Physical therapy can be important for various people. Whether treatment is implemented for someone recovering from injury or to help prevent future injury, PT can no doubt be helpful. Many patients come looking for pain relief. According to one study, about 41% of patients seeking pain relief said they considered physical therapy an effective solution. While there are many benefits that come with being a physical therapist, this occupation isn’t without a unique cluster of challenges. Read below to learn about several of the intimidating challenges PT providers face during their day-to-day. If you’re a provider struggling with some of these challenges in your practice, you may benefit from using a virtual physical therapy platform.
6 challenges facing today’s PT providers
- Effects of COVID-19 — The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought forward a distinctive set of challenges for PT providers and patients alike. The transition from in-person therapy to virtual therapy was tricky to navigate for many but remains uniquely beneficial.
- Long work schedule — Another difficulty that clinicians frequently deal with is long work hours. Health care industry occupations do not usually adhere to the typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. work schedule. This is especially true of physical therapists. A PT’s workday can be extended for various reasons, including patients needing extra attention, late appointments, and completing paperwork.
- Personal physical health — One aspect of PT that is frequently overlooked is the personal physical health of the clinicians. While they juggle busy schedules and long hours, it can be hard to find time to ensure their own physical wellness.
- Stress control — Not only is the physical health of the clinicians overlooked, but so is their mental health. PT clinicians often help patients manage their own emotional stress as a result of an injury or illness. Long periods of exposure to others’ stress may wear down the emotional health of the clinician also.
- Cost of education — Many physical therapists graduate from their schools with hefty amounts of student loan debt. According to one report, over half of graduates end up with over $70,000 in debt, and about 25% reported owing $100,000 or more.
- Patient referrals — Although many people may be unaware of this, most patients do not need a referral to receive physical therapy treatment. The need for a referral usually depends on whether the patient plans to use a copay or to cover the costs without help. Since many people aren’t aware of this, they might neglect to consider PT as a viable option in their recovery journey.
How can virtual physical therapy overcome these challenges?
While these combined challenges may seem overwhelming, managing these issues is certainly not impossible. Virtual physical therapy platforms can help physical therapy providers overcome these and other challenges. Listed below are some more specific ways that virtual physical therapy can address these difficulties.
- Increase awareness — Trying out virtual PT can help patients and providers understand the reality — that telehealth therapy can be as effective a solution as in-person PT is.
- Promote patient engagement — Telehealth therapy can be very effective. However, one of the most critical factors affecting its success is patient engagement. For five reasons why patient engagement is more important to virtual PT than you might think, read here.
Why choose Agile Virtual Physical Therapy?
Agile Virtual Physical Therapy can offer more than 400+ licensed clinicians. At Agile Virtual PT, we provide services in 45 U.S. states, and we also offer free virtual screenings. For more information including our many partnerships, read here. If you’re a PT provider who is unsure how telehealth platforms can make providing care easier, we can help! We’re committed to providing the best possible care and are dedicated to the health of our patients, all through a virtual platform. If you have any more questions about telehealth and how it might benefit your practice, feel free to reach out to us! Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.