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post residency career paths

Unveiling the Essentials: Nuts and Bolts of Home Health Physical Therapy

Welcome to the dynamic world of home health physical therapy—where the journey to recovery begins at your doorstep. In today's fast-paced world, convenience and accessibility are paramount, and that's precisely what home-based rehabilitation offers. Let's delve into the nuts and bolts of this transformative approach to therapy, exploring its benefits, qualifications, and strategies for success.

Qualifications and Roles of Home Health Physical Therapists

Before we embark on our journey through the realm of home health physical therapy, it's essential to understand the individuals who lead the charge—home health physical therapists. These dedicated professionals possess specialized training and certifications, equipping them with the skills and expertise to deliver quality care in the comfort of patients' homes. The American Physical Therapy Association - Home Health Section provides valuable resources and guidelines for aspiring and practicing home health physical therapists, ensuring the highest standards of care.

Initial Assessment and Treatment Planning

The cornerstone of effective home health physical therapy lies in the thoroughness of the initial assessment and treatment planning. Unlike traditional clinic-based therapy, home-based rehabilitation requires adaptability and creativity to tailor interventions to the unique needs of each patient. By leveraging innovative tools and techniques, therapists create personalized treatment plans that address mobility, strength, and functional goals within the familiar environment of the patient's home.

Implementing Therapy Sessions at Home

Transitioning from clinic to home can be a seamless experience with the right strategies in place. Physical therapists employ a diverse range of exercises and interventions, utilizing minimal equipment to maximize effectiveness. From mobility drills to balance exercises, each session is carefully curated to optimize outcomes while respecting the constraints of the home environment. - Home Health Compare offers valuable insights into the quality of home health physical therapy services, empowering patients to make informed decisions about their care.

Monitoring Progress and Adjusting Treatment Plans

In the dynamic landscape of rehabilitation, progress is not linear—It's essential to monitor and adapt treatment plans accordingly. Regular reassessment allows therapists to track progress, identify barriers, and make necessary adjustments to ensure continued improvement. By leveraging telehealth platforms and remote monitoring technologies, therapists can stay connected with patients, providing real-time support and guidance whenever needed.

Collaborating with Patients and Caregivers

Home health physical therapy is a collaborative endeavor, involving patients and caregivers as active partners in the rehabilitation journey. Effective communication and engagement foster a sense of ownership and empowerment, empowering patients to take control of their health and well-being. By establishing open lines of communication and providing education and support, therapists create a supportive ecosystem that nurtures progress and independence.

Conclusion: Paving the Path to Empowerment

As we conclude our exploration of the nuts and bolts of home health physical therapy, one thing becomes abundantly clear—the transformative power of personalized care delivered in the comfort of one's home. By embracing this innovative approach, patients not only regain their mobility and independence but also reclaim their sense of agency and empowerment. Together, let's continue to champion the home-based rehabilitation revolution, unlocking new possibilities for healing and recovery.


Closing Remarks From the Author

Clinicians sometimes debate whether there is value in postprofessional residency and fellowship training. For me, the value lies within the goals of the individual.

Where do you want to take your career as a physical therapist?
What impact do you want to have on the growth of the profession?
Do you want to be a leader or business owner in a specialty or subspecialty area of practice?

Residency is more than just how you grow during your training, it is how you grow from it. So if your goals don’t end with earning your doctor of physical therapy degree, then residency is a valuable component your career path.

About Shanon M. Fronek, PT, DPT, CSCS

Shanon Fronek
Dr. Shanon Fronek completed her B.S. in Biology at Wilmington College of Ohio in 2011 and graduated from the University of Dayton in 2014 as a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). She is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Functional Movement Screen (FMS) provider, Emergency Medical Responder, and is a credentialed Clinical Instructor. After working for two years in outpatient orthopaedics, she is now working towards specializing in sports physical therapy while completing the Sports Physical Therapy Residency at Saint Francis University. She is passionate about being active within the sports section and expanding the body of knowledge in sports medicine. In 2015, she was appointed to the Public Relations Committee of the Sports Section. Her clinical interests include pathomechanics associated with lower extremity injuries in female athletes, concussion management, and injury prevention strategies for overhead athletes. Outside of the clinic, Shanon enjoys competing in various recreational activities including softball, basketball, and flag football. She also enjoys coaching youth league sports, and supporting the community by volunteering at local Ironman or other endurance-related events. Traveling, running, sunbathing, and watching the Real Housewives are things she likes to do when she turns off her brain.


  1. Ryan Tollis

    Great article, but I am confused on the wording stating it is a requirement for fellowships to first attend a residency.Can you please provide your source for the following:

    “If you are considering becoming a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT), fellowship candidates are required to have completed an orthopaedic residency program and have obtained ABPTS board certification as an Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist.”

    I don’t believe you are required to have attended a residency to become a Fellow, it is just one of the paths to get there. Per the AAOMPT website, eligibility criteria is:

    *Minimum of one year of post- professional orthopaedic clinical experience with one of the following:
    *1. APTA residency training, 2) board certified clinical specialist credential (e.g., OCS), or 3) equivalent of the above determined through portfolio review process.

    If there have been updates to the requirement please share.

    • Shanon Fronek

      Hi Ryan,

      Thank you for sharing your feedback. I understand where the content was a little misleading and I have made some edits.

      You are correct, generally speaking, residency is not always a requirement to participate in a fellowship program. However, when specifically discussing the topic of post-residency careers paths, completing an orthopedic residency program and subsequently obtaining the OCS credential is the most widely accepted requirement across all the OMPT fellowship programs. As you mentioned, there are other pathways to OMPT fellowship including: (1)demonstrating a minimum years of experience (I’ve seen as many as 5 years), and/or (2) being a credentialed clinical specialist in a related area, and/or (3) completing a residency program in a related specialty area. Admissions requirements do vary by program, so readers are encouraged to seek information from each program of interest for more specifics regarding admissions requirements.

      Thanks again for commenting and allowing me to clarify.

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