Recover at Home with Teletherapy

  • author name Jessica Nourse, SLP.D, CCC-SLP
  • author name Elizabeth Rohrer, OTR/L
Recover at Home with Teletherapy

While physical medicine and rehabilitation services are available at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health locations, some patients may prefer to receive physical, occupational or speech therapy from the safety and comfort of home. Depending on your injury or diagnosis, you can connect with a therapist through a video visit. But how does it all work? 

Three members of our therapy team got together to answer your questions: Occupational therapist Liz Rohrer, OTR/L; Physical therapist Kevin Markovic, DPT; and Speech-language pathologist Jessica Nourse, SLP.D.

How do I know if I am a candidate for teletherapy?

We carefully review each patient’s unique diagnosis, access to technology, availability of a support person at home (if needed), and their interest to determine if teletherapy is the right fit. 

These are some of the conditions we have been successfully treating virtually: low back pain, neck pain, general deconditioning, acute joint pain affecting the shoulder, hip, and knee, posture disorders, concussion recovery, fibromyalgia, swallowing/feeding disorders, brain tumor resection, and stroke.

What happens during a video visit?

For a new patient, the evaluation begins much like it would in person. The patient and therapist spend time discussing medical history and the current issue or injury. The therapist then uses verbal and visual cueing (both demonstration and instructional pictures and videos) to guide the patient through an examination.  
Once all necessary information is gathered, we review the upcoming plan of care and start treatment. The patient ends their first session with a focused therapeutic plan, new appointments for follow-up treatment, and a home exercise program.

Do I need special equipment for in-home therapy?

No fancy equipment, no problem! Our experienced therapy team’s innovation can assist in driving the success of your care using what you have at home. We use everything from kitchen appliances, chairs and canoe paddles to snacks and drinks to aid with therapy. Therapists will have you engage in tasks you want to be able to do in your everyday life.

How long does a therapy session last?

Each session typically lasts between 45 minutes and an hour.

How does a virtual visit differ from receiving therapy onsite?

The biggest difference between on-site therapy and teletherapy is the “hands-on” component. However, with teletherapy, we are able to successfully guide patients through a full, effective treatment session using supplemental instruction. This includes visual cueing through demonstration, video guidance, images/diagrams, and verbal feedback. 

Do I need special technology for a teletherapy visit?

This is what you will need for a video visit: An email address, laptop, desktop computer, smartphone or tablet with a front-facing camera. Learn more details and call us at 717-544-3270 to learn if a video visit is right for you. 

author name

Jessica Nourse, SLP.D, CCC-SLP

Jessica Nourse, SLP.D, CCC-SLP, is a speech/language pathologist at the Lancaster General Health Neuroscience Institute. She earned his doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology from Nova Southeastern University and her master’s degree in communication disorders from North Carolina Central University.

Call: 717-544-3270
author name

Elizabeth Rohrer, OTR/L

Elizabeth Rohrer, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist at the Lancaster General Health Neuroscience Institute. She earned her bachelor of science degree in Occupational Therapy from Elizabethtown College.

Call: 717-544-3170

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