Written by: Breanna Guettler, SPT
Have you ever been to the doctor for a nagging ache or pain? Have you had a joint replacement or other orthopedic surgery? Did your doctor provide you with a referral to PT services and sent you where they wanted? Were you happy with their choice or would you have preferred to choose which Physical Therapist you saw? With current Alabama laws, the consumer has the right to choose where and who they see for physical therapy services.
If you fit into any of the categories above, you may or may not already know that where you go for physical therapy services can make or break your recovery process. We know that there are a few factors that contribute to your success and what you should be looking for in a clinic that your regular doctor may not take into account.
We know that one of the leading factors of successful patient recovery is having a positive patient-therapist relationship, which we like to call a therapeutic relationship. This could be described akin to the relationship you might build with a massage therapist, trainer, or even an esthetician. A provider that you feel comfortable with and confident that they will listen to your needs and concerns without judgment or bias. This is the biggest reason you should be in charge of where you take your referral as only you know which providers you feel confident collaborating in your care.
A second consideration is that PT clinics have varying models of care. Some clinics may have one physical therapist working with up to four patients at a time while others treat one-on-one. As the number of patients per therapist increases the level of attention to detail and time spent on each person suffers. From personal experience, being able to choose a one-on-one clinic model enabled me to have decreased pain in less time with improved long-term outcomes after discharge.
The final factor to consider is choosing an evidence-based practice. This means that the clinic and its therapists are encouraged to and actively participate in continuing education and use of up-to-date research to guide their practice. You can look at company websites to find information on common conditions that the clinic treats and if they have any therapists with specialties in specific areas.
All of this to say, you are the only expert on you. Thus, you should exercise your power to choose the providers that you feel comfortable and confident with when thinking about your care. At Nesin, we have made it part of our mission to improve the health and well-being of our clients and community by providing one-on-one care, seeking and utilizing evidence-based practice, and fostering a collaborative and nurturing environment for our patients. We hope that if you need physical therapy services you visit Nesin, however, we recognize that it is always your referral and your choice.