Coronavirus and Physical Therapy – How PTs are Making it Safe
Currently, the world of health care is faced with new information and enforced changes (almost) daily because of COVID-19. So, it’s no surprise that physical therapy has also been deeply impacted by such.
But how are physical therapy (PT) practices – normally a very hands-on specialty – adapting to a COVID-19 world?
In order to protect patients (you!) and our physical therapists, we are following all CDC, state, and local guidelines, providing proper PPE, and protecting patients while in the office.
You might be wondering, is it safe to come to physical therapy? The short answer is, of course!
- We understand that patients may not want to visit our PT clinic unless they feel certain it will help and that they will be safe and protected.
- Our team members use PPE as recommended by the CDC and our local health department. We wear masks when interacting with others and utilize gloves as needed or requested when treating patients.
- We are continually monitoring the CDC, WHO, and local health department guidance to keep the most up-to-date Safety and Health policies and practices.
- Our front desk team screens patients for symptoms and exposure to COVID-19. Patients who meet these criteria will not be re-scheduled until after a two-week symptom-free incubation period, in accordance with CDC guidelines.
- In line with social distancing recommendations, we are keeping patients separate from each other as much as possible.
- We wash our hands before and after contact with every patient.
- Our physical therapists are wearing masks and gloves throughout the entire session.
- All staff members wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.
- We are continuing our routine environmental cleaning as recommended by the CDC and our local health department.
- We are sanitizing equipment and surfaces patients contact between patients.
- Our clinics are stocked with hand sanitizer and tissues.
- If a staff member is ill, she/he stays home.
If you need physical therapy, it’s best to talk to your physical therapist and he or she will help you develop the best course of action.
How You Can Help Make it Safer
If you are going to physical therapy:
- Assess your risk factors. If you are over 65 or have an underlying health condition that might make you more susceptible to COVID-19 complications, APTA recommends that you consider refraining from seeking in-person care to limit possible exposure to the virus.
- Come prepared. If you choose to see your physical therapist in person, be sure to wear a face mask and make sure to use hand sanitizer before and after your visit.
There’s no telling how much more the COVID-world will change, but either way, the PT-world is ready to embrace that change!