National Physical Therapy Month
We like to take some time every year during National Physical Therapy Month to think about the contributions the field of physical therapy has made to the healthcare industry. It is such a diverse profession, with therapists working in outpatient clinics, hospitals, schools, skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, home health settings, and more.
The Role of Physical Therapists
The common thread is that physical therapists are ultimately tasked with restoring health, whether that means treating the painful knee of a D1 athlete, helping a child with special needs safely navigate their school environment, or re-teaching a bed-bound patient how to get out of bed unassisted. They often spend more time with their patients than any other healthcare professional. In cases like patients in nursing homes or home care, they might even see them more than members of their own families!
With our deep knowledge and experience of healthcare professions and settings, we can honestly say that home health physical therapists are a highly-skilled, vital, and woefully underappreciated part of the healthcare team that deserves a massive amount of respect and admiration.
Physical Therapy in the Home Health Setting
Home health can be extremely challenging: you are out on your own, without any colleagues or supervisors around to answer questions or lend a hand, and the patients often have very complex cases requiring a lot of patience and expertise. These are generally patients who were discharged from the hospital but are still unable to access outpatient medical services. They are often isolated and worried about their health, and it is not uncommon for them to exhibit signs of anxiety, depression, or emotional regulation issues. Many are in pain. It can be an extremely tough setting, and it takes a lot of mental fortitude to stick with it.
Despite this, day after day, you help patients get out of bed, navigate their household, manage their lives, and take those first precious steps out of the house as they begin to reacclimate to the larger world. You get to know your patients on an unbelievably deep level; you see what kind of setting people surround themselves with, hear their life stories, and watch them interact with friends and family. A unique patient-therapist bond is formed, one that certainly exists in other treatment settings, but taps into a deeper level in the home where life is celebrated and growth is always encouraged.
Thank you, Home Health PTs!
For every home health physical therapist out there brightening the day of their patients, we want to thank you:
- For doing the tough job, out there on your own.
- For providing a vital service that people in our society sorely need.
- For listening to your patients and learning about their lives.
- And finally, for making the physical therapy profession proud by being an integral component of the healthcare system.
We are eternally grateful for the hard work of every physical therapist!