Assignment #2: Consultation
Interview a physical therapist who provides client-related consultative services.
Submit a 2-3 page summary of the interview, including but not limited to: name and title of
person interviewed, date and type of interview (in-person, phone, electronic), the type of
consultative activity, how they got involved in the activity, expertise required to serve as a
consultant for that activity, reimbursement for consultative services (if any), any legal or
risk related factors. NOTE: Consultation is not regular clinical physical therapy. All PTs
provide patient-related consultation. Client-related consultation is when a PT has expertise
in a particular area and provides expert opinion regarding situations that do not directly
involve patient care. Examples of client-related consultation include but are not limited to:
Ergonomic workplace assessment, Rules and Regulations compliance, ADA compliance
recommendations, Court testimony as an expert witness, Development of clinical or
academic programs, Insurance claim reviewer, etc.
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Physical therapists are licensed or certified health care professionals who provide
services to aid in restoring function, mobility, prevent physical disabilities, and relieve pain of
patients with certain injuries or diseases. They work closely with clients and patients to promote
and maintain their overall physical fitness for healthy living. Patients may include people who
have been involved in an accident and others who may have disabling conditions such as head
injuries, fractures, heart disease, back pain, and arthritis among others. Usually, physical
therapists work in various settings such as private offices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, sports
facilities, and schools. Their work, depending on what they are assigned to do, can be physically
demanding as they have to lift, stand for long, and kneel. They also lift patients or help them
stand as well as move heavy machineries. Typically, as part of their roles, physical therapists
take client’s history and perform tests that help them to identify potential and inherent problems.
Based on their analysis, they are able to determine a client’s diagnosis and prognosis, which they
use to set goals for rehabilitation and habilitation (Dreeben-Irimia, 2011).
Physical therapists act as consultants through whom they share their advice and opinion
with patients, schools, health care providers, businesses, and organizations. Consultations occur
upon client’s request. It may also occur when other health care professionals seek advice about
physical therapy of their patients. Likewise, schools and business may consult physical therapists
on injury prevention and ergonomics. For instance, in school setting, physical therapists may be
consulted to perform therapeutic interventions such as prevention strategies and adaptations, and
focusing on mobility and safe participation in routines and activities in the learning
environments. In school settings, they gather information from stakeholders that help them to
plan for their interventions. They collaborate with teachers and parents to promote students’
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inclusion in the intervention activities. In this case, they offer education on safe transportation of
students, safe play grounds, and how to promote their physical fitness (Scott, Petrosino &
Dreeben-Irimia (2011) stipulates that physical therapist consultants may also be contacted
by businesses to offers their advice and opinions on ergonomics. Ergonomics refers to adapting
people’s environment, equipments, and activities to fit their physical capacities and needs.
Therapists offer people ergonomic guidelines that should be incorporated in people’s daily
activities. In this case, physical therapist assesses the ergonomic needs and determines how to
make people more comfortable in their environment while at the same time reducing the risk of
injury. To achieve this, physical therapists educate workers on the tips such as exercise and
guidelines and back injury prevention.
Physical therapy consultants educate workers on ways of exercising to improve their
physical fitness and minimize the likelihood of work place injury. They teach the employees on
the benefits of exercising and safe ways to do the same. In such cases, they demonstrate to their
employees how to exercise safely. These exercises are majorly concerned in reducing back pain
and keeping the body fit to perform various tasks throughout the day. Further, physical therapy
consultants also emphasize on workplace stretching. This is in response to the fact that most
work place spinal and musculoskeletal disorders culminate from back strains and trauma injuries.
As such, physical therapists educate employees Concentra’s warm up and stretching. All these
are tailored to specific workplaces where therapists provide approximately one hour training
(Dreeben-Irimia, 2011). It is notable that back injuries are as a result of poor posture, repetitive
motion, and decreased physical conditioning. Therefore, physical therapists must have this in
mind when educating people how to exercise.
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Physical therapists also educate schools and workplace how to manipulate their physical
environments to make them accessible by people with disabilities. In case a person has a
disability or a spinal injury, physic al therapists may advice families on how to modify the
environment to accommodate the named victims. These modifications may include ensuring that
physical disabled individuals can access bathrooms and dressing areas with ease. Physical
therapy consultants are also asked to offer their rehabilitation knowledge by serving as witnesses
in legal cases.
Typically, physical therapists are allowed to practice upon completion of graduate degree
from accredited academic programs. Students in this field may be required to study topics such
as biomechanics, human anatomy, neurological dysfunction management, and musculoskeletal
system pathology. They should also participate in internships programs where they provide
training in screening, patient care, assessments, and intervention. After completion of the
necessary prerequisites, therapists acquire their certificates that allow them to work in various
programs related to their field of study. While in practice, physical therapists are governed by
code of ethics established by professional organizations.
All physical therapy consultants must acquire a physical therapist degree from accredited
physical therapist program and pass the exam, after which they are licensed to practice under a
doctor. The degree in physical therapy usually takes approximately 2 -3 years to complete. Upon
completion and practicing for one year or more, therapists may enroll for doctor of physical
therapy after which they may be allowed to work on their own as consultants in various
institutions. They can work independently as ergonomic consultants in work places or schools.
The average salary of physical therapists is about 85,000 dollars depending on the years
of experience and position. They are included in the Medicare and Medicaid programs to afford
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their health care. There are also other reimbursements for physical therapy consultants
considering that they work a risky environment. They are at a great risk of acquiring infectious
diseases while working with their patients in various ways. It should also be noted that there are
legal and ethical considerations that must be put in place when practicing. Consultants are
responsible for making professional judgments about their patients while at the same time
fulfilling their professional and legal obligations. They should respect their patients and dignity
in their work as consultants.
Evidently, physical therapists play a great role in habilitation and rehabilitation. They
offer their professional trainings and advices on proper lifestyles in a myriad of settings. In work
place and schools, they offer advices on ways of minimizing physical injuries by demonstrating
ways of ensuring comfort through exercises. They also offer their professional advice in
workplaces, schools, and homes with physically disabled victims. Their main goal is to ensure
that they keep the body of their patients and clients physically fit and able to perform various
tasks in a variety of settings (Swisher & Page, 2005).
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Dreeben-Irimia, O. (2011). Introduction to physical therapy for physical therapist assistants.
Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Scott, R. W., Petrosino, C., & Cooperman, J. (2008). Physical therapy management. St. Louis,
Swisher, L. L., & Page, C. G. (2005). Professionalism in physical therapy: History, practice &
development. St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier Saunders.