I did a little bit of home health as a way to earn extra income after I finished my day at this hospital, and I’ll be honest, I didn’t see my potential. I enjoyed working with my patients in rehab, and my heart was not in it when I went to people’s homes.
Now I have been to thousands of homes, and I realize that I could have treated patients in the hospital for four times as long as I did and set up as many simulations as I could think of – and I still may not have prepared them for their environment. I could have never imagined some of these homes.
Calling all you home health physical therapists: You have the opportunity to have the greatest impact on people’s lives! Like I said, I took pride in doing inpatient rehabilitation, and you can see my previous post about how important I think this setting is. But if a person discharges and cannot get into his/her bathroom (because the space is never as accessible as the hospital setting!) where does that leave him? Well, either he is having to ask for assistance every time he wants to go into the bathroom, or he is using a bedside commode, or… a diaper, and needing assistance to clean.
And now that person is not comfortable leaving the house. Enter the home health PT! You get to address the very specific issues that is hindering a person from getting back to basic activities – and without that, instrumental activities and enjoyable events cannot happen.