Imagine a scenario in which a patient goes to the doctor for back problems. “Surgery is one option,” the doctor declares. As the patient winces, the doctor continues, “But I think we should try physical therapy first.” The patient sighs with relief. Physical therapy can be an excellent option for many people – and not just in lieu of surgery.
Benefits of physical therapy
When a patient is referred to a physical therapist, the individual may have little concrete information about what a physical therapist actually does. “Physical therapists … offer cost-effective treatment that improves mobility and relieves pain, reduces the need for surgery and prescription drugs, and allows patients to participate in a recovery plan designed for their specific needs.”
Foundation for a great physical therapist
During any given day, a physical therapist might perform a wide variety of duties, including developing treatment plans for patients, working with other healthcare professionals who are caring for their patients, and teaching patients how to use crutches or another type of aid.
Many of a physical therapist’s duties involve communicating with patients and others. That’s why it’s important for a physical therapist to have strong communication skills. These skills are essential for assessing a patient, working with other healthcare professionals, and explaining things when working with a patient. It’s also important to have strong coaching skills. When a physical therapist must “coach patients through sometimes grueling exercises,” this type of skill will be very important to help the patient persevere.
Building on the foundation
A physical therapist must be a leader in many situations. Leadership is important for dealing with patients who may question the need for physical therapy. It may also be important for convincing an insurance company that a patient needs continued services or in making sure that a reluctant family member continues to bring the patient to outpatient therapy.
Adaptability is important, too. A physical therapist must be able to adapt to schedule changes, changes in a patient’s status, and innovations in the profession. When the physical therapist is adaptable, it may help the patient be more adaptable in therapy, as well. This can be especially important if the patient is in long-term physical therapy.
Physical therapists “diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest,” and they do so within a specific setting, such as a hospital, school, or outpatient facility. In addition to remaining current on innovations within the field of physical therapy, people in this profession must also focus on best practices for the specific population. For example, physical therapists who work in nursing homes must remain current on issues related to the aging population.
We want to work with you!
At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we know that a physical therapist can be a very important member of a patient’s care team. We recruit and place healthcare professionals for per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. We’d like to work with you. Give us a call, at 310.436.3650, today!