Just like with every other medical professional, physiotherapists are governed by services standards and are responsible for your recovery. You may not know, however, what to prioritize or keep an eye out for when looking for a new physical therapist. Here, our Stittsville team explains 5 things to keep an eye out for when looking for a new physiotherapist.
When looking for a new physical therapist, it can be easy to be daunted or intimidated by the search. You may not know what things are most important, or even what you are looking for at all. Here are 5 different things to looks for when you are starting to process of choosing a new physical therapist:
1. What are their qualifications?
Much like with any other healthcare professional, it is important to ensure that your prospective physiotherapist is fully accredited and licensed to practice physiotherapy. Physiotherapists in Ontario are required to have graduated from an accredited institution.
You can either ask if you can see their certification or, if you live in Ontario, easily check the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario's public registry of licensed physiotherapists.
2. Are they conveniently located?
When thinking about what you want from your prospective physiotherapists, location should be key! Not only is a physical therapy clinic more convenient to travel to when it is close to home, but depending on the health issues you are experiencing, the distance you have to travel to you appointments can become a significant factor.
When suffering from pain or mobility issues, or you're recovering from surgery, it may be wise to avoid walking or driving for long distances.
While that may be the case, additional travel time can be worth it too. Many of our patients are more than happy to travel some distance to see us. They mention our success rates, clinic set up, gym equipment and our team's experience as reasons for being willing to do so.
At the end of the day, travel time is an important consideration as you go through the process of choosing a physiotherapist, but it should be weighed against other factors as well.
3. What are their areas of focus?
Physiotherapy is a broad umbrella that contains many different kinds of practices and treatments. It is important when you are considering a prospective physiotherapist, that they offer the kind of treatment which will be most effective for your specific case. There are many different areas that a given physiotherapist may focus on in their practice, ranging from jaw pain to pelvic floor therapy and cardiovascular physiotherapy, and everything in between.
It is important to consider the area of expertise your prospective physiotherapist has. And, when speaking with a prospective physiotherapist, make sure you ask about what they would suggest for the kinds of issues you are experiencing, and if they offer an alternative treatment method that you would prefer.
4. Do they have a good reputation?
Before committing to a prospective physiotherapist, make sure to check whichever websites you usually use for patient reviews. While good or bad reviews on their own don't necessarily mean very much, if a physiotherapy clinic has been around for a long time and doesn't have very many positive reviews, that can be a red flag.
If you are being prescribed physiotherapy by your doctor, ask them if they have recommendations. Often your doctor will have a trusted physical therapist they can recommend for you.
5. What is their availability?
It might not matter how well you and a prospective physical therapist fit, if you can't get an appointment at a time that makes sense for you, or can't see them often enough, you still may not get the treatment you need. Small physiotherapy clinics can offer excellent treatment, but smaller staff may be booked up more often than larger centers who have a wider roster of staff.
If you are suffering from discomfort or pain, the last thing you need is to be put on a waiting list. It is important to ask a prospective physiotherapist about how soon they will be able to see you and begin treatment.