Attitude of Gratitude

2020 has been quite the year. And yes, I realize I’m stating the obvious. Humanity has faced loneliness and isolation, financial difficulty, anxiety, disappointment after disappointment, and illness. Daily tasks have become arduous and wedding planning now entails comprehensive risk assessment.

All in all, this has caused a lot of frustration. I’m tired of Zoom calls- they’re exhausting and it’s difficult to remain focused.

I’m tired of family gatherings that require us to remain distant. My heart hurts knowing I’m unable to welcome anyone I please into my home for a shared meal. I’m overwhelmed, not knowing when any of this is going to end.

But most of all, I am thankful. I am beyond thankful for the technology that allows us to stay connected and move forward. I’m thankful for software like PtEverywhere that makes it possible for us as physical therapists to do what we love and support ourselves, despite our inability to do so in person. I am thankful for telephones and telehealth; for the ability to hear the voices of loved ones and to offer help to those who need it most. I’m thankful for cameras which allow me to record HEP for my clients and lead synchronous workouts through video calling software.

I am thankful for squats and for planks and my pretty blue bicycle. I’m thankful for the ability to move in nature, as well as in my own home. Never before have I racked up so much mileage on foot! I’m thankful for my foam roller, especially after all those long walks.

I’m thankful for my newfound appreciation and gratitude. Never again will I take for granted the ability to walk confidently into a room full of people. I won’t be able to dismiss the smiles of strangers or the joy of silly smirks and scrunched noses.

I’m thankful for the strength I’ve gained through these crazy times. I am thankful for the human capacity to adapt and learn through experience. While this time hurts, we are gaining knowledge and insight that will serve us in ways we are not yet aware of. I am thankful that difficulty spurs innovation and builds resilience. I’m thankful to witness this playing out at PtEverywhere as we lean harder into our mission and strengthen our community of passionate physical therapists.

There is much to be thankful for, and much still to come. From my PtEverywhere family to yours, we hope this season will provide a time of rest, reflection, and encouragement. We’re thankful for you!

Overworked and Underpaid

Make sure you’re providing the patient care your clients deserve with the right tools by your side.

Last week in “Courage to Take the First Steps,” we discussed Danny Matta’s experience in a conventional physical therapy setting. “I felt like a cog in a wheel, and I hated it.”

Many of us in the physical therapy and fitness industries have felt this way more than once throughout our careers.  Just because many of us have felt this, though, does not mean it’s an acceptable place to remain.  Life is too short to be spent “going through the motions.”

Here are 5 actionable tips to help you break this cycle.

1.  Identify your stressors:

Hit pause. Create space to reflect and evaluate. Maybe it’s an afternoon, a full day, or a weekend. Use whatever time you can set aside to separate the components of your job and consider which aspects leave you feeling the most bogged down and worn out. Is it the management side of things? The number of patients you’re seeing? The number of hours you’re working? All of the above, or something else entirely? Once you’ve identified what’s causing your burnout, you’ll be equipped to address the necessary changes.

2.  Define your working hours:

Particularly for business owners and those of us who are self-employed, it’s difficult to know when to stop. Work-life balance can be elusive when there’s always more to do and you aren’t clocking in and out conventionally. Establishing healthy work-life boundaries is essential to the enforcement of all else to come. Set your working hours and stick to them. When the clock runs out, put your work down and get on with the other aspects of your life.  Not only will this help you to achieve balance, but having defined working hours can increase your productivity and efficiency within your set timeframe.

3.  Simplify your practice management:

With patient profiles, scheduling, HEP, and billing, physical therapy practice management presents a lot to keep track of. Wouldn’t it be easier if it were all in the same place? Good news: it can be! With the PtEverywhere mobile software platform, your practice management can be synced up and accessible from anywhere. Not only this, but PtEverywhere provides physical therapists with a library of pre-recorded exercise videos, saving you time as you prescribe home exercise plans.  See “Do Your Homework” for more on how PtEverywhere makes HEP a breeze.

4.  Ditch Insurance:

If patient volume is the hamartia of your business, ditching insurance and transitioning to cash-based physical therapy is perhaps the best way to increase both your personal and professional longevity. Cash-based PT will allow you to increase revenue while decreasing patient volume, such that you’re able to provide a higher quality of care with increased flexibility. To learn more about cash-based physical therapy and what it could do for you, see “Back to the Basics: Starting a Cash Practice.”

5.  Prioritize your own care:

If the fitness industry has taught me anything, it’s that prioritizing my own self-care is essential. Physical burnout is just as real as mental burnout, and the two often go hand in hand. Create space in your schedule for your own workouts, therapy sessions, and rest days. Leading others in movement, while wonderful, will not produce the same release and restoration as your own workouts will. Instruction becomes monotonous when you simultaneously lack energy and feel pressured to hit some movement quota for the day. Developing a sound schedule for your own fitness regimen and self-care will help you go into work energized and focused on the tasks before you.

Learn more about PtEverywhere today.

Courage to Take the First Steps

We’ve been down in the weeds of practice management a lot over the past few weeks, so why not change it up a bit? Today, let’s take a moment for a bit of encouragement. I shared a bit of Danny Matta’s story in my post “Back to the Basics: Starting a Cash Practice,” but there’s a whole lot more to his story…

Danny recalls getting in his car one morning and finding himself overcome with dread. The key was in the ignition, but he couldn’t bring himself to turn it. Danny was over it. Sick and tired of a job that limited his ability to employ the extent of his training and passion.

You see, Danny had gotten a taste of what it’s like to work in an environment that allowed him to thrive, and could not get comfortable with the limiting position that followed. Working for the 2nd Brigade in the 25th Infantry Division, Danny was functioning as a Performance Physical Therapist. He taught strength and conditioning classes, worked on injury prevention programs, and treated soldiers. When Danny’s deployment was cancelled and his position brought to an abrupt stop, Danny was reassigned to a traditional clinic position at Ft. Benning, without the autonomy he had come to hold so dear. He writes, “I felt like a cog in a wheel, and I hated it.”

He was nervous to leave the security of his military career, but knew he would not be happy were he to remain. Following a conversation with one of his patients, Danny felt convicted that staying would be the “safe” choice… he realized he wasn’t okay with making the safe choice, especially if that meant he’d spend the next 13 years just waiting to do what he really wanted.

All in the same month, Danny resigned from his Army career and started Athletes’ Potential, his very own cash-based physical therapy clinic. Athletes’ Potential was housed in a tiny, windowless office with rudimentary equipment. It was the bare minimum, but it was something.

It was freedom.

Where is he now? Danny was able to start his practice for $3,000, without taking out a single loan. Today, he owns a booming clinic and leads an incredible team of physical therapists who share his passion. Danny did it, and so can you.

Taking the first few steps is the most challenging part. It requires you to take risk, and risk is not comfortable. That being said, you’re risking your chances at an incredible return if you’re only choosing what’s safe. What’s more? In taking the first steps towards freedom in your career as a physical therapist, you will not be alone. Danny now works to help others make the leap towards career freedom through his company, PT BIZ. Meanwhile, PtEverywhere seeks to provide you with tangible tools to get your small business up and running – and eventually, scaled into your own booming business.

Want to know more about Danny Matta? Check out “Why time is more valuable than money,” and Danny’s book, F*ck Insurance.  For a more in depth analysis of cash-based physical therapy, check out “Back to the Basics: Starting a Cash Practice.”

Do Your Homework: Effective HEP

Make sure you’re providing the patient care your clients deserve with the right tools by your side.

Homework. A hassle, right? For most of us, this word likely brings up hoards of unpleasant memories… I’m reminded of hours spent at the kitchen table with my (freakishly patient) father as I cried over math problems.

Realistically, however, homework is important. Most learning occurs outside the classroom. Only with application do the concepts we are taught effectively sink in. The same is true with physical therapy. Visits to the clinic and telehealth sessions are very helpful, but PT is most beneficial to clients when they take it home and perform the exercises they are prescribed.

Thankfully, PtEverywhere takes the hassle out of homework. The integrated HEP system is comprehensive, user-friendly, and engaging!

HEP physical therapy

Comprehensive Exercises

PtEverywhere is home to an extensive video library, all available for you to prescribe in a personalized manner for your patients. In search of a new or hard to find exercise? PtEverywhere allows you to film and create your own videos directly through the app. Simply upload videos from your phone or computer, or add videos to your HEP Library from YouTube or Vimeo. With these powerful resources, you are also equipped to promote continuity programming in your individually-tailored wellness protocols, establishing yourself as a trusted resource and an expert in optimal movement and performance.

User-Friendly Platform

PtEverywhere allows physical therapists to prescribe single videos, PDF files, or detailed programs (or protocols) to keep your patients motivated, accountable, focused, and on track for success. On the patients’ end, PtEverywhere’s paperless system replaces stick figure handouts with videos that patients can securely access anytime, any place. This means no more “I lost the handout… I lost the email… I accidentally deleted the exercise on my phone.”

Engaging Content

Through videos, guides, how-tos, and interactive home exercise programs, patients are given the tools they need to reach their goals and get better faster. PtEverywhere allows physical therapists to connect directly with patients to track their progress. Patients receive reminders to complete their exercises and mark them done, such that both patient and provider can view exercise compliance. Because everything is stored securely and in the same place, patients can access and complete their assignments indefinitely. This includes both current assignments and completed assignments – with the goal of building lifelong trusted relationships. By gaining trust and helping patients reach their goals, retention and referrals will also come naturally.
Cheers to organic practice growth and professional development!

HEP home exercise programs