Physical therapists are part of the larger medical community and can be found in most medical settings. As a result, you can receive physical therapy in many settings.
Hospitals- Hospitals are the most common places where physical therapy is administered. As hospitals treat many conditions and diseases, the physical therapy departments within those hospitals specialize in treating those patients. The physical therapy clinics treat patients who are both admitted to the hospital and outpatients. The hospital setting allows patients to receive therapy while they are still admitted. This gives the patient the opportunity to begin recovery and rehabilitation prior to returning home. For example, after hip replacement surgery, the patient will receive a few treatments prior to being discharged. They therapy sessions will prepare the patient to return to a home setting by educating the patient on the recovery process and working to restore a minimal amount of movement prior to discharge. Generally, patients who undergo physical therapy prior to being released from the hospital are better prepared to return home and on average, heal quicker than those who do not receive any therapy prior to discharge.
Outpatient Clinics – Outpatient clinics are the second most common place to find a physical therapist. There are outpatient clinics that specialize in sports medicine, rehabilitation and other areas. Despite the specialty of the clinic, all physical therapists in out patient clinics as trained and licensed to treat any condition.
Rehabilitation hospitals and centers – Rehabilitation hospitals and centers offer a total approach to occupational, speech and other related therapies. Rehabilitation centers are a one-stop shop for many afflictions. These centers bring together additional resources for patients who are undergoing multiple therapies and treatments. In addition to the convenience of having many resources in one place, the patient benefits by having their extended team on site to work together to develop the most effective treatment plan for the patient.
Public School System – Public school districts across the U.S. employ a variety of therapists to work with children that have special needs. This includes speech, occupational and physical therapist. Through early intervention programs, students with speech delays, autism, Down’s syndrome, and multiple sclerosis are administered a variety of therapies, on the school sites, at the school district’s expense. This ensures that the child will have the best chance of succeeding, despite their affliction.
Home Health Agencies – With the rising cost of medical care, major insurance agencies are supporting the use of therapy in a home health care setting. Instead of the patient coming to the physical therapist, the therapist goes to the patient. This approach greatly benefits immobile patients, who are unable to leave the home. This approach also reduces the costs associated with transporting patients and maintaining additional therapy sites.
You can receive therapy in a variety of treatment settings. Once your doctor deems that physical therapy is necessary, you can discuss the appropriate treatment setting for your unique condition.