicians, sometimes to the dismay of the patients and staff. Levine gives a fantastic look into one of the premier army hospitals, from the pranks played by the patients to the emotionally trying experiences of the PTs and patients alike. This memoir will have an especially strong impact on anyone in the physical therapy field who has had experience working with combat veterans or personally knows anyone who's fought for our country.
Everyone says that hindsight is 20/20, so wouldn't it be nice if you could have an accurate look into a healthcare field before taking the time and spending the money to make it your specialty? This book is perfect if you're a student who's thinking about taking the dive into travel physical therapy or a seasoned professional who's curious about other PT's experiences on the job.
This book offers no-nonsense advice about the potential future of the industry. Phillips discusses what it takes to make it in physical therapy and how to keep yourself relevant in it. While the career is certainly rewarding, it does take a certain type of person and special chops to be successful as a physical therapist. No matter what stage you're at in your career, "Physical Therapy The Truth" is certainly worth a read.
3. 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales' by Oliver Sacks
This bestselling book tells of plenty of experiences, from bizarre to heartwarming, that Sacks encountered in his decades as a clinician. In addition to studying the physical aspects of therapy, he specialized in the study of neurological disorders. While writing over 12 books before passing away in 2015, Sacks was a regular contributor to the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books, according to his website. He was also a professor of neurology at the NYU School of Medicine.
"The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales" was his fourth book and told stories of people who suffered from neurological impairments though were remarkably gifted in areas like math or art. These stores will serve as an inspiration for those in travel therapy.
This New York Times bestseller tells the extraordinary stories of instances in which mental trauma has affected physical aspects of the body. Some of van der Kolk's ideas have been considered controversial yet groundbreaking. He has done extensive research on borderline personality disorder and dissociative problems as a result of trauma in addition to the effect this trauma has on the body and mind.
In addition to covering the relationship between the body, mind and trauma, "The Body Keeps the Score" heavily covers methods of healing and recovery. A few of these activities include sports, yoga and meditation, as they activate the brain's natural neuroplasticity. Whether you're a survivor of trauma or a physical therapist looking to learn more about the neurological side of therapy, "The Body Keeps the Score" offers up plenty of eye-opening research.
While most books about physical therapy are nonfiction, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a work of fiction once in a while. "Woodrose Mountain" is about the personal life of Evie Blanchard, a successful LA physical therapist who decides to leave her high-profile life and move to a smaller town on her own after an emotionally trying year.
In Hope's Crossing, Blanchard decides to part with physical therapy and takes a job in a bead shop. However, she meets a single dad whose teenage daughter Taryn is in need of rehabilitation after a car accident. While Blanchard isn't looking for a relationship, she begins to bond with Taryn's father the more time she spends with him. This book may come off as a lighthearted romance novel, but it turns out to be much more than meets the eye. It's a great escape for any travel physical therapist.