A physical therapist is not a medical provider that every person typically sees in a year. It may not be until an accident or injury that you are even introduced to what physical therapy is and how it can help. It is this reason that may make people nervous about what to expect for their first visit. It is a nervousness that does not need to happen and can be easily avoided if you know what to expect. It is important to bring these things to your first visit to make your visit a lot easier:
1. Yourself. It seems like a very obvious thing to bring but brining yourself means a lot more than your physical self. It means prepare your mind and prepare to answer a lot of questions about your health and whatever reason it is you are coming in. It is important to give your therapist the most information about why you are being seen.
2. Insurance Card and ID. It is important to bring both your insurance card and your ID such as a drivers licience to your appointment. The insurance card is crucial for the office to know what insurance company you have and any numbers and addresses they need in order to get your medical bills paid. Your ID is very important to prevent identity theif and fraud.
3. Doctor's Referal. Odds are you are coming to physical therapy because your doctor has suggested it would be beneficial for you. If this is true, the doctor will give you a referal or a prescription that says how long you should come to therapy. This is not a guarentee of payment from your insurance more just your doctor's recommendation for how long you should see the physical therapist.
4. Water. At Southwest Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, we provide our patient's with water but the same is not true for all places. Physical therapy is just as it says "physical". While your first visit may just be a meeting between you and your therapist with no physical activity done, it is still a good idea to bring water for yourself.
5. A Positive Attitude. This is important to bring every time you come in for your therapy visits. While you may be in pain and it is very understandable that you may not be in the best mood because of it, it is important to come in with a positive attitude on how physical therapy may work for you. Physical therapy is similar to life, if you come in expecting things not to work they won't. Be postive about how physical therapy can help you and you will be surprised at the results.