Why Are Physical Therapists Undervalued?
Physical therapists help improve the quality of patients’ lives. For example, these experts assist individuals who have been having trouble walking for months to do so successfully. So, you can hug and pick up your kids again with the help of quality physical therapy (PT) sessions. Otherwise, it would have been difficult because of the lower back pain.
However, the work that physical therapists do is often ignored. According to records from any billing companies for physical therapy, physical therapists submit the lowest insurance claims.
But, people would cheerfully spend the same amount or even more for a 15-minute appointment with a doctor. So, why do they find it difficult to pay $150 for an hour of physical therapy?
Reasons why we take physical therapists for granted
Let’s check why we tend to undervalue physical therapy to better understand this.
#1. We often misinterpret physical therapy
The field of physical therapy suffers from widespread misunderstanding. We don’t really consider PT one of the most important medical treatments.
But, we see it as something that only athletes need for their physical issues. Others mistake physical therapists for those who give massages to relieve neck or back pain due to ignorance.
Undoubtedly, a huge number of patients don’t know what physical therapists do. This leaves the field without a distinct identity.
Moreover, the lack of physical therapist advocacy to give this business a voice or change the thinking of the general public is part of the issue.
Advocacy can inform customers that PT addresses a variety of issues. For example, enhancing the quality of life for terminally ill patients and addressing physical, psychological, and spiritual issues. So, there has to be more advocacy from physical therapists for their industry.
#2. Physical therapists are their job
We undervalue the services of many physical therapists. The typical business strategy for these experts is for someone to visit their clinic, receive physical therapy treatment for an hour, and shell out between $10 and $20. As a result, the general public starts to believe that a physical therapist’s time is only worth $10–$20 per hour.
However, it’s time for physical therapists to change their perspective of their industry and show to patients the worth of their services. The improvement of physical therapists’ sales skills can help to achieve some of this.
These specialists can:
- Use the impact of compelling stories in your advertising and sales efforts.
- Inform consumers of the benefits of physical therapy and the potential number of sessions needed to experience recovery.
- Focus your attention and care on the patient’s motivations for seeking PT.
#3. Customer service is essential
Many physical therapists place an undue emphasis on treating certain ailments. Meanwhile, they overlook the value of providing excellent patient care. Treatment rarely transforms the entire PT experience for the majority of patients. On the other hand, many patients are more concerned with their treatment as people than with medical issues.
For example, some patients base their happiness on the physical therapist’s initial impression. Meanwhile, others place emphasis on the therapist-patient relationship. Others detest the delays in medical billing they encounter due to the therapist’s inability to contract a third-party biller.
If physical therapists want their patients to enjoy their treatments, they must now more than ever take customer service and patient engagement seriously.
#4. PTs need to use evidence-based practice
The diagnosis and treatment of many disorders in physical therapy are very subjective. When deciding which techniques to use to treat their patients, many physical therapists often follow their instincts. As a result, there are differences between the approaches and results taken by various therapists.
The usage of therapies and care models is also a point of contention among therapists. This is because treatment options aren’t grounded on evidence-based models.
Unfortunately, the fact that patients are at the heart of this turf battle often confirms the industry’s lack of effectiveness.
When making therapeutic judgments, physical therapists should adopt the evidence-based practice approach. They can use this to show patients the efficacy of their treatment. As a result, the quality of service will increase. Besides, more patients will have more faith in PT thanks to the meticulous use of researched evidence.
In conclusion, physical therapists provide invaluable services. But we need to put more effort to shift the public’s thinking of the idea that PT is worthless. This is the only way the value of the profession will be communicated by physical therapists in all they do.