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Day in the Life of a Physical Therapist

October is National Physical Therapy Month. You might be asking yourself what is physical therapy and what physical therapists do on a daily basis. Well, look no further because we have an in-home physical therapist taking us through her day!


Before we get started I wanted to share a little bit about me! My name is Valerie F. and I have been a part of the Advanced Home Health team for almost 2 years! I have always had a passion for helping others, and when I attended a governor's school one summer and discovered physical therapy I knew it was the perfect fit. I was attracted to the idea of being able to work in multiple settings and having the opportunity to see different patient populations. I love the changing complexity and variability of diagnoses as well as being a part of lasting progress.

I love everything about my job and each day I reminded about the necessity of what we do every day and how it impacts the lives of others!


The night before my home health visits I sit down at my laptop to map out my route. I use MapQuest route planner to assist with the most efficient plan; this allows me to have an estimated time between patients and give them the closest arrival time I can. Once I have determined my route and my arrival time I give my patients a call to let them know what time I will be arriving.


I try to wake up relatively early so I can get ready for my day and have time to drink my coffee! Once my car is packed with my supplies and I have my to-go coffee, I hit the streets.

My first patient, Sandy, is slowly recovering from two knee surgeries!

Sandy is doing a great job with her in-home physical therapy and is getting stronger with each visit. An important aspect of in-home therapy is working with the caregiver. I don't always get the chance to visit my patients multiple times a week so I have to educate the patient's caregiver so they are well aware of the at-home therapy plans and how to make brace adjustments in Sandy's case.

Debbie, Sandy's caregiver, demonstrates the importance of caregiver training. I am only with Sandy twice a week, so her sister Debbi must know how to adjust Sandy's brace to guarantee her safety at home.


It is always a pleasant surprise to run into my co-workers! Being on the road and traveling to patients makes it hard to see my co-workers. It is very important for constant communication in home health. Since we often don't see each other, we have to discuss mutual patients' needs daily to ensure goals are met. Katie is an OT and she is a wonderful therapist and friend!


Mary is another physical therapy patient that I see on a weekly basis. Mary needs her therapy to get her warmed up for the day. She enjoys keeping her puppy, Chloe around during our sessions as added motivation to work hard!

Sometimes I take my physical therapy sessions outside of the patient's home. The change of scenery is nice for our homebound patients. We love exercising with a view!

Walkers and crutches can exacerbate shoulder or wrist problems. With this scooter, Shirley is able to observe her non-weight bearing precautions without giving up her need to safely get around her home.

Overall, I love having the ability to help patients recover from surgery, give them exercises to get stronger, and improve their overall quality of life! Becoming a physical therapist and joining the Advanced Home Health team has been the best decision.


About Advanced Home Health

Advanced Home Health is a local, family-owned, home health and home care provider located in Western PA, servicing Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Lawrence, and Washington Counties.

To learn more visit: or call 412-344-4100.


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