How Do Online Consultations Work? NAP's Guide to Telehealth
Updated: Aug 12, 2021
As you may have seen in our previous blog posts, Newcastle Aquatic Physiotherapy has decided to close its doors to all face-to-face consultations including our face-to-face classes and hydrotherapy pool in response to COVID-19.
While we understand this is not an easy decision, it allows for our clients and staff to practice self-isolation which helps to reduce the risk of community acquired COVID-19. Our team now provide online services in the form of video conferencing and telephone consultations where video conferencing is not available.
We want to continue to provide quality care because, for a lot of us, health conditions and injuries do not take a break!
We understand that the new normal also brings about new challenges.
This could be managing symptoms of osteoarthritis if your surgery has been delayed.
This could look like spending several hours at your computer because you now work from home. This could be changes to your normal self-management plan now that you are not able to access your normal gym, pool or social activities.
This is where online consultations come in.
If you have seen us before, or are familiar with physiotherapy, you would have some expectations about how a normal session looks like. For a lot of people, moving to online can be tricky if their experience with physiotherapy involves hands-on treatment.
So, how can we deliver the same service that is traditionally very different to our expectations?
Our job as a physiotherapist is not to fix everything on our own. We are only part of your health journey. We rely on you to be an active participant in your recovery.
Our aim as a physiotherapy team is to provide you with the rehabilitation tools you need to get better. Our toolbox includes exercises, stretches and education. However, you are the key to using those tools to improve your health and wellbeing.
So our process for online consultations do not change for face-to-face consultations. There are so many rehabilitation tools we can use that do not include hands-on treatment!
So what does a video consultation look like at NAP?
What you need:
Computer/laptop with webcam
Any exercise/self massage equipment you may have or that your physio has previously given you (e.g. theraband, foam roller, towel etc). This is optional depending on what your physio has instructed you provide in your consultation.
Make sure you are in a well-lit area with enough space to move around so that you can follow along with any exercises provided.
Make sure you wear comfortable clothing so that your physio can assess your movement.
How it works:
You can make an appointment by either calling our practice on (02) 4955 0143 and providing your email address (if not already on our system). You can call or email our physiotherapists directly on the details supplied below:
If you would like to book an appointment with Sarah Colston, please email her at email@example.com
If you would like to book an appointment with James Youngberry, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org,au
If you would like to book an appointment with Chloe McKinnon, please email her at email@example.com
Once you have booked an appointment, we will send a confirmation email the day prior to or the morning of your appointment with a link to a Zoom meeting. Please refrain from clicking the link until 10 Minutes prior to your appointment. The first time this happens you will be prompted to download the Zoom app - it’s free! You only need to do this once.
Once you click on the meeting link the app will open a window with your physio waiting and ready to help.
The video below is an example of what a typical video conference using Zoom looks like using our physiotherapists Stuart and Chloe. In this example, Chloe is experiencing a new episode of neck pain.
As you can see, the format of an online consultation is very similar to a face-to-face consultation. Your physio will start by asking questions about your condition to get as much knowledge as possible to form a whole picture which will guide our assessment and diagnosis. A physical assessment will be guided by your therapist instructing what movements they would like you to perform to help confirm your diagnosis. Following your assessment your physio will develop a treatment program that is appropriate to your condition, needs and overall goals for recovery.
We hope that this is helpful for any patients that are curious about the use of online consultations in physiotherapy.
If you have any questions or would like more information about our online consultations, feel free to call us or email us and let us know. We hope to hear from you soon.