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Enhancing Physical Rehabilitation: A Collaborative Approach to Improve Client Outcomes

A client recently asked me an important question: “Sean, you and I are working toward goals set out by my Occupational Therapist. Is there a way part of our time could also focus on the goals I’ve set with my Physiotherapist?”

Farhana Jaffer, co-collaborator on this entry and a physiotherapist at GLA sees the importance of the collaborative approach between Rehabilitation Support Workers (RSW) and Physiotherapists (PTs). Collaboration enhances the targeted therapy provided in PT programs and improves client outcomes.

When working with a PT, RSW‘s will spend an initial session to get to know the client and familiarize themselves with the functional changes to the client’s daily life. This time will cultivate trust and help develop specific goals related to post-injury readjustment in the client’s home and community.

For example, a client who has reduced arm and shoulder strength may find washing and ironing their clothes an exhausting and time-consuming chore. The PT will assess the client and may find that he or she needs to improve overall stamina, but especially build muscular strength in the trunk, shoulders, upper arm, and forearm.

Following the assessment, the PT/RSW team is able to combine the expertise of the PT with the assistance, repetitive functional practice and follow-through by the RSW to improve the client’s ability to participate in daily activities.

Often, the clients who we work with have very specific functional goals that are not related to any specific movement or exercise. By combining the practical goals set by the client with the anatomical and physiological approach that a PT employs the client is able to meet, and surpass, their goal more quickly.

An RSW can help accelerate the progress towards client goals both in controlled and community environments.  This provides valuable support to the supervising therapist and allows for real-time cues and adjustments to be made, reducing risk of injury and minimizing development of poor habits.

At GLA ourRehab Support Workers and Physiotherapists work together  to improve client outcomes and enhance physical recovery.

If you would like more information on the work that we are doing to improve physical outcomes for clients, please contact us.