Employee to practitioner
Physiotherapists enter private practice at different points in their careers. Making the first step to become a private practitioner is a very important decision; it requires reflection, planning, and the ability to prepare for new experiences.
When making the transition to private practice most physiotherapists are moving from the position of NHS employee. Many physiotherapists start their private practice while still working full time as an employee. Although this means lots of hard work, and long days, starting while working full time can give you the security of a monthly wage. It also allows you to steadily build up a client base. This means that you can continue to work for you employer until the income you are generating privately has increased to level you are happy with before leaving your job.
Start out part-time
For practitioners wishing to start private work part-time, Physio123 recommend practitioners take advantage of our 3 month free trial
. This will allow you to experience working privately knowing that you have the support of Physio123 to help generate more patients referrals.
Physio123 also recommend if possible try to involve your manager in your plans and negotiate a reduced working week with your employer (for example; working your weekly hours over four days instead of five and using the fifth day as your day to see private clients). Another option is to use Saturday or Sunday as your day to see clients, or to see clients in the evenings if your work schedule allows. Working full time while starting your private practice is a viable option however not one that you can maintain indefinitely due to the risk of overworking. Some physiotherapists are able to reduce their hours to part time or job share a full time position with another employee.
Your transition into private practice is also impacted by where you are on your career timeline. If you've just graduated you might want to consider finding employment where you can gain clinical experience, create a network of colleagues and professionals who may be an important source of referrals in the future. Other physiotherapists consider entering private practice part-time in mid-career as a remedy to job-related boredom or dissatisfaction.
Although it is less popular, some physiotherapists move directly from full time employment to private practice. Much planning is required to make this a successful transition, including the financial resources to meet your requirements. Maintain your connections with valued physiotherapy colleagues who might a source of support and sometimes referrals.
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