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5 FAQ-Outpatient Therapy

August 4, 2023

If you are prescribed rehabilitation therapy by your doctor after an illness or injury, choosing the right provider is key to your recovery and success. Below are some of the frequently asked questions to help make a solid decision.

1: What types of therapy are offered on an outpatient basis?

When choosing a provider, it is important to choose one that has a variety of services. When an Outpatient therapy clinic has multiple therapists and disciplines, it will offer more options in terms of a holistic therapeutic approach. Waterman Village offers a full spectrum of services including Physical, Occupational, and Speech therapy. Each of these disciplines also offers a range of services as well.

2: How do I know if I need Outpatient Rehabilitation?

Following an injury, illness, or hospital stay, primary care providers will often refer therapy to help you get back to living your life as you did before. Depending on the seriousness and level of your illness or injury, you will have to make the decision on which type of rehabilitation is appropriate for you.

Outpatient therapy is designed for patients who are living at home and have the capabilities to travel to an outpatient clinic. It can be as intensive as you and your provider feel is necessary and reasonable for your situation.

3: How often will I get therapy?

Once your doctor recommends therapy, you will be scheduled for a one-on-one evaluation by your therapist. At this point it will be determined how frequently you will need to receive services according to the individual needs of each patient. You can usually expect anywhere from 2-5 days per week, for 45–60-minute sessions. Often over the course of the treatment plan, the frequency will decrease as progress is made.

4: What is the difference between Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy?

Physical Therapy: is more focused on evaluating and improving movement dysfunctions as well as treating the injury itself. They use tools like ultrasound, ESTIM, manual techniques, and other types of therapies to directly treat the injury. A physical therapist will be more likely to diagnose and treat the injured tissues and structures. Physical Therapists specialize in the Lower Extremity, a PT treats foot, knee, back, and hip injury or illnesses. PT’s also often specialize in vestibular and balance therapy.

Occupational Therapy: focuses on evaluating and improving functional abilities. An occupational therapist usually works with a person to help them with their ability to live independently and accomplish daily activities following an injury or illness. They can and do provide direct treatment for injuries, but only in the context of improving life skills and helping the patient to resume normal activities.

Occupational Therapists specialize in Upper Extremity, an OT treats hand, neck, and shoulder injury or illnesses. OTs also often specialize in cognition, visual, and vocational rehabilitation.

Both PTs and OTs carry specialties in Pelvic Floor rehab, Lymphedema, Cardiac/Pulmonary, and Parkinson’s treatment.

Speech Therapists are specially trained to treat communication, speech, and swallowing disorders. Speech therapists typically work on skills such as Articulation, Fluency in speaking, and cognition. If you ever have any questions about which therapy is most appropriate for you, give us a call and we will work with your provider to get the correct referral.

5: How do I get started?

Once you receive a referral from your doctor, bring it in and you will be scheduled for a comprehensive evaluation to determine your overall needs. You will then receive a treatment plan which will include a schedule or regular appointments with the therapist that best suits your needs.

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