Q&A with Ryann Roberts, DPT
Owner and Physical Therapist
Who are physical therapists?
Physical therapists are highly-educated, licensed healthcare professionals who are experts in restoring function, improving motion, and decreasing pain in people’s lives. Current physical therapy graduates will have completed a 3 year Doctoral program after completing their 4 year Bachelor’s degree. By comparison, in the physical therapy profession many clinics will employ physical therapy assistants (PTA), which is a 2 year Associate’s degree or physical therapy aides/techs with no educational requirements.
Some people are referred to a physical therapist to rehabilitate after an injury or surgery. Others will utilize physical therapy to avoid an expensive surgery or pain medication. Overall, physical therapy will help you improve mobility and motion, and pain-free movement is crucial to your quality of daily life, your ability to earn a living, your ability to pursue your favorite leisure activities, and so much more. Utilizing a wide range of manual therapy techniques, modalities, and therapeutic exercise, a physical therapist will evaluate your condition and develop a comprehensive treatment plan designed to return you to full function and prevent you from further injury.
Do I need a prescription?
Since 2003, Arizona has granted you the freedom to seek physical therapy treatment without a referral. Therefore, if you feel you have a problem that may benefit from the skilled services of an AZOPT physical therapist, you are able to refer yourself to physical therapy for treatment, also known as self-referral.
Our physical therapists are well-qualified, both through formal education and clinical training, to evaluate a patient’s condition, assess his or her physical therapy needs and, if appropriate, safely and effectively treat the patient. Our physical therapists are also well-qualified to recognize when patients demonstrate conditions, signs, and symptoms that should be evaluated by other health care professionals before therapy is instituted.
Keep in mind, some insurance policies may require a prescription or authorization. Medicare beneficiaries are able to receive an evaluation without a referral or visit to a physician. Our front office can help determine your specific insurance requirements and advise you in the appropriate steps.
My doctor wrote me a prescription to attend a certain facility. What happens if I want to go somewhere else?
You always have a choice to attend any physical therapy practice, even if the script or authorization is sent to a different location. Be an advocate for your health and search out a physical therapy clinic that will meet your needs and expectations.
At AZOPT, we only employ licensed physical therapists. “No techs, no aides, no assistants” is our commitment to the importance of your every visit. We do not “hand off” our patients to less qualified and less educated staff. Our mission is to create long lasting results through one-on-one personalized care, detailed explanations, and patient education, consistent with our motto – Feel Better, Function Better, Live Better.
To learn more about how we can help you at AZOPT, please call us at 623-242-6908.