Who should you call? If you grew up in the 80’s, the answer is easy. Clearly, Ghostbusters! But if you have a new pain or something doesn’t quite feel right, calling on the Ghostbusters, unfortunately, won’t help. So, who should you call? As I talked about in an earlier post (Your Physical Therapist), you should call us, at Feldman Physical Therapy and Performance. Our goal is to be our patients first call for most, if not all, their health care needs. That may sound odd, but as the health care system changes and evolves, we are one of the few providers left that spend a full hour with our patients during each of their appointments. This gives us the unique ability to get to know them and their needs, and have a comprehensive appreciation for what is going on in their lives.
While we want to be your first call, that doesn’t always mean an office visit will be needed. We strive to build the type of relationship with our patients, where, as soon as they have a health care-related question, they reach out to us. This often gives us the ability to advise them on what their first step should be.
If, for example you are running and your knee starts to hurt, and you can’t seem to get a handle on it, as physical therapists, we would handle the issue. However, if you wake up feeling oddly fatigued, have a minor fever, and generally don’t feel well, but aren’t sure where to go, we love those phone calls too because we often can help you find the right entry point into the healthcare system, and get you to the right place quickly. That can be important, because as co-pays and deductibles continue to rise, each office visit can add up.
For example, let’s say you wake up with ankle pain, but don’t remember injuring it and can’t seem to figure out why it looks swollen. And let’s say that you go an urgent care facility to find out what the trouble is, and that they then send you to an orthopedist, who may then order an x-ray and/or an MRI. If all that doesn’t show anything, you might then be sent to a physical therapist, who works with you but also tells you to see your primary care doctor, who discovers that you have Lyme disease. In all, you may have seen five providers, including some for multiple visits, before getting to the right one. That’s both time-consuming and costly. Had you called your physical therapist first, chances are that you would go in for a visit, and be advised to see your primary care doctor, because healthy people don’t wake up with ankle pain without a specific cause. You would be at the right destination after one office visit.
We also want to be your first call when pain isn’t your problem. I love to get calls from past patients when things are going well. Recently, a patient called to say that he felt great, and that since he has been feeling great for a long time, he wanted to up his goals and train for a marathon. Wow. This was a lofty goal for him, since he was new to running, but it also was a very achievable one. He wasn’t calling for advice on creating a training plan, or how to stay injury free, which are services we offer. He was calling for advice on how to tell if he had enough time in his schedule to fit in the training necessary. I quickly helped with that over the phone and now we are meeting in a few days to create a training plan and routine around that schedule. This isn’t the type of service you might expect from most physical therapy clinics, but we are able to offer it, simply as a result of our ability to have the time to truly get to know and understand our patients.
So, the next time you have a question, make us your first call. If we can’t help you, we can quickly and efficiently get you to the right place where someone can. If the problem is ghost related, without a doubt don’t waste time and start with the Ghostbusters!