Once an individual graduates from a physical therapy (PT) program and obtains his or her degree, the next obvious step is to find a job. While some graduates may already have jobs lined up ahead of time, others will have to begin what could be a very long job hunt involving sending in their resumes, doing interview after interview, and working hard to market themselves to potential employers.
Even when new graduates have great qualifications, lots of hands-on experience, a strong work ethic or board-certification in one of the specialty areas of physical therapy, what these graduates may not realize is they could be sabotaging their own job interviews without even knowing it by omitting one simple step. In some instances, neglecting to apply for a National Provider Identifier (NPI) and Medicare number could be all it takes to prevent you from beating out the competition.
Applying for Your NPI and Medicare Number Now Could Make You More Desirable to Employers
Having both an NPI number and a Medicare number is essential for any physician or non-physician practitioner like a physical therapist, occupational therapist or speech language pathologist. These numbers are a form of identification issued by the federal government to health care providers for the purpose of improving efficiency in the healthcare industry and reducing fraud or abuse of the system.
By applying for an NPI and Medicare number prior to going out on job interviews, you could actually make yourself more desirable to employers and prevent losing out on a job for which you may be the ideal candidate.
Employers in the healthcare industry, and in most industries for that matter, like to see it when potential employees take initiative. Showing initiative is a positive quality and one which can easily put one candidate ahead of another in terms of desirability. As it could take up to three months for a new PT graduate to establish his or her NPI and Medicare number, sending in your application now could come across as a sign that you are taking your career seriously and looking to get ahead of the game. It could also make an employer be more willing to hire you as you are closer to obtaining your identification numbers than other candidates.
So if it came down to you and another candidate, neither of whom had an NPI or Medicare number, you would probably receive a job offer as you were the one who thought ahead and got the ball rolling.
How to Apply for Your NPI and Medicare Number
It doesn't take much to apply for either an NPI or Medicare number. For an NPI, individuals can go to the National Plan & Provider Enumeration System website, create a login and complete the application. Medicare Enrollment Applications can be obtained through the Department of Health & Human Services website. All applicants need to do is download, print and fill out their Medicare enrollment application, then mail it in to get the process started.
This one simple action of applying for these numbers before going out on job interviews could prevent you from sabotaging your own interviews and, more importantly, help you secure your ideal job.
For recent PT graduates who are actively looking for work, please visit our website or call 888-773-0014 for a free, no-obligation consultation. The People Link is a professional recruitment service specializing in finding and placing qualified healthcare candidates around the U.S. Job seekers can also take a look at our current job listings any time, day or night.