The Role of Physiotherapists During COVID-19


The recent global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of stress on front-line workers who may have been exposed to the disease while treating patients. Front-line workers have had to complete additional training in disease control and safety compliance to ensure that the coronavirus is not spread within healthcare communities and elsewhere. The role of the physiotherapy has changed during the pandemic to include a range of other responsibilities we have detailed below.

Other roles that physiotherapists must play during the COVID-19 pandemic include information provider: of resources to patients about hygiene and disease prevention, student: of potentially harmful environmental circumstances, of teacher: as they provide training to other front-line workers employed at their clinics and manager: when they plan workplace strategies to reduce instances of the virus spreading.

Physios must review infection and prevention control guidelines, practice social distancing, implement triage strategies, reschedule non-urgent care, consider digital service delivery and consider closures if absolutely necessary. All of these considerations can be achieved by implementing telehealth sessions for patients.

Teletherapy practices have become more popular as lockdown and social distancing have forced people indoors for greater periods of time. Indeed, telehealth conferences have become increasing popular during the pandemic, with physio teletherapy services becoming more popular than psychology telehealth services during the outbreak.

During digital telehealth conferences, physiotherapists perform their usual diagnosis and treatments using a camera-enabled laptop or computer. Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp video conversations are held with the end goal of alleviating pain and setting goals for patients’ health.

The role of physiotherapy during the pandemic has been sustained by telehealth conferencing technology. Communication between patients and physios is crucial to ensuring positive health outcomes for patients and is especially important when patients can’t leave the house due to their condition, lockdown or other circumstances. Virtual physiotherapy sessions have been reviewed as highly effective, particularly when it comes to keeping communication lines open for patients. They can deliver good health outcomes for patients.

There have been several benefits of physio telehealth conferencing noted in the industry, including: promoting a more comfortable and welcoming environment for patients, providing quick access to care, delivering improvements in patient mental health and materialising improved privacy. Telehealth conferencing has allowed physios to retain their role as primary care providers for patients who have suffered injuries or live with conditions.

As COVID-19 vaccines become available it’s assumed that the role of physiotherapy will soon return to hands-on healthcare providers. However, until that time, the role of the physio shall remain in its evolved state and include the responsibilities of a a student, a teacher and manager, as well as their traditional responsibilities of a diagnostician and care provider.

Contact Erko Physio if you want help with your existing condition or an injury you have provided. The team at Erko Physio will be able to help you alleviate pain and set health goals that will have you return to your former state of wellbeing in no time. Call our clinic on (02) 9557 9272 to book an appointment between the daylight hours of 7:00am and 8:00pm Monday to Friday.