When choosing a facility, compare two or three programs to make an informed decision on the best program available to you. The main decision should be ultimately dependent upon your individual insurance, physical needs, and the location of facility. Then find out what your insurance covers. Bring your medical records with you and be prepared to discuss your level of injury. Know what medications you take and tell the physical and/or occupational therapist.
When scheduling an appointment, try to make it fit with your daily routine. Schedule your physical and occupational therapy back to back so you do not have long time spans in between therapy sessions. Make sure that you can arrange transportation to your facility.
Tell the person that is handling your case what you did before you were injured to ensure that you focus on skills that will be achievable and allow you to do what you were doing before your injury (ie. attend work or school). Also, discuss alternatives, depending on your level of injury. Make sure that you have short-term and long-term goals in mind.
We also recommend that you speak to a nutritionist to ensure that you are eating properly. You need to be well to exercise. If provided with at-home exercises, make sure you have a spotter or someone there to help you throughout the entire routine. Remember that every movement, small or large, takes determination. When a new feat is accomplished, it will surely be satisfying.
What to ask when…
You’re looking for a physical or occupational therapist
- How many days will I have therapy?
- How long will the sessions be?
- Are you available on the weekends?
- How much time will I spend with a therapist versus a therapy aid/assistant?
- Does your facility have any specialty areas? If so, what are they?
- What equipment do you have that is specifically for my level of SCI? Preparing for therapy
- Does my insurance cover this? • How long are people in their program?
- How accessible is the facility (i.e. bathroom Access)
- How well do Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists collaborate
(i.e. are they a team or individuals)?
You want to get involved with programs outside of therapy
- Are there any programs to get involved with outside of therapy (i.e. weight training programs)?
- If there are programs, which are recommended based on my level of injury?
Insight Provided By: Physical Therapists at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC