In response to COVID-19, Virtual Care services are being offered across the NWT, and the NTHSSA Rehabilitation team was one of the first programs to start offering these virtual appointments.
In the first three weeks of April, the Physiotherapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT) Outpatient department alone completed 21 telehealth appointments, 121 phone appointments, and 54 video appointments to clients in the NWT, and has seen a lot unintended benefits from shifting appointment to a virtual set up.
For PT and OT, seeing patients in their home environment has allowed staff to observe clients in the natural setting and adapt exercises to the client’s surroundings. The team has been able to see what pieces of furniture the patient has in their home, and then make suggestions using the furniture in the room that is readily available to the patient. Patients are comfortable since they are in their own home, and find it convenient to be able to access professional therapy staff from the comfort of their own home.
The Speech Language Pathology team has also seen benefit from offering virtual appointments. Part of a Speech Language Pathology assessment includes observing a client eat a meal. With virtual assessments, these take place at the child’s home where parents can access foods in their fridge and provide a larger variety of textures and foods than would be available at a clinic setting. They are also able to observe how the child interacts with their parents, sibling and even pets!
For more information about virtual care, visit www.nthssa.ca/virtual-care, or call your local health centre to book an appointment. The NWT Rehabilitation Team also accepts self-referrals. Click the link below to learn more about our Rehabilitation Services, or to complete a self-referral form: https://www.nthssa.ca/en/services/rehabilitation-services.