What to Look for in a Physical Therapist
A reputable physical therapist with the right experience and expertise can help you recover quicker, reduce pain, and restore mobility following surgery, an injury, illness, or accident. Physical therapy can also be used to prevent injuries and surgeries too. Of course, the key is to find the right physical therapist whether you’re looking for physical therapy in Clarks Summit, PA, or any other city. Knowing what to look for will help you do just that.
As the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) notes, to practice as a physical therapist in the United States, a license is required. All PTs need a degree from an officially recognized physical therapy program, and to complete their licensure examination. Licensure is managed by individual state regulatory boards, so you can look up individuals directly from your state’s website here to ensure they are licensed. It’s also possible to view any disciplinary actions when verifying a license. Some may be serious, although many are for relatively minor incidents like failing to renew on time. Before making a decision, be sure that you understand the nature of the report. You can also call your state board office and ask about any disciplinary actions the PT has had taken against them.
Physical therapy clinics typically have therapists with different types of specialization like joint replacement, back strain, or sports medicine. The physical therapists working there may have special skills or be certified in additional areas like geriatric therapy. You’ll want to find out as much as you can about each clinic and the therapists available for the best fit.
You want a physical therapist who has experience with your specific condition, the more the better, which means you’ll need to ask how many patients the PT has worked with who have the same condition as you.
A pleasant personality is another important thing to look for in a PT. As physical therapy requires open communication with constant dialogue, it’s a must to work with a therapist you can develop a positive rapport with. Your odds for success, no matter your goals, including full recovery, will be much higher if you have a good working relationship. If you experience any discomfort or pain during an exercise, you should feel comfortable enough to alert your therapist.
A Well-Equipped Facility with Compatible Hours
The therapist should work at a facility that is equipped to offer high-quality physical therapy services. While most can provide basic therapies like sound and thermal therapeutics, some have equipment that’s more high-tech and up-to-date. The hours the clinic is open is also something to consider as you’re likely to have to visit at least a couple of times a week. If your schedule is busy like most people, you’ll want to look into the availability of appointment times. For those who work full-time, a clinic that offers evening or weekend hours may be a must.
Health Insurance Plan Participant
If you have health insurance, obtaining care from a physical therapist who participates in the plan means you’ll probably pay a lot less out-of-pocket than you would be going to an out-of-network provider. Keep in mind that some clinics and therapists don’t participate in any health insurance plan and may require direct payment for their services from you. Ask the clinic or individual therapist if they’ll submit claims on your behalf, and be sure to call your insurance company to verify what the out-of-pocket costs will be.