What You Can Do as a Clinic Owner, Physiotherapist, or Patient
Physiotherapy clinics in Alberta and other parts of Canada are now allowed to open up. The announcement came quick and without much warning. Many PT’s have just settled into their new routine and were getting more comfortable with telerehabilitation. Now all of a sudden they are being asked to come back to work which can be uneasy and scary. It is OK to feel this way. These are uncertain times and these emotions are very normal.
In the last few days the risk seems to be decreasing, however, this does not mean the threat is over. Clinics need to be doing whatever they can in order to prevent a second wave of COVID-19. Introducing protocols, being aware of emotional states, and having an open mind are some of the ways we can work together to ease the transition. What can YOU do to help?
- Read the Physiotherapy Alberta guidelines and implement every possible suggestion you can. You cannot be too safe in this situation.
- Listen to your staff and check in with them to make sure their safety concerns are being met.
- Try to connect with staff members on an emotional level and ensure them that you have their safety at the top of your priority list.
- Prioritize screening patients, specifically in terms of a COVID-19 questionnaire at the door or better yet BEFORE they arrive at the clinic if possible.
- Familiarize yourself with the new operating guidelines set by your local Physiotherapy College and let your clinic owner know of any changes that need to be made before you agree to return to work.
- Reach out to other colleagues and discuss different procedures and protocols in place in their clinics.
- Discuss emotions or concerns you are have about the situation with loved ones or people you trust.
- It may be beneficial to screen your patients before they come into the clinic. A short phone call could give you a little information for you to use your clinical reasoning to determine if the patient is appropriate for telerehab or if the in-person treatment benefits outweigh the risks. This will be on an individual basis and it is your responsibility to make a decision you feel is best.
- Be KIND to yourself. Keep treatments simple and don’t put high expectations on yourself. You may be in a slightly more vulnerable emotional state that you think. All you can do is your best in any given situation.
- Bring your own mask to the clinic if you have one and wear it. It creates a sense of safety in the clinic. Protect yourself and those around you.
- Be OPEN to telerehab through video conferencing. This medium has been extremely effective thus far so if you are appropriate for this type of treatment, please give it a chance. You will be surprised as to what is possible. The future will be very different going forward, so we might as well adapt early.
Let’s all do our part to ease the transition and keep ourselves safe at the same time. We can always achieve more together.