The World of the Home Health Therapist
Home Health Therapist are vital it allowing senior adults to live safely in their homes longer. Owner of Rebound Rehab, Samantha Delgado, shares her insights as to how she got started in physical therapy and how home health differs from other therapy treatment settings.
The World of the Home Health Therapist
When I graduated from physical therapy school, I was sure I wanted to work in an outpatient clinic and treat athletes. But after 2 years of experiencing the outpatient world, it was not what I expected. It was very stressful managing multiple patients at one time and you're stuck in the clinic all day. After 2 years, I decided to try something different. I was approached by a contract therapy company to do home health. That was the beginning of my career in home health and eventually the start of the company my husband (also a physical therapist) and I started in 2005.
There are so many reasons that I love home health and why many other therapists do so as well. Here are just a few reasons:
One-on-one patient care: As many outpatient therapists know, it is so stressful trying to treat more than 1 patient at a time. In home health, patients receive one-on-one care with the therapist. As a therapist, there is not the stress of juggling more than one patient at a time and you can focus all your efforts and care on that one patient.
Flexibility: As a home health therapist, you have full control of your schedule and can decide what times you want to see patients. A home health therapist will call their patients the night before to schedule times that work best for the patient and for the therapist. There is also the added perk of not being stuck in a clinic all day. If there is any extra time in between patients, you can run out to pick up dry cleaning or grab a cup of coffee and complete your notes at a local coffee shop.
Treating patients in their home setting: When you can see how a patient's home is set up, therapists can tailor focus their goals and treatment to address home barriers and help make recommendations to patients on how to overcome those obstacles through home modifications or specific exercises programs.
There are challenges with the job. Every year we deal with changes in Medicare coverage and insurance coverage. These insurance providers have limited therapy coverage more and more each passing year. We have become more efficient in focusing treatments on what the patient needs most and educating patients on home exercise programs they can do on their own. As the owner of a home health therapy contracting company, there is always the challenge of finding therapists willing to travel to rural areas.
After being a part of the home health world for the last 20 years, I can not say I ever regret leaving the outpatient world. The positives far outweigh the negatives. It is exactly where I was meant to be.
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