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Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy

Sep. 18th, 2020

As we are celebrating National Rehabilitation Week here at Saber Healthcare Group, we wanted to recognize our rehabilitation professionals! We are incredibly grateful for all they do and continue to do for our residents. Today, we are shining a light on our physical therapists.

To learn more about physical therapy, we had the chance to interview three physical therapists at Saber Healthcare: Terry Borgia, Pat Krzywicki, and Joe Gillis.

“Saber’s therapy has really strong values in putting the patient first and delivering what is clinically appropriate above all else,” Borgia said. 

Saber’s rehabilitation professionals work in a structure that achieves the patients’ goal while still managing time and resources well. Our Physical Therapists strive to enhance each patient’s life and leave a positive impact on those they come in contact with.

Gillis shared that he likes to help people, and at Saber, he’s provided with an opportunity to do so every day. Krzywicki shared similar thoughts about her positive experience working with Saber.

“Saber is a great company to work for as far as therapists are concerned,” Krzywicki said. “They allow each therapist to treat residents as they see clinically fit.”          

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is generally a discipline that works with strengthening the body, such as your hands and legs. Physical therapy may focus on standing and sitting balance, walking, or transfers.

Physical Therapists are experts when it comes to diagnosing, creating treatment plans, and enabling movement.1 Each treatment plan is crafted with each patient in mind, and can help with everyday body functions and managing pain.

Electrical stimulation may be involved during treatment. Electrical stimulation, also referred to as E-stim, is a procedure that sends mild electrical pulses through the skin.2 This may help a patient who is suffering with pain or injured muscles.

“Physical therapy deals a lot with pain and re-education,” Krzywicki said. “Most people don’t know that there are a lot of different things we can use to help a person get their strength back.”

Physical therapy helps someone who is deconditioned maintain a better quality of life. The goal is to return patients and residents to their safest and highest functional level.

What is a Day in Physical Therapy like?

To better understand what our Physical Therapists deal with on a day-to-day basis, we asked them how they structure their day.

Our Physical Therapists are responsible for a variety of tasks – from scheduling, administrative work, completing assignments for residents, and hands-on treatment. Their days typically consists of these tasks, but the amount of responsibility depends on the facility and position.

Krzywicki is head of the department and said she works on scheduling very often. She shared that each therapist schedules their day around who they have to see, so they focus on completing all treatments that are assigned in a timely manner.

Borgia discussed what an average day in physical therapy looks like for her. It’s about an eight hour day with more than six hours of hands-on treatment with residents. They also focus on evaluation for new residents that come in, or residents who might have transferred from another facility.

Gillis said his day includes taking notes on residents. He focuses on documenting what he is doing for each patient and why.

The physical therapy department stays busy. They are constantly helping their patients and making evaluations. However, there are many ups and downs as with any career path.

“Seeing the difference we make with residents and how their life is impacted by the services we provide is rewarding,” Borgia said.

After talking to these three professionals, they all told us Physical Therapy is a rewarding career. They mentioned that they love to help others and see them achieve their goals.

Gillis stated that the most rewarding part of his job is when a patient goes from being barely able to sit up on their own to walking out the door on their own heading home. He enjoys being part of the process of helping people go from being unable to help themselves to being stronger after rehabilitation success.

“Somebody may come in who is really deconditioned and their goal is to return home,” says Krzywicki. “It’s always very rewarding to give them a better quality of life or help them return home.”

Working efficiently within time constraints is an aspect that our professionals shared and considered as being difficult in the field. This can depend heavily upon what insurance can do and what the patient or family may want.  

Insurance can play a role in how much time each therapist has with a patient, and they’ll need to work to make a program that helps people succeed within those limits. That means Physical Therapists need to be organized and have an understanding what their patients need for success.

What do you need to become a Physical Therapist?

To become a Physical Therapist, you must first complete an undergraduate degree. Following your first degree, a doctoral program to receive a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is required, which is commonly completed in three years. Then, you have to pass the state licensure exam.

For those who don’t want to go through a Doctoral program, there is the option of obtaining an Associate’s degree and becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant. Once you have this degree, aspiring Physical Therapy Assistants complete a two-year training program. Then, you must take and pass the licensure exam. 

If a Physical Therapist is interest in specializing in a certain area, there are options available. Some of these options include hand therapy, neurological, and more.

However, if a Physical Therapist is unsure of what area of expertise they want to be in, there’s courses you have to take between licensure (a two year period) such as wound care and other areas. This can help aspiring Physical Therapists learn more about the industry and decide what to specialize in.

Physical Therapy requires a strong education and a significant clinical background. All of Saber Healthcare’s therapists went through these programs and trainings prior to being hired.

Advice for Aspiring Physical Therapists

Our professionals gave some great advice for anyone who is interested in becoming a rehabilitation professional.

There are many options available in the field, including a Physical Therapy Assistant program, which is less time in school than physical therapy.

Krzywicki suggested to look into all fields, including Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy, before deciding which area you want to dive into.

Gillis advises that aspiring therapists expose themselves to different areas of therapy. There are many options to find what makes you feel most fulfilled.

Saber Healthcare Group Appreciates our Physical Therapists!

Thank you to Borgia, Krzywicki, Gillis, and all our Physical Therapy professionals. We truly appreciate them all and are lucky to call them a part of our team.

If you’re interested in becoming a therapist at Saber Healthcare Group, check out what career opportunities we have available on our website.

Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.

Sources:

  1. “Becoming a PT.” American Physical Therapy Association, apta.org. Accessed September 15, 2020. https://www.apta.org/your-career/careers-in-physical-therapy/becoming-a-pt.

      2. Roland, James. “Is E-Stim the Answer to Your Pain?” Healthline Media, healthline.com. July           29, 2019. Accessed September 15, 2020. https://www.healthline.com/health/pain-relief/e-stim