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How is the corona virus impacting physical therapists?

I have read several articles about businesses closing and how the pandemic situation is taking over job industries, but I was wondering how physical therapists do their job especially if this job is usually face to face with people to help them recover from their physical injuries. Do they do some type of online interactions with their patients? I want to become a physical therapist and I want to know what it will be like if I ever have to go through something like this in the future and how that will affect me and my career. #physical-therapy #physical-therapist #therapy #career #medicine #job #coronavirus


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Samuel’s Answer

Greetings and salutations. My name is Samuel Colis Achiles. I am a recent graduate from California State University Dominguez Hills, on the field of kinesiology, which also encompasses physical therapy. To answer your question, the coronavirus can affect physical therapy professions in a myriad of ways. Just as Kathy's answer states, it depends on the specific type of business within physical therapy.

For example, if you are specifically seeking a career in exercise therapy, or sports medicine, then chances are that as of right now, until further notice, many facilities, such as gymnasiums like 24-Hour Fitness, Planet Fitness, Equinox, etc. will still be closed until then. In addition, if you are seeking a career or internship for physical therapy on the medical field such as in clinics or hospitals, it is still possible to apply and, if you are lucky enough, schedule an interview, but then again, as long as the current circumstances be, depending on where you apply, be prepared to wait. Patience is key during these trying times, especially if for those you are currently applying. I myself, for example, am currently doing research and am attempting to apply for relevant kinesiology professions, yet I am still awaiting any response.

So in the meanttime, another word of advice for any aspiring physical therapists expecting to apply is to seek volunteer work, even if it is outside your profession. This is something I have learned from a webinar on Indeed.com, regarding job searching during this pandemic. A highly recommended move is to volunteer, even if the work does not relate to physical therapy whatsoever. The point is to spend your time expanding your skillset to add to your resume, and therefore increase your chances of being noticed by potential scouts.

I hope this advice was helpful for you. Thank you so much.

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Kathy’s Answer

The answer to your question depends heavily on the site /type of business you work out of.
Some hospitals have furloughed their PTs or assigned them Temporarily to other jobs. With fewer surgeries and the like, there is a bit less PT work right now for inpatient PTs.
School-based PTs may do some of their work via telemedicine or may simply be working less.
Some freestanding PT businesses have suspended operations while others remain open. And the the procedures for open facilities vary depending on ownership. There were many PTs practicing without PPE for a while which was scary. I believe all open facilities are currently using PPE and strict sanitation procedures along with limiting visits to patients only and checking fevers for all patients. Overall it seems to be working ok.
The good news is that something like COVID19 happens so rarely, if you’re lucky, you may never again see it in your lifetime!

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Estelle’s Answer

I am not a PT, but I am a physician. I have seen a significant drop in the number of healthcare workers working right now. I would not be surprised if the PT workload was significantly diminished. However, already elective surgeries are back on the table, so I would not be surprised if PT workload increases over the next few months.

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Richard’s Answer

Physical therapy is considered an essential service in Texas so PT offices are open. The physical therapist I encountered said that many of his eldery patients have decided to stay home during quarantine, so he has cut back on the number of days per week that his office is open. He was enjoying the 3-day weekends but is happy that he will be able to provide services to patients now that people are beginning to venture out again

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Maryann’s Answer

The more we have learned about Covid 19 has enable us to use the proper PPE to protect ourselves and others. There's lots of patients coming out of covid with lots of needs for therapy. Telehealth has been a great tool to use in the mist of this pandemic.

Hope this helps

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