10 Tips for New Therapists

Like any profession, transitioning from student to new grad clinician can be exciting and challenging for new health care providers. You’ll encounter new changes in your work and personal schedule and find yourself in an unfamiliar environment. 

As a new physical, school-based, speech or occupational therapist (OT), you’ll find yourself with plenty of questions as you navigate your new place of work. Whether you’re leaving the classroom to enter an office, hospital, school or home health services, find advice for new therapists below. 

1. Be Patient With Yourself 

Being patient with yourself is one of the most helpful tips for new occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists and other professionals. Like you would in any new profession, you’ll spend time finding your footing. 

Remember that mistakes happen, but they help you learn and grow as a new health care provider. Examine those mistakes, learn from them and make changes for next time. The field is ever-changing, and there’s always something new to learn. 

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

As a therapist, you’ll learn something new with every patient throughout your entire career. While you may not have the solution to a problem right away, there are plenty of therapists who are happy to share their knowledge. Just ask! 

3. Join Local, State and National Organizations

Another great tip for new physical therapists, school-based therapists and OTs is to join your local, state and national organizations. Often, you’ll gain unique access to research and other essential documents with these memberships. It’s also vital to know your state laws, and joining a trade organization will help with that.

Try checking out the American Occupational Therapy Association for invaluable information and new grad occupational therapy tips. Similarly, the American Physical Therapy Association has excellent resources for new practitioners, as does the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

4. Connect With a Mentor

Having mentorship in your first few years of practice is another new grad physical therapy tip to improve your clinical and professional skills. In fact, it’s a great idea to have a mentor throughout your entire career. Mentors are an excellent source of support as you navigate the health care system and work through both positive and challenging experiences. 

Look for a mentor who poses questions and encourages your growth. Mentors can be in-person, on the phone or even through social media channels. 

5. Stay Organized

As you work with different patients and peers each day, find a system that works with you. Find out how other therapists manage their time to craft your schedule. 

To stay efficient as possible, use calendars to schedule meetings and appointments. You might also create to-do lists and alarms on your phone to make the process even easier. Save contact information from other professionals the first time you meet them. If you create documents for work, save these exact names so they’re easy to locate later. Staying organized and proactive will help you manage your days easier and alleviate any stress.

find out how other therapists manager their time to craft your schedule

6. Document Everything

Ask a peer or mentor for new therapist tips, and they’ll likely tell you that documentation is everything. Documentation is essential for treatment sessions, everyday tasks and conversations. If an incident happens, document it. After a consultation with a teacher or parent, document it. 

You’ll be able to view your patient’s progression more efficiently and show supervisors how you spend your time. Try blocking out time to complete documentation. You’ll find it makes your new job as a therapist much more manageable. 

7. Network With Your Community

 Whether you’re searching for unique fieldwork experience or have already landed a job, networking is beneficial. The communities are close-knit, so knowing more about the person running your local meetings, support groups and local clinics can benefit you immensely.

Keep in touch with your school professors and clinical instructors, as well. Think of these meetings as interviews for a new job — you never know when a practice or school will be seeking a new hire. 

8. Draw a Line Between Your Personal and Professional Life

Creating boundaries between your personal life and career is essential. The transition from student to a new health care provider can be overwhelming as you navigate the changes. Practicing self-care and remembering it is OK to say no to extra work is critical. Creating boundaries will help prevent burnout during your first years, and you’ll be optimistic and refreshed to take on each new day.  

9. Take Advantage of Training Opportunities

Among the many new therapist tips, taking advantage of training opportunities is a key one to follow. You can learn new strategies and techniques to share with others through training. As a school-based therapist, you might build collaborative teams and alliances within your different campuses to share new information. Through ERI, you can even host your own classes or use the information to take your team to the next level. 

10. Advocate for Yourself

It’s important to advocate for your students and especially for yourself. Advocating for yourself as an occupational therapist in a school system can look different. Maybe it’s advocating for the OT staff because you’re behind on treatment sessions. Perhaps you want to push for additional programming at school because you’re noticing a trend of anxiety among students. You might also promote additional training or help on a specific case. Don’t be afraid to be honest about your needs and advocate for yourself every step of the way.  

Continue Your Learning With ERI

Taking that first step after graduation can be overwhelming, but when you follow the right advice, you’ll enjoy a smoother, more rewarding experience. When you’re looking for more resources and education, ERI has you covered. 

ERI was founded by therapists for therapists to provide more value to your career and standard of care. Learn from internationally renowned instructors to advance your career and build relationships with the community. Our courses and live webinars can also help you improve outcomes for your patients and bolster your team’s morale. Whether you take our courses online or in a classroom, our evidence-based modality will inform and inspire you. 

For questions about our program, contact us today. 

continue your learning with ERI

Celebrating All Therapists Who Are New to Practice

Its been  a long road, with a tremendous amount of hard work, commitment and passion.
And you made it!

Welcome all Therapists who are New to Practice!

We would like to celebrate your accomplishments!

If you have recently graduated (within the last 3 years) we invite you to join the ERI community and receive a $50 discount code to use on any registration.


And receive a code for $50 off your next CEU course registration. 

The code will be available on your screen once you have completed the online form. Even if you are currently a member of our community, and you meet the criteria, you can complete the same form and receive the code.

Search our comprehensive listing of courses to find those that are relevant to your field. We offer Live in person courses, live virtual webinars and online on demand courses to take at your convenience.

This coupon is valid through October 21, 2022

Offered to all therapists who graduated within the last 1-3 years.
Cannot be combined with other discounts and must be used at time of registration

Let us Help you Plan your Continuing Education!








International Neonatal Therapy Week – Celebrating all Neonatal Therapists! SAVE with ERI!

September 18-24 2022 is International Neonatal Therapy week! 

Started many years ago by National Association of Neonatal Therapists (NANT) this week honors occupational therapists (OTs), physical therapists (PTs) and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who specialize in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Thank you to this group of highly professional, passionate, and driven group of caregivers who dedicate their time to the smallest of patients resulting in a lifetime of positive change

At ERI, professional partners with NANT, we know that neonatal therapists have an emotional connection to their profession and are always looking for ways to improve upon their practice. To help these therapists meet their professional goals, we offer exceptional neonatal continuing education courses taught by renowned faculty.

Look out for a special offer for neonatal therapists available during INTW only!

For one week only we are offering $50 off any ERI webinar, live in person course or on demand series.
If you have an ERI profile and check off NICU as one of your specialties you will receive this special offer in your inbox!

Our courses teach the latest techniques and treatments that can be immediately applied to practice helping therapists improve outcomes in the NICU and beyond. The CEU hours from our evidence-based NICU courses count toward the required 40 hours of education for certification offered by the Neonatal Therapy National Certification Board (NTNCB).

If you’re a neonatal therapist looking to grow your career and improve outcomes, register for one of our life-changing neonatal courses which will remind you why you became a therapist and why you love what you do.  

We offer a comprehensive selection of live courses and webinars:
Continuing Education Courses for Neonatal Therapists

And use our advanced search feature, to search by date, speaker, topic to find an upcoming course. New speakers, topics and dates are continually being added to meet your needs.


Education Resources, Inc. Offers “Ambulation, Activity and AFOs: Addressing the Ankle to Improve Gait and Function” as a NEW Online, On-Demand CEU Course

Convenient Online Learning Enables Therapists to Bring Their Practice to the Next Level

ERI is thrilled to offer a NEW online, on-demand course to our community of therapists who wish to learn at their convenience: Ambulation, Activity and AFOs: Addressing the Ankle to Improve Gait and Function-ONLINE 

Amanda Hall, PT, MPT, PCS is an engaging speaker and experienced therapist who developed a framework of pediatric and neuro ankle intervention. In this NEW, online course, Hall teaches advanced evaluation and treatment of the foot and ankle to improve gait and function for adult and pediatric patients with developmental, neurologic, and orthopedic health conditions. After taking this online course, you will:

  • Increase your skill with orthotic recommendations
  • Gain insight into orthotic decision making (when to put a child into orthotics vs. waiting) and “foot-core” exercises
  • Improve your confidence with ankle anatomy and manual therapy skills
  • Learn how to enhance serial casting outcomes including when to refer for serial casting
  • Discover strategies to facilitate neuroplasticity and improving balance in patients with neurological disorders including stroke
  • Gain insight into orthotic design…and more!

Register today! Earn 11 contact hours (1.1 CEUs) for $299/person. SAVE $30 when you register before October 3, 2022 – use coupon code HALLONLINE30 at checkout.

Questions? Please contact ERI at info@educationresourcesinc.com or 800-487-6530.

School Based Therapy Conference – Early Bird Discount Is Extended

Extension of Early Bird Pricing for our popular Annual Therapies in the School Conference.

We understand that it is such a busy time of year for you, and didn’t want you to miss this opportunity to register for quality continuing education.


SAVE $100 when you register for ERI’s 23rd Annual Therapies in the School Conference before 8/31/22. Extended to September 17th, 2022 Use coupon code THERAPIES2022 at checkout.
* Coupon code expires 9/17/22, must be used at time of registration. Only available for two day registration. Cannot be combined with other discounts.

ERI is happy to offer a few other special savings to school-based therapists heading back to school! 

We would also like to remind you about the special ERI savings, that we have developed just for you

SAVE $50 on any school-based multi-day webinar*. Use coupon code SCHOOLWEBINAR22 at checkout. 

SAVE $25 on any school-based online series*. Use coupon code SCHOOLONLINE22 at checkout.

* Coupon codes expire 9/17/22, must be used at time of registration. Cannot be combined with other discounts. Valid for webinars $369+/online series $299+. 

ERI is committed to your passion for school-based therapy by offering you learning opportunities that provide tools and strategies you can use right away to improve learning outcomes for your students.

Here’s to a wonderful new school year!