Choosing a Provider
Selecting a provider that is right for you is an important decision and will have a direct impact on the outcome of your therapy. Here are some important questions to ask any potential therapist:
How long have you been practicing physical therapy? You want an experienced therapist helping you. One that is not only current with their treatment approach, but also has the clinical experience to help them in their decision making.
Are you a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and/or other Associations? Therapists that are members of their national association are more likely to be informed about current techniques as well as issues related to healthcare that may directly impact your care.
How often do you attend continuing education courses and/or annual conferences of the American Physical Therapy Association? Therapists that attend evidence-based courses/conferences regularly are more likely to offer more comprehensive care and demonstrate better clinical outcomes.
Do you have an advanced degree (such as a PhD) or board certification (such as an board certification in orthopedics)? Those with advanced education and or certifications from accredited institutions demonstrate better outcomes.
What is the general duration and frequency of treatment? Therapy should not go on forever and ever. Make sure you select a provider that is going to help you achieve the best outcome as fast as possible.
Do you use aides and/or assistants to deliver treatment? Studies show that patients achieve better outcomes when they are seen by physical therapists and not aides and/or assistants.
Do you participate in a national outcomes database? Clinics that participate in a National Outcomes Data Base are able to compare the outcomes of their therapists to therapists across the country.
What equipment does your facility have? You want your therapist to have the necessary tools to assist you in getting better as quickly as possible.