Regardless of what profession, there are employers to be wary of. I created a list of major company red flags to steer clear of. If you hear of a company doing anything on this list, it may be beneficial to reconsider your thoughts about them. No company is perfect, and this list is not specific to therapy companies. These red flags are unacceptable as they devalue the therapy profession and lead to increasing rates of burnout.
On the other hand, I have seen and heard of many good companies who go above and beyond to serve their employees and patients. There are many great companies out there! It goes both ways, and I hope to enlighten you on what is out there. It is tough to know what is good when you do not know what is bad. Enjoy the list and feel free to reach out with any questions!
Another resource I wish would have been available to me beginning as a therapist is “Rate My Therapy Company” Facebook group. I created this community to make it easier for therapists to learn about companies before applying. This group allows therapists to rate companies and provide valuable information on factors such as pay, productivity, and company culture.
Here are 6 major company red flags to look out for.
- Management “forces” therapists to see patients when not appropriate
All therapists need to remember they went to school for a long time to earn their license. They always have the option to see or not see a patient based on their clinical judgment. Patient safety is a top priority, and if seeing a patient will compromise health, then do not do it. If a therapist sees a patient when not appropriate, they are liable first, not their company. It is always better to protect yourself. If something goes wrong, most companies will protect themselves before protecting an employee. It does not matter if an employer told a therapist to do something against their judgment in court. If a therapist decides to do it, they will be held liable.
- Unsafe work conditions
Therapists have a right to work in a safe environment. It is unreasonable for a company to place a therapist in an unsafe environment.t For example, if a company pushes a therapist to see a patient with COVID 19 while not providing appropriate PPE, it places a therapist and other future patients at risk.
- Notes are “regularly” changed by staff without therapist knowledge
Therapists are responsible for their notes, and any changes can make them liable. Office staff make some mistakes; however, if notes are consistently changed behind a therapist’s back, they are liable for the changes made. There is a reason at the end of all notes a therapist’s signature is required–they are responsible for the note. If this ever happens, it is best to confront management head on the first time in a respectable manner.
- Quadruple booking
Seeing four patients at a time is not skilled therapy. It devalues the profession and provides a less focused experience for the patient. It may make the clinic owner more money in the short term, but it is devaluing the profession in the long term, leading to decreased reimbursement. The patients will receive worse care and less attention. Patients need more individualized attention.
- Low salary under 50k as an evaluating therapist
Do not take low paying jobs. New grad or not, your license bills the same as an experienced therapist. It may take longer to train a new graduate; however, new graduates have a lot to offer and can bring new ideas to the table, potentially generating additional revenue. Accepting lower-paying jobs drives down the pay for the profession. Therapists provide an extremely valuable, life-changing service to patients. You are worth the pay and then some! I was conservative with the number as I know therapists who can make upward of three to four times the amount if they really hustle depending on the area.
- Extremely poor company culture
If a therapist is extremely unhappy at their job due to company culture, they should consider changing employers. Poor company culture is not good for the employer, patient, and employee. Additionally, if a therapist does not fit in well within a company’s culture, they should explore other options that might be a better match.
If you have experienced any of these company red flags, it is always best to respectably bring it up to management first. If you do not bring it up, a company may continue this practice.
Did I miss any other red flags? I plan to write a future article of examples of companies doing right by the employee and patients. I do not mean to be negative but to share what is out there. The more you know, the more you know. Good luck and get after it.