School of Health Professions Assistant Professor Cheryl Hall, PT, DHSc, tells ADVANCE for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine that home health care may affect physical therapists' personal energy. "Sometimes, personal energy might be challenged because of the caseload, commute or feeling of 'being on the run,' says Hall, an early intervention evaluator and home-based service provider. "There are times when energy can be affected by the energy of others in the home health care setting. And of course, the physical requirements of the job can also play into a therapist's energy level."
Hall says therapists should keep hydrated, eat healthy foods, exercise, and keep current with paperwork to help reduce job stress. She also thinks therapists may feel frustrated by home health care situations if patients' families fail to see progress in a child's treatment or are detached from the therapy process.
In those cases, effective communication and persistence are key. "A good tactic is to positively point out how much their input matters," says Hall. "We're there for a short time during the day a few times a week, but caregivers are with the patient the rest of the time. I like to reinforce the need for consistency, and explain why that's important."