After speaking with several patients and other PTs I put together this list of attributes for finding the right PT clinic, enjoy!
Treatment by a Physical Therapist
Physical Therapists are now being educated to a Doctoral level and with that comes a vast amount of knowledge to assess and treat patients. In my opinion, a Physical therapist should be the primary caregiver. Too many clinics are passing off their patient to the assistant or aide and there is not enough direct contact with the PT. These places typically look to have high volume and thus distribute their patients among several employees. I find this unfair to the patient in which they are now under the guidance of at many times a high school or college student with minimal experience with rehab. This does not mean an aide or assistant should not complement the treatment but simply means that the PT should hold the majority of one on one contact. I challenge the patient to ask before they start therapy if they will be with a Physical Therapist at every treatment.
One on One Treatment with the Physical Therapist
Again this relates to the previous topic, but again it is something that really is important for the patient. Like I said before many clinics opt for higher volume thus having the PT see 3-4 patients at one time. I have seen this and they’re not even an aide or tech on site, so the PT is literally “treating” 3-4 patients at once. How a specialist in movement and rehabilitation provide adequate care among that many individuals is beyond me. If you are receiving less than 30 minutes of 1 on 1 time with your Physical Therapist then I suggest you look elsewhere for physical therapy if you are truly serious about reaching your goals.
Attitudes and Personalities
Well we all know there is nothing like going to a Doctor’s office and being treated by rude front desk staff or dealing with a stubborn physician, so why should you deal with a PT clinic any different. You’re in pain and that is the last thing you need to deal with. I have always been a believer that being positive is half the battle when trying to recover. Studies have actually shown that those people who are positive about their treatment and condition have better outcomes with pain and function. So being able to walk into a clinic and see a smiling, welcoming face can truly make a difference. This not only goes for the front office but especially the treating PT. I think it is important to find someone who not only pushes you physically but can interact socially. This in turn can motivate you to adhere to home exercises as well as actually looking forward to PT.
Freedom of Choice
Lastly, the Final and most important thing regarding a PT clinic is knowing that you have the choice of where to go. Many times Doctor’s offices will tell a patient they MUST go to a SPECIFIC PT clinic. This is simply not true and in fact if referred to as previously it is illegal. You as a patient have the right to chose where you will be treated. It is my advice to look up those PTs that are local, look at their reviews and websites, call and ask questions, and remember that it is your choice. Finding the right place will keep you on the right track for your full recovery.
Thanks for reading!
Alex Bonnette PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Owner and Doctor Physical Therapy
Bonnette Elite Physical Therapy and Wellness in Azle