5 Ways Your Rehab Clinic Can Celebrate National Physical Therapy Month
By: Jennifer Heiligman, PT, MPT
National Physical Therapy Month is celebrated in October and was established with the purpose of raising awareness regarding the benefits of Physical Therapy. Every year the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) chooses a theme for National PT Month. This year the theme is the role of the PT and PTA in improving physical activity.
This is extremely relevant since according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services second edition of Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, more than 80% of adults and adolescents do not get enough physical activity.
Even in the presence of a global pandemic, there are many ways that your practice can celebrate National Physical Therapy Month.
Here are 5 ideas:
1. Advertise within your clinic:
Create posters and flyers letting your patients know that October is National Physical Therapy Month. These could be home grown or you can visit the ChoosePT Toolkit that is provided by the APTA. This site will provide access to print graphics, handouts, postcards and signs. Make it a festive atmosphere so the patients recognize PT is something to celebrate. Staff could wear shirts or buttons advertising National Physical Therapy Month. Have your front office staff answer the phone beginning with “Happy National Physical Therapy Month” and update your voicemail to reflect the same information.
2. Update your Social Media accounts:
Announce National Physical Therapy Month on your social media platforms. You can use the digital graphics provided by the APTA in the ChoosePT Toolkit. Follow ChoosePT on Twitter @Choose_PT and on Facebook @ ChoosePhysicalTherapy. You can then share posts from ChoosePT. Be sure to reference #ChoosePT and #PTMonth within your social media posts.
3. Participate in Global PT Day of Service:
Global PT Day of Service was established in 2015 by 2 physical therapists. It is an initiative where PTs, PTAs and anyone who supports the PT profession complete an act of service on the same day. For 2020, Global PT Day of Service takes place on Saturday, October 10th. As a clinic you could participate in a service project. You can pick a charity or organization in your community to support. Be sure to memorialize your participation by posting on your social media accounts to gain awareness for the cause and the PT profession. To learn more about Global PT Day of Service read our previous blog post.
4. Host a community event to promote physical activity:
This one may be a little tricky secondary to the Covid-19 Global Health crisis, but you may still be able to do it as long as you follow your local guidelines. You could offer a free outdoor fitness class, balance assessment and/or posture screening. This could be done at a local park or any other outdoor space that may be available to you. This would give you a chance to get the community moving and promote the benefits of physical therapy services that are offered at your practice. You could hand out patient education pamphlets and other promotions that contain your practice information. This could include facial coverings, hand sanitizer, pedometers or even apparel like t-shirts or hats with your logo.
5. Host a virtual webinar on a topic related to the importance of staying physically active:
We, as PTs, are the experts on the musculoskeletal system. Share that knowledge with your community by presenting a virtual webinar featuring the therapists within your clinic. You can advertise on your social media and connect with your referral sources so they can promote the event to their patients. This is a great way to help promote our profession by making the community aware of how PTs can help improve their function.
National Physical Therapy Month is a great time to educate your community on how beneficial physical therapy can be to get moving again. Now is the time to highlight the differences between what skilled services a PT can offer as opposed to a massage therapist or trainer. In addition to promoting physical therapy, this may also help to increase your patient volume which still may not have rebounded to pre-Covid levels. The ideas we have listed above are just some of the ways you can celebrate the month. Some clinics will also offer giveaways to their patients throughout the month. How you choose to celebrate is not as important as simply celebrating. This is a great way to raise awareness of the benefits of PT in keeping people active.