Palak Shah, head of Physical Therapy Services at Luna, helps us celebrate Physical Therapy month as she caps off the final third part in our 3-part blog trilogy. She is here to share how on-demand therapy can be an exciting opportunity for enterprising PTs. It’s especially timely as we transition into a new era of physical therapy, one that equips therapist increased control of when they work, how much they work, and where they work. With Luna, the days of seeing 15 or more patients in a single working day are fading away and for good reason. Therapists realize they have alternative methods for the delivery of care without the burdens of large caseloads. Rather than succumbing to burnout and a subsequent decrease in the delivery of care and personal work satisfaction from increased productivity demands, on-demand based physical therapy practice provide an opportunity that benefits therapists, patients and the practice of care? Let’s look at the benefits of on-demand physical therapy.
#1 Increased Flexibility
Ann Kramer, a physical therapist for Luna, details the struggles of decreased flexibility in a traditional clinic. “Not all clinics are like this, but many are pushing for increasing the amount of patients you see in a workday and decreasing the amount of time you have with each patient. Decreases in flexibility make providing the required amount of care, including rapport building which can better outcomes, really challenging. Sometimes I’d even find myself bringing these stressors home with me and ruminating about how I could provide better care. Even though I was not given the opportunity to do so. It all felt really unfair.”
Therapists feel they are increasingly unable to provide appropriate services to their patients. This stress factor in their career can bleed into their private life. Ann continues, “Before I had my kids, I was a career woman totally fine with working 40 hour work weeks. Then my kids came along and it became so much harder to be a mom and work full time. I’m not really sure how some people do it. With Luna, I’m so happy because I have a huge amount of flexibility and still get to do exactly what I love: physical therapy.”
#2 Better Work-Life Balance
Life is too short to not work a job that meets your psychological needs, whether that’s more time with your family or more time doing the activities you love. Ben Musholt, a physical therapist in Portland, Oregon, explains how being an on-demand physical therapist can decrease stress and increase work-life satisfaction. “One feature of a house call practice is that it’s impossible to have a day that’s as busy as one in a standard orthopedic clinic. Unless you want a 16-hour workday, driving between clients naturally caps your number of patient interactions to five to seven visits per day. Steve Stalzer, a physical therapist at Luna, summarizes how after almost burning out his work-life balance has changed for the better. “Luna saved me from burning out as a clinician! I get more one-on-one time with my patient and have flexibility in setting hours that work for me. I get to be my own boss without the hassle of opening up my own clinic.”
#3 More Functional Rehab for Patients
Ben details how you can have more function by becoming an on-demand physical therapist. “How many times have you questioned whether something you and a client went over in the clinic would actually make it home with them as intended? We all know that what happens in the clinic doesn’t always translate well to what your clients have at their disposal in a home environment. By providing therapy in someone’s house, you can be sure that your instructions have immediate relevance.” He makes a convincing argument that as an on-demand therapist you can potentially better your patient outcomes by increasing adherence.
Kevin follows up by saying, “Because you’re in the patient’s home, you can do exercises that pertain to the patient’s needs. You can assess the situation, make recommendations on equipment, see potential barriers in the home, and design a program that is specific for the patient.” It seems by being in the patient’s home allows more fine-tuned programming that can be specifically tailored to the patient’s needs.
#4 Increase Your Pay and Decrease your Costs
On-demand PT encourages increased flexibility, but it also opens physical therapists to incrementally increase their earnings. Whether PTs want to work a full schedule or see only a few visits per week, it’s really up to them. Most therapists allocate 4-5 visits during the day or on the weekends which adds an additional $20,000 per year to their income. This scheduling arrangement allows PTs to provide continuity of care to see the same patient. They get paid more, work less, and work when they want.
As the therapists we’ve surveyed have disclosed, running your own brick and mortar facility comes with unique challenges, including yearly, sometimes bi-yearly, rent increases; particularly in areas in California where housing is in high demand. This can exponentially increase your overhead and costs of doing business. Through on-demand physical therapy, patients are matched to patients to provide physical therapy in-the-home, the expenses associated with doing business become a relic of the past. Being an on-demand physical therapist can increase your earning potential and decrease your costs, without being tethered to a contract – ever.
So, if you’re passionate about restoring and improving mobility for the human body for recovery, we invite you to take a peek at the field of on-demand physical therapy to broaden your horizon for delivering care. You may find taking the step to becoming an on-demand physical therapist to be a life-changing experience.
If you are interested in either full-time or supplemental on-demand opportunities in the Bay area, please contact us at www.getluna.com/own-your-career