balance life physical therapy school
PT students and newgrads can sometimes struggle with creating balance. Dalin Hansen shares his methods with NGPT.

How I Balance Physical Therapy School with Real Life

Today’s guest poster, Dalin Hansen, shares how he manages to balance his (very full!) home life with the demands of physical therapy school.
Handling exams, home work assignments, group projects, and making time for my two kids and pregnant wife has made PT school a balancing act. It often feels like I do not have enough time for anything. However, I have worked hard to prioritize my time, and in addition to school, I am able to manage a blog (creatingapt.com), advocate for PT, and network with other healthcare professionals. Over the last year of PT school I have come up with a few points that have helped me through:
  1. Find and use support. My wife and kids have kept me going. They are there to celebrate with me when I make As and provide a shoulder to cry on when I bomb an exam. They help me keep perspective. Whatever your situation is – find and use support.
  2. Manage time wisely. Often I feel there is much more work than time. Use every minute wisely. Something that has helped me deal with time constraints is audio recording my notes and listening to them all the time. When I am in the shower, brushing my teeth, driving, cleaning the dishes, or just need a break from reading – I turn on my notes and listen. Sometimes I listen more closely than others but either way I am being more exposed to the information which helps it stick. Using time wisely has helped me make it through thus far.  (Editor’s note: That’s why we created the audio education series!)
  3. Take breaks. Sundays are just for me and my family. I made a commitment not to study on Sundays which gives me a day to rejuvenate. Since I know I am not going to study on Sunday, come hell or high water, it is much easier to be diligent on the other days of the week. Perhaps it seems contradictory for time management but because I manage my time I have made it half way through PT school and I’m yet to crack open a book on a Sunday. Taking a break every week has made a big difference in my PT school experience.
  4. Don’t sweat the small stuff. There are certain things I just don’t worry about. I have gotten a few subpar grades while in PT school. I am not proud of these grades but I don’t dwell on them. Sometime I just have to let go of the small things and move forward.
  5. Always Network. Every time I interact with someone I look at it as a networking opportunity. It seems like PT school is so long and there is plenty of time to network later but this is not the case. The time goes by so quickly its amazing. Each and every time I interact with a PT or other healthcare professional I feel one step closer to the start of my career.
Having a great support system, managing time wisely, taking breaks, not sweating the small stuff, and networking has made my PT school experience more than I could have imagined. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments at dalinhansen@yahoo.com. I enjoy talking about PT matters, answering questions, or just interacting in general so don’t by shy to email me.

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