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What It’s Like Working at Redbud Physical Therapy

by Samantha Chamberlain, PT, DPT

I first started working at Redbud Physical Therapy in February 2018.

I was looking for a fresh start and a place that might offer a better fit for me. I was not happy with the clinic I was practicing at for a variety of reasons, but primarily due to a long commute and leadership, or lack thereof.

It was at my initial interview with Jeff Jankowski that I immediately felt I was in the right place. The interview was more of a conversation than an interview. His demeanor and team approach made me feel at ease with taking on a big role once returning from maternity leave. Although he would be my immediate supervisor, he made himself available for questions and didn’t ever make me feel like I should have all the answers.

He made it a point to inform me of the many leadership, personal, and professional development opportunities available, instantly communicating to me that working at Redbud Physical Therapy offered a lot in the way of career growth opportunities.

Working at Redbud Physical Therapy offers a lot more than your standard benefits.

There were some key things I was looking for when I was searching for a new opportunity, and I found many of those things at Redbud PT.

Flexibility was one of the main things I was looking for, and I appreciated the schedule that was available. Many of us working at Redbud Physical Therapy work three 10s and two 5s. This means that Wednesday and Friday afternoon, I am done treating patients at 12. In clinics with multiple therapists, there is even greater flexibility available when it comes to scheduling and hours. Some clinicians are able to work afternoons on their half days if that is what works best for them and their family.

Career growth opportunities and professional development were other key things I was searching for and Redbud has plenty of them. Since working at Redbud Physical Therapy, I have participated in PTVille (a great course for developing as a clinic director/manager), company-hosted CEUs, and TLC – I am currently a participant in this and it has been very beneficial. We meet with a leadership coach 1x/month via video conferencing. There are 5 other participants in my group. We have the opportunity to discuss current success and tribulations and sometimes simply talking it out with peers is beneficial. Everyone always has great input and our coach, who is a PT and has been at the clinic director position before, presents us with questions that gives us an opportunity to reflect, and guide our conversations for self improvement and best practices for being effective leaders.

The culture and mission at Redbud Physical Therapy is unique.

One of the great things about working at Redbud Physical Therapy is the practice culture. We have urban and rural clinics and as you can imagine, each clinic has its own feel. I practice in a rural clinic, and growing up in a small town, I can easily relate to my patients. Having this experience and developing this rapport with both patients and staff allows me to create a fun working environment. Teamwork is always at the core of how we operate. I emphasize how important each role in the clinic is in providing the best care and making sure work is enjoyable and rewarding for everyone.

Everyone knows what their tasks are but more importantly understands that we are a team, meaning although we have our set duties, we are all more than willing to jump in and help each other without being asked. We manage that line of expecting (and giving) respect and professionalism, but don’t take ourselves too seriously.

We understand people are coming to an appointment 2-3x/week and so make it a mission to ensure they don’t dread walking through our doors.

One thing to understand about Redbud PT is that we don’t hire just to have a position filled. We hire with a purpose of continuing the team dynamic; to practice our core values and live by them; and to provide excellent patient care through skills, empathy, and compassion – along with some fun and laughter along the way.

My first few weeks working at Redbud Physical Therapy gave me the perfect opportunity to ease into things.

It is common for physical therapists to start as float therapists with Redbud PT. This means that they aren’t at one set clinic but help provide coverage (PTO, illness, abundant patient load) at various clinics. I too started this way. I was 6 months pregnant when I started working at Redbud Physical Therapy, so the plan was for me to start off by providing float coverage. When I returned from maternity leave, I would return as the clinic director at our Wagoner location.

In my first week working at Redbud Physical Therapy, I had a light patient load and also had the opportunity to observe a little bit and learn the EMR, understand the dynamic of a rural clinic, and ask questions. By the end of that first week, duty called, and I was needed at one of the busiest clinics. Having a few days to learn the EMR and getting to practice using it was very beneficial. After that, I worked mostly at one of our urban clinics, which was a lot of fun for me as well. When I returned to my new role after maternity leave, I had some help and support on my first day before easing back into a full caseload.

Working as a float for a bit has some great advantages. You get to meet a lot of the staff so you’re less hesitant to email or call with questions or help them out when needed. You also grow as a clinician because you are hearing and seeing other therapists’ treatments and patient interactions.

An average day working at Redbud Physical Therapy

I treat patients on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, starting my days at 7:00am and ending at 6:00pm. I work on Wednesday and Friday from 7:00am - 12:00pm.

Our company average is 12 patients/day, but that is based on an 8 hour work day. I see 12-16 on my long days and 6-10 on my short days. As with any job, volume fluctuates, but overall treating 12 patients per day for an 8 hour workday is pretty common.

Our clinic also operates with techs. This is a tremendous help and gives us the ability to balance time with patients and documentation. My family definitely appreciates that I spend less time at the clinic, and I let my techs know that it is only possible because of them. They really take ownership of their role when they know how valuable they are and how much they are appreciated.

There are times when administrative work is hefty, but I am a clinic director so it is expected. As a staff therapist, patient documentation is the primary paperwork required. Occasionally there may be marketing, clinical skills/articles, or other professional development tasks expected.

I am very much a generalist. I practice in a rural clinic, so I see a little bit of everything. Our most common condition is JT replacements, low back pain, and SH surgeries.

The community around my Redbud Physical Therapy location is tight-knit.

Our community consists of those from a small city in the midwest. Local businesses are very much supported, and there are continuing efforts to bring in new businesses to limit required travel to larger neighboring cities like Muskogee and Tulsa.

We have a great Chamber of Commerce and a Main Street association that is assisting with improving our town. Many of the patients that come to our clinic grew up in the area or other small towns close by where there is a strong sense of community and outdoor activities are a part of life. We also have a heavy geriatric population. There is a lake nearby, so it is somewhat a retirement community you could say. I truly feel I see all walks of life here.

One of the best things about working at Redbud Physical Therapy is the team dynamic.

We all get caught up in running our business and treating patients, but I think even in times of high productivity we are a team, and we always want to help each other. I also appreciate the clinic culture and its associated values and principles. We really place an emphasis on staff appreciation, and I love having the freedom to grow with my team through quarterly staff outings as well as lunches or giving them small tokens of appreciation.

Working at Redbud PT offers career growth opportunities.

Your career growth is only limited by what you put into it here. You can focus on clinical skills, leadership, both, or specific certifications/specialties. So far I have taken more of a leadership path with Redbud PT and I am really happy with the professional and personal growth it has afforded me. I am currently looking into a preventative health certification, fitness for the aging adult, and management of the fitness athlete. I just need to decide which to jump into first!

Looking back from when I started working at Redbud Physical Therapy to today, I have realized how much I have learned. One of my favorite statements in our “essentials” is ”work in their greatness,” referring to the environment provided for clinicians. Individual success leads to work success which leads to company success. Our leaders recognize this and allow for the interest of clinicians to guide their development as clinicians.

While I of course appreciate all our values, I have an extra fondness for “learning never stops” but more so for how the question related to it: ”Did I grow today?” It is a reminder to not fly by on autopilot. It is reflective. It is intentional. It keeps me from letting too much time pass without assessing what I have done in life (work or personal life) to grow! Life without reflections just passes by, and it’s too short to not be intentional.

Some advice for those PTs considering working at Redbud Physical Therapy:

If you want a job that is just a job, consider elsewhere. If you want a job where your coworkers become friends, you are expected to grow and develop personally and professionally, you want many paid CEU opportunities, and options on the direction you take your career, then Redbud PT is likely a great career home for you.

The kind of physical therapists who will succeed here are PTs looking to grow and be part of a dynamic team with abundant opportunities. PTs looking to make a difference in their communities and participate in local events outside of clinic hours as part the Redbud team would be successful here.

Patients will return and get more out of the care they need if they see you are enjoying your work and helping them look forward to their next visit. We want to advocate for the profession and uphold professionalism, but you truly need to be able to not take yourself too seriously, and enjoy the day to day of patient care and remember to make it fun for your patients, your team, and yourself.

This article was written in partnership with Confluent Health, a proud sponsor of CovalentCareers Resources and physical therapists!


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