A physical therapist, part of our Allied Health Division, is an important part of the road to recovery. Many people picture physical therapists as the person in the polo shirt and khakis helping patients use parallel bars to re-learn how to walk. While this is definitely something a physical therapist will do, their job description often includes much more.
Physical therapists can work in many different environments such as hospitals, urgent care, clinical settings, schools and homes. In all of these settings physical therapists work to relieve pain, restore function and mobility, and increase the quality of life for their patients.
There are three basic types of settings where physical therapists will work: inpatient, outpatient, and home care.
- Inpatient Setting - An inpatient setting is where a patient stays full-time at the site where they are receiving therapy. This is often the case in the days following a surgical procedure. It is extremely important for the patient to get out of bed and re-position in order to prevent complications from bed rest. An inpatient setting could be a hospital, and urgent care center, or an independent rehabilitation center.
- Outpatient Setting - Practicing physical therapy in outpatient settings means that the patients commute to where they are having therapy. They are staying at home full time and come to the site to receive treatment. They will also be responsible for doing exercises on their own at home. Patients who receive outpatient care may be recovering from sports injuries, treating a chronic pain condition, or continuing to recover several weeks after a surgical procedure. Outpatient settings might include certain divisions of hospitals and private physical therapy clinics.
- At Home - At home care involves a physical therapist going to the house of the patient. They can do therapy there, as well as give patients exercises to do in the time between their visits. A physical therapist can also work with an occupational therapist to make sure the home environment is safe and appropriate for the patient. This type of care is often beneficial for elderly patients who can't commute to an outpatient facility.
- Membership Matters: Professional Support For Physical Therapy
- The Best Career Resources for Physical Therapy For 2014
- Occupational Therapists - Rewarding Career & Bright Outlook Ahead
- Physical Therapy Can Help Reduce the Cost of Care
- Physical Therapy Apps