5 Environments for a Physical Therapist

by Angela Stevens on March 9, 2010

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I am affectionately referred to by my friends and family as “coordination deficient.” My mom has even joked that my middle name should be “Grace,” just to be ironic. I have broken a finger, several toes, a wrist, and an ankle. Between car accidents, falls, and a variety of most improbable accidents, I have sprained just about everything that can be sprained. Because of this, I have come to know and love, or loathe, depending on how they are treating me, a variety of physical therapists. I think it is interesting that there are so many places this profession can thrive. I suppose I never really thought about where I was sent for my physical therapy until the time I was sent to a nursing home. Which brings me to five of the places a physical therapist can find a home.


Dedicated Physical Therapy Office

My first experience with a physical therapist was after a particularly nasty car accident, and I was sent to a physical therapy office. The entire area was filled with physical therapists and people recovering from a variety of injuries. At the time, I imagined this is the type of area all therapy would occur.

Doctor’s Office

My next appointment with a physical therapist was in my doctor’s office. My doctor had a physical therapist come into her office once a week to help patients develop routines to do at home. This time, I was there for exercises to help my carpal tunnel syndrome. It was quick and convenient, and I only had to follow up once.


I’ve never actually had physical therapy in a hospital setting. Luckily, most of my accidents thus far have been outpatient affairs; however, after my grandmother’s knee surgery, she had her physical therapy appointments in the hospital. First, she was seen and evaluated while still a patient and then she came back to the hospital’s physical therapy suite on a regular basis to continue her treatment. This was similar to the dedicated office I had experienced previously, yet they were readily available to hospital patients.

Nursing Homes

My wakeup call came when I fell, stepping off a curb of all things, and achieved a third degree sprain. That means I almost completely severed all of the stretchy hold together things in my ankle. Let’s just say that was more painful than the time I actually broke my ankle. As luck would have it, the only physical therapist in our town at the time was located in the nursing home. Apparently, many of the residents in the nursing home needed physical therapy and were unable to be transported long distances to receive it, so our local nursing home had a dedicated therapist and workout room. It was an interesting experience, and I can promise you that nothing will motivate you to work through the pain than seeing a 90-year-old woman who is less of a cry baby than you are.

Alternative Healthcare Offices

Finally, the chiropractor my husband sees just built a new office. He made sure there was room for a variety of services including a masseuse and physical therapist. When I asked why he was turning his bare bones, pardon the pun, business into a spa, he explained that many of his clients found him after accidents. Massage and physical therapy were often needed by these individuals and he wanted to provide all of the services in one location.

Do any of these locations sound like where you work, or have worked? Which was your favorite and why?


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