Top Tips for Selecting a Physical Therapist

Of course you only want the best of care, and you already know to check on a therapist’s background, educational credentials and to solicit recommendations from others.   But there are a few other highly revealing details that can ensure you select the best therapist for the needs of your loved ones.   Here are a few to consider.

He or she is a critical thinker.   Injuries or conditions that require physical therapy aren’t always linear.   In other words, it isn’t the same kind of treatment as going to the doctor and getting a prescription for a certain medication.   You want a physical therapist who listens to your needs, carefully watches your treatments and adjusts your treatment plan accordingly.   Physical therapy solutions are about problem solving based on your individual needs.

He or she is an excellent communicator.   Did you know that communication skills were the number one requested skill set in the business world?   The same is true for potential physical therapists. You want a therapist who has great communication skills.   Does your therapist ask good questions to learn about you and you goals?   A good therapist needs to carefully listen and explain to you what therapy will involve, discuss your individual treatment plan and goals, explain your diagnosis and prognosis provide education on home exercise programs, and so on.   Your therapist is also your cheerleader.   Physical therapy can be very trying emotionally for clients.   A good physical therapist understands the emotions that go into therapy and can cheer you on and encourage you, to continue toward your goals.

He or she is always learning.   Staying up to date on the newest trends in therapy, the latest treatment techniques and the new equipment is critical for patient health and positive outcomes.   Is your therapist able to talk about these things?   Does the therapist mention new treatments that may work for your situation?   Therapists are always learning, far after the classroom experience is over.

He or she is realistic.   A good physical therapist will always challenge a client but will never promise more than they know can be delivered.   Clients and therapists, of course, want the best outcome possible.   A great therapist knows when to encourage and how to gently help a client accept a new reality.