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Why it’s Safe to Attend Physical Therapy During COVID-19

Why It’s Safe to Attend Physical Therapy During COVID-19

by Brandon Bowers, PT, DPT, Astym Cert.Leave a Comment

Rewind to mid-March – businesses were closing, new health regulations were developed and there was a lot of uncertainty as to what was considered safe. COVID-19 created a lot of swift changes in society as the world has adapted to a new “normal.” Essential health care businesses were able to remain open to see patients and provide services to those who needed them. Primary care offices, emergency departments and physical therapy clinics kept their doors open and continue to help those in need. However, patients may still wonder if it is, “safe to receive medical care.”

Athletico has implemented a wide range of health screening measures, social distancing guidelines and cleaning procedures in order to ensure the safety of all patients who entered clinic doors.

Safety of patients begins with the health, safety and well-being of employees. All Athletico employees are required to utilize face covering masks, receive daily temperature checks and practice hand hygiene based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Athletico has provided medical grade masks for staff to wear while in the clinic. Temperature checks are performed on employees daily using an infrared, no touch thermometer that produces a temperature reading in seconds. Hand hygiene is performed before and after all patients as well as at the beginning and the end of the day. All employees receive a daily health screening that evaluates current health status and monitors for symptoms of COVID-19 as outlined by the CDC. Screening questions also evaluate recent travel patterns as well as potential contact with others who have tested positive for COVID-19. In the event an employee does not pass the daily health screen they will be sent home to follow any social isolation guidelines that may be appropriate dependent on the situation.

As for patients – similar safety measures are in place, in addition to a few others. Although the wearing of face masks is not required in all states where Athletico operates, it is strongly recommended that patients wear masks for the health and safety of all individuals in the clinic. Patients also undergo a daily health screening prior to each treatment session, which includes a temperature check and screen for COVID-19 signs/symptoms as well as potential exposure to others who have tested positive. In the event a patient fails the temperature check and/or health screen, the patient will be asked to return home.

Athletico has limited the number of guests into the clinic by restricting access to patients and their essential family members or caregivers. Non-patient guests are asked to remain in the waiting area while the patient receives treatment. Hospital grade and EPA approved cleaning agents are used to wipe down all surfaces contacted by patients; surfaces such as cardiovascular exercise equipment, dumbbells, countertops, treatment tables, door handles, and handrails among other surfaces are cleaned regularly. For patients who are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and/or have pre-existing conditions, practices to implement additional social distancing measures for these patients are available. For patients at higher risk, sessions can be isolated to private treatment rooms or scheduled at lower traffic times in the clinic.

Athletico clinical staff continue to provide high quality initial evaluations, treatment sessions and free injury assessments while following these guidelines.

For some individuals, safety protocols are not enough to calm their worry about coming to an Athletico facility to receive treatment for their physical therapy needs. And that’s okay; there is another option. Towards the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Athletico was able to transition in-clinic sessions to virtual visits via our Telehealth platform to give patients an alternate option for their care if they didn’t feel comfortable coming in to our clinics. This service involves a video chat with an Athletico clinician to receive treatment as opposed to an in-clinic encounter. Patients can receive free injury assessments, full initial evaluations, and treatment sessions via telehealth. Our team creates individualized treatment plans to meet the needs of each patient and to successfully meet their functional and physical therapy goals.

Athletico continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and best practices outlined by the CDC and regularly updates in-clinic procedure as new information emerges.

To learn more about what Athletico is doing in the clinic to keep patients and employees safe, click here.

To learn more about telehealth and how to schedule an appointment, click here.

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The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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