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Career Insights

Patient POV: Tips for a Successful Physical Therapy Visit

Concorde Staff

Concorde Staff

Updated October 13, 2015. The information contained in this blog is current and accurate as of this date.
physical therapy assistant

Your patients view physical therapy in two ways. First, it's one of the most important steps they can take to get better, and that creates a very high sense of hope. Second, they know it's going to hurt  and often be mentally challenging. As part of a physical therapy team, there are several things you can do to ease their fear and make appointments beneficial to your patients.


One of the best ways to give your patients a more positive outlook on physical therapy is to talk about goals. You need to know what their goals are. This is often based on expectations from doctors and nurses. These should be specific, appointment-based goals. What will be done today? Next time? And, stick with them!


Physical therapy can be very painful, but in this case, it doesn't always mean injury. Patients often see PT sessions as pain-inducing, not healing. Acknowledge that the pain they feel is important. Discuss why it hurts (improving muscles) and why this is a "good" type of pain. Ensure they understand why they feel discomfort and what that means to their specific injury or illness.


Perhaps one of the best ways to make these appointments more impactful is by encouraging patients to be full of positive energy and attitude. Are you helping to foster a positive outlook for patients and giving them the motivation they need to keep going? These tips can help:

  • Reward the good. PT specialists and assistants themselves need to be positive.
  • Focus on the improvements in small steps
  • Talk about what the patient has overcome already
  • Encourage outdoor activity, when applicable, for sun exposure
  • Talk about the importance of having support
  • Discuss what the patient likes to do and formulate goals to achieve that level of freedom

In nearly every situation, it's possible to take even the most overwhelmed and anxious patient and put him or her at ease. Because physical therapy is so vital to the recovery of quality of life for many individuals, it's necessary to engage patients openly and to foster a sense of "let's get you back on your feet again." Ultimately, this will create the best long-term outcome for the patient and ensure he or she is willing to come back in for appointments.

Provide your patients with exceptionally positive opportunities. Consider getting your degree from a Concorde physical therapist assistant program. Your patients will benefit from your up-to-date education.

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  1. Program length may be subject to change dependent on transfer credits and course load. Please refer to current course catalog for more information. Concorde does not guarantee admittance, graduation, subsequent employment or salary amount.

  2. Professional certification is not a requirement for graduation, may not be a requirement for employment nor does it guarantee employment.

  3. Financial aid is available to those who qualify but may not be available for all programs. Concorde does not guarantee financial aid or scholarship awards or amounts.

  4. Clinical hour requirements and delivery may vary by campus location and may be subject to change. Concorde does not guarantee clinical site assignments based upon student preference or geographic convenience; nor do clinical experiences guarantee graduation, post-clinical employment or salary outcomes.

  5. Registration and certification requirements for taking and passing these examinations are not controlled by Concorde, but by outside agencies, and are subject to change by the agency without notice. Therefore, Concorde cannot guarantee that graduates will be eligible to take these exams, at all or at any specific time, regardless of their eligibility status upon enrollment.