Facilities Don't Want to Pay for PT Experience
Previously I've written about the financial burden on newly graduated DPTs. If undergraduate costs are included, a new graduate could be as much as $100,000 in debt. The debt is driving decisions about jobs, salaries and benefits. Until last week, I hadn't considered the effect this is having on more experienced therapists.
A friend of mine from another state called me. She lost her job. She wanted advice. She has been filling out applications and sending out resumes. She's had a few interviews but says they didn't go well. She put on her best face but felt like the facilities weren't really interested in her as much as going through the motions. One sent her an email the next day stating another candidate had been selected. The rest haven't contacted her.
She lost her job because the facility downsized. It was losing money and had been for a while, so they cut staff to reduce the cost of salaries. She thinks she was laid off because she had the highest salary of everyone in the department. I'm not sure if that is legal but she is probably right. Salaries are one of the biggest expenses in healthcare.
Facilities don't want to pay for experience. It's been a long time since experience mattered. Everyone wants a revolving door of new grads. Hire a new grad and replace him with another when he moves on. If the same position is constantly held by PTs with little or no experience, the salary remains near the bottom of scale. Even at prn rates, the facilities save money.
This means those of us from back in the day are at a disadvantage. Changing jobs becomes problematic. It might mean staying in a job you hate just to have a job. Or accepting another job you don't really want with a pay cut for the same reason. Or you could work prn at several places and make more money but lack benefits.
This truly concerns me. There is no hope the situation will change in the near future. I just have to hope that I don't experience it.