Becoming a full-fledged physical therapist is something to celebrate! It’s a long, difficult road, and not everyone makes it to the finish line. There’s no question that graduation day is a big day for your favorite physical therapist.
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Coming up with physical therapy graduation gifts might be hard, so here are some great ideas.
Practical Gifts for Newly Graduated DPTs
When you’re considering gifts for doctors, think about the unique challenges of your loved one’s lifestyle or activities so you choose the perfect gift. Here are some practical ideas.
1. Resistance bands
Resistance bands are a great way to build muscle and strength by increasing the intensity of an exercise.
These bands are stretchy and rubbery and are used in repetitive exercises like straight leg lifts. Your physical therapist probably assigns lots of those exercises every day and will always be able to use them.
2. Foam rollers
Foam rollers are a great way to loosen tight muscles and reduce pain, and physical therapists use them all the time.
If you live at a distance and must mail your gift, there are practical factors to consider. A standard adult-sized foam roll is clunky to mail. You have two options. You can either hand-deliver your gift, which works if you’re attending the graduation party after the ceremony. Not attending the ceremony? Send that foam roller right to your loved one’s doorstep through Amazon.
3. Graduation pins
You can always make a pin yourself for an extra special touch. Find the basic pin structure in a craft store or online, then add your own special touches!
4. Anatomical statues
Is your loved one starting his or her own physical therapy practice? Even if your loved one is using someone else’s location, he or she is still likely to have a bare desk. You can brighten things up with beautiful anatomical statues.
Anatomical statues, like the life-sized model of a spine shown above, are designed to be beautiful and accurate. They can serve as a frame of reference and a work of art, all at the same time! Anatomical statues are often small enough to work as desk decorations. But they’re also created with highly detailed skeletal or muscular systems.
5. Medicine balls
A medicine ball is used to increase the difficulty of exercises and provide a good way to stretch. They come in different sizes but they’re usually much bigger than the bouncy balls you might have in mind.
Most physical therapy practices have quite a few of these—they’re an excellent tool for patients. They might be tricky to mail to your loved one unless it hasn’t been blown up yet.
Becoming a physical therapist is a long, hard road and the financial stressors are real.
That means your loved one probably has his or her diploma, but where will he or she put it? Choose a high-quality frame like the one shown above, or even a frame with a seal from his or her alma mater, for a cherished gift.
7. Muscular system poster
Muscular system posters come in all sizes and quality levels. Get one big enough to hang on the wall and laminate it to prevent damage.
These posters can be used to help patients. Patients don’t usually have the same training that your loved one does and might struggle to understand what’s truly going on with their bodies. A poster can help them visualize where they’re having problems.
We like the laminated poster shown above, which comes in a set with diagrams of the skeletal system and joints, too.
Fun Gifts for Physical Therapy Graduates
Practical gifts are great—and that’s especially true for a potentially broke new physical therapist. But taking some time on the big day to have fun is important, too.
8. Spotify subscription
Many physical therapists need to drive for their professions, whether they have to go to different practice locations or visit patients’ homes.
Spotify Premium is a great way for your favorite physical therapist to be able to listen to his or her favorite songs offline wherever they’re going.
You can buy a gift card for Spotify Premium here.
9. Physical therapy joke book
Every physical therapist knows that laughter can make a tough session easier for patients. And physical therapists themselves can use jokes, too! Patients aren’t the only ones who need a mood boost. A joke book could be just the ticket.
10. Tote bags
Your physical therapist probably totes a lot of stuff to work. From equipment to lunch to a change of clothes, it’s a lot to carry around. A standard purse won’t do the trick, and a backpack might seem a little clunky or juvenile.
Tote bags are versatile and customizable. You can get a tote bag that says anything you want. You can put any designs or lettering on a tote bag, from a fun pattern, to the person's name, to an inspirational physical therapy quote.
We like this customizable tote bag for personal therapists on Amazon.
11. Wine glass collection
Many people love relaxing with a glass of wine after a long day. Look for a custom physical therapy-themed wine glass set for your loved one.
You can get a basic set with jokes appropriate for a physical therapist. You can also get wine glasses shaped like the human body or twisted in unique designs.
12. Coffee gift basket
A coffee basket can become whatever you want it to be. But to introduce some variety, you can use coffee mugs, whole beans, ground coffee, a grinder, specialty syrups, or anything else you know your graduate likes!
Consider including a physical therapist-themed coffee mug, like this one, shown above.
13. Audible subscription
As we mentioned above, many physical therapists spend a lot of their time traveling but might not have the energy to sit down and read a book after work. If that’s the case, your graduate can listen to audiobooks while he or she drives! You can adjust the credits per month depending on how quickly he or she goes through the audiobooks.
You can buy a gift subscription for Audible here.
A T-shirt is always a welcome gift that’s simple to pick out. These days, with the rise of sites like Etsy and Redbubble, you can find a shirt that says anything you want. Amazon also offers a wide range of custom shirt options and T-shirts for physical therapists, like the one shown above.
You can order one that’s congratulatory, funny, or you may even get one with a special quote. You could also get your loved one a shirt or sweatshirt from his or her alma mater.
15. Fleece jacket
A nice fleece jacket is a great option for when the weather’s cold or for when your loved one is stationed in a chilly office. You can customize this one with your loved one’s name or the name of the practice. If you’re crafty, you can embroider his or her name on it yourself!
You probably can’t do your loved one’s job but you can donate your time. Offer to watch his or her kids or run some errands. These are better gifts than you might imagine. A helping hand is a great way to celebrate your loved one’s big day.
Find the Right Gift
Physical therapists often work with a very diverse demographic. From young children to those starting end-of-life planning, they need knowledge and empathy. All the years they spent acquiring this knowledge is worth acknowledging with a gift that comes straight from the heart.