Michelle Thibeault, PT
Finding the Best Provider for Your Care
Who should you go to when you need physical therapy? How do you tell whether a physical therapist is right for you? Whether you are referred by your doctor or you want to go because it has been helpful for you in the past, finding the right kind of care for your problem can be difficult. Here’s my advice to find a good PT.
Find an office that is convenient to get to. Since you may be going multiple times per week, it is important to choose a location you can consistently schedule for and that meets any accessibility needs. Make sure you schedule appointments at a time when you are available. Being consistent with your care will make the difference in your healing process.
Identify the practice’s specialties. Do the therapists have the expertise that will meet your needs? All outpatient therapy offices treat common joint and musculoskeletal pain, but if you need specific types of care (for example: pelvic health, concussion, lymphedema, or vestibular), make sure the office has therapists with the specific expertise to treat you. Our office specializes in pelvic health, which is a niche practice that is not available in very many practices. So double check before you book!
Ask questions about their treatment style. Do they provide hands-on care or any type of manual therapy? How long are treatments scheduled for? Are you treated in a private room? Do the therapists treat only one patient at a time? Is the practice using support personnel/aides instead of therapists in care of patients? That last question is important, as you should only ever be treated by a licensed professional and not untrained staff!
Call the office. Front desk staff often have answers to many logistical questions and a call to the office will give you plenty of information. Do they participate with your insurance? How long do you have to wait when you arrive for your appointment? How long will it take to get an appointment? How long will each appointment last? Will they schedule you with the same therapist each time?
While this article is geared towards finding a PT, this advice can be applied to your other medical providers. You want a provider who will make you feel comfortable during your appointment. The more information you can give about your problem the better the provider can understand and help you. A provider who listens to you and spends time understanding your concerns is important. You want them to explain things in a way that was easy to understand and allows you to ask questions.
Go to a place you feel comfortable. Trusting your provider, being able to be open and honest, being listened to and having your questions answered allows you to get the care you need. At DPT, we care about our patients and want everyone to reach their goals. We are here to help our patients in any way we can!