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Along with doctors and nurses, physical therapists play an important role in medicine, often working tirelessly to rehabilitate injured patients both young and old. Like any other business professional, there are certain wardrobe guidelines to follow when dressing for success in this field. Certain factors like patient population, the type of facility you work in, and the company dress code all matter when deciding what to wear at the office. From sophisticated slacks to comfortable scrubs, there are a few key items physical therapists should have in their wardrobe.
Assisting patients is the number one priority for physical therapists, so it's important to dress comfortably when dealing with the physical demands of this occupation. If you are a physical therapist working in a hospital, a pair of simple scrubs is the ideal uniform for this type of setting. Certain patients require more intensive care, so it's important to find clothing that is easy to wear and maneuver in. What scrubs lack in fashion, they make up for in convenience. So stock up on plenty of pairs of scrubs if you work in a serious medical setting.
It's imperative that physical therapists maintain professional dress at all times. For occasions where medical scrubs are unnecessary, physical therapists should combine a neat pair of slacks with a dress shirt or blouse. Some office dress codes may allow denim jeans and more casual dress on certain days, like Fridays, which is appropriate, so long as jeans are not torn or faded and tops are not revealing in the least.
Proper business attire usually includes a button-up shirt or blouse. For office settings and business meetings, a pair of slacks or khaki pants and a button-down top or blouse is totally appropriate. Polo shirts are an appropriate option as well, and for men a sleek tie offers a great additional dose of professionalism. Shirts should be well-fitting but loose enough so that they do not restrict movement. Physical therapists often stoop, kneel and lift while working. Movement is necessary when dealing with patients, so you'll want to be extremely comfortable while still appearing professional.
Clean and comfortable footwear is an absolute necessity for physical therapists. Whether it's tidy sneakers or dress shoes, appearance definitely matters, so choose something that will take you through the day, as well as keep you looking stylish. Brown or black dress shoes are appropriate for private offices and business meetings, while running and walking shoes are a comfortable option for the physical demands of this job as well.
Sara Cantu has been writing fashion and lifestyle articles since 2009. As a fashion stylist, writer and blogger, she has been published in “Lady Couture” magazine and “RGV” magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from The University of Texas - Pan American.