Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who help restore function, relieve pain, increase flexibility and much more. They play an important role in maintaining and improving overall fitness and health. The same qualities that benefit physical therapists in outpatient clinics also transfer well to online, or virtual, physical therapy. Here are ten qualities to expect from your online physical therapist.
If you’ve scheduled your online physical therapy appointment, your therapist should be up to date with the knowledge required to diagnose and treat you properly, even in a virtual setting. They should be able to apply their in-clinic knowledge of ailments to help find solutions for you virtually. Knowledge and trends in PT are ever-changing, so your physical therapists should be adaptable and knowledgeable in their daily interactions with patients.
Along with being knowledgeable, your online physical therapist should remain humble and communicate with patients in a manner they clearly understand. Conversations and treatment plans around a patient’s health should be treated with respect and humility.
Some patients are easier to deal with than others. After all, patients are people. Some will take your prescribed treatment plans and be diligent and respectful of them, while others may fight you on certain exercises. Regardless of the temperament of different patients, your online physical therapist should be patient with you while you explain what’s bothering you. They should listen thoughtfully.
Your online physical therapist should have a positive attitude while interacting with you via an online platform. A successful PT knows how to focus your attention on the positives of your treatment and what can continue to be done to improve your condition.
As well as being positive, the best physical therapists are also realistic. They should know how far they can bring a patient and what other methods or options may need to be considered to fully heal a patient. In short, a great online physical therapist should not over-promise and under deliver.
New patients may feel awkward and vulnerable during their course of care. To help ease their nerves and make them feel more comfortable, show your patients you care be listening, showing respect, and being supportive. Chances are more patients will listen to your instructions and follow through with their course of treatment.
Your online physical therapist should be prepared and organized for your virtual appointment. They should be ready to discuss your ailments, not unfocused, and have a clear work area. An organized PT will be able to devote more time to your appointment while staying focused.
Just as you should hold yourself accountable to your prescribed exercises, your online PT should be someone you view as accountable and credible. If you don’t view your PT as someone you can trust, then chances are you’ll fall off from routinely doing your exercises and ultimately not progress as a patient.
Your online physical therapist should possess these qualities in order to achieve a great online telehealth experience for the both of you.