Team Members from Many Therapy Areas Provide Care at Sanford Bemidji Peak Performance
Making the most of a person's abilities to move and function without pain is the common thread which binds the many different therapeutic specialties at Sanford Bemidji Peak Performance.
Our therapists work together to help patients increase their functional capabilities in a variety of settings. Our skilled professionals are trained to identify factors contributing to a patient's functional limitations and develop treatment programs designed to enhance a patient's ability to function in the appropriate environments. Working with your physician, our team of therapists includes:
Physical Therapist (PT) or (MPT—Master of Physical Therapy)
Physical therapists, sometimes referred to as simply PTs, are healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limits their abilities to move and perform functional activities as well as they would like in their daily lives. Physical therapists, under the direction of a physician, examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.
Physical Therapist Aide and Assistant (PTA)
Physical therapist assistants and aides help physical therapists to provide treatment that improves patient mobility, relieves pain, and prevents or lessens physical disabilities of patients.
Physical therapist assistants assist physical therapists in providing care to patients. Under the direction and supervision of physical therapists, they provide exercise, instruction; therapeutic methods like electrical stimulation, mechanical traction, and ultrasound; massage; and gait (walking) and balance training. Physical therapist assistants record the patient's responses to treatment and report the outcome of each treatment to the physical therapist.
Physical therapist aides help make therapy sessions productive, under the direct supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant. They usually are responsible for keeping the treatment area clean and organized and for preparing for each patient's therapy. When patients need assistance moving to or from a treatment area, aides assist in their transport. Because they are not licensed, aides do not perform the clinical tasks of a physical therapist assistant in states where licensure is required.
Occupational Therapist (OT) or (OTR—Registered OT)
Occupational therapists help patients improve their ability to perform tasks in living and working environments. They work with individuals who suffer from a mentally, physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabling condition. Occupational therapists use treatments to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of their patients. The therapist helps clients not only to improve their basic motor functions and reasoning abilities, but also to compensate for permanent loss of function. The goal is to help clients have independent, productive, and satisfying lives.
Certified Occupational Therapist Aide (COTA)
Occupational therapist assistants and aides work under the supervision of occupational therapists to provide rehabilitative services to persons with mental, physical, emotional, or developmental impairments.
Occupational therapist assistants help clients with rehabilitative activities and exercises outlined in a treatment plan developed in collaboration with an occupational therapist. Activities range from teaching the proper method of moving from a bed into a wheelchair to the best way to stretch and limber the muscles of the hand. Assistants monitor an individual's activities to make sure that they are performed correctly and to provide encouragement. They also record their client's progress for the occupational therapist. If the treatment is not having the intended effect, or the client is not improving as expected, the therapist may alter the treatment program in hopes of obtaining better results. In addition, occupational therapist assistants document the billing of the client's health insurance provider.
Occupational therapist aides typically prepare materials and assemble equipment used during treatment. They are responsible for a range of clerical tasks, including scheduling appointments, answering the telephone, restocking or ordering depleted supplies, and filling out insurance forms or other paperwork. Aides are not regulated by states, so the law does not allow them to perform as wide a range of tasks as occupational therapist assistants.
Speech and Language Pathologist
Speech-language pathologists, sometimes called speech therapists, assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent disorders related to speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, swallowing, and fluency.
Speech-language pathologists work with people who cannot produce speech sounds or cannot produce them clearly; those with speech rhythm and fluency problems, such as stuttering; people with voice disorders, such as inappropriate pitch or harsh voice; those with problems understanding and producing language; those who wish to improve their communication skills by modifying an accent; and those with cognitive communication impairments, such as attention, memory, and problem-solving disorders. They also work with people who have swallowing difficulties.
Exercise physiology is a field of study devoted to examining the body’s response to physical activity. In a nutshell, its primary focus is "exercise as medicine." An exercise specialist uses physical exercise, the body's response to exercise, and adaptation to exercise training to maximize a person’s health. Patients with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and a number of other conditions benefit from physical activity. But different activities are good for certain types of patients and some activities are dangerous for people with particular medical conditions. Exercise physiologists understand this and they evaluate patients, prescribe exercise programs, monitor patients while they exercise, and track each person’s progress.
Athletic trainers help prevent and treat injuries for people of all ages. Their patients and clients include everyone from professional athletes to industrial workers. Recognized by the American Medical Association as allied health professionals, athletic trainers specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of muscle and bone injuries and illnesses. Athletic trainers, as one of the first healthcare providers on the scene when injuries occur, must be able to recognize, evaluate, and assess injuries and provide immediate care when needed. Athletic trainers should not be confused with fitness trainers or personal trainers, who are not healthcare workers, but rather train people to become physically fit.
Recreational therapists, also referred to as therapeutic recreation specialists, provide treatment services and recreation activities for individuals with disabilities or illnesses. Using a variety of techniques, including arts and crafts, animals, sports, games, dance and movement, drama, music, and community outings, therapists improve and maintain the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their clients. Therapists help individuals reduce depression, stress, and anxiety; recover basic motor functioning and reasoning abilities; build confidence; and socialize effectively so that they can enjoy greater independence and reduce or eliminate the effects of their illness or disability. In addition, therapists help people with disabilities integrate into the community by teaching them how to use community resources and recreational activities. Recreational therapists are different from recreation workers, who organize recreational activities primarily for enjoyment.
Aquatic therapy, commonly known as pool therapy, is another beneficial form of physical therapy that is performed in the water. Using water’s resistance and its buoyancy properties, aquatic therapy aims to rehabilitate patients by avoiding the amount of weight and stress placed on the joints by normal exercise outside of the water. While submerged in water, buoyancy assists in supporting the weight of the patient, making it easier and less painful to perform exercises.
Certified Hand Therapist (CHT)
A Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) is an occupational therapist or physical therapist who has a minimum of five years of clinical experience, including 4,000 hours or more in direct practice in hand therapy. In addition, the Certified Hand Therapist has successfully passed a comprehensive test of advanced clinical skills and theory in upper quarter rehabilitation (upper limb, which includes the hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder). Hand therapists provide therapeutic treatments to enhance an individual’s ability to execute tasks using the hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders so they may participate fully in life situations.
A biofeedback technician is trained and certified in a medical practice that teaches participants how to relax. Biofeedback helps an individual learn how to change physiology (lower their heart rate, for example) for the purposes of improving health and performance. It may be used to help patients with chronic pain, migraines, and other conditions. Precise instruments measure activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately feed back information to the user. This information — often with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior — supports desired changes.