By now, all of us have been inundated with information about Covid-19 (coronavirus) and the impact this global pandemic is having on our health, our lives, our economy and our general well-being. Locked down and locked in, it’s difficult to stay positive in these difficult and uncertain times. Our hearts hurt for our children and grandchildren, whose future has been turned upside down. Our hearts hurt for our parents, many of whom face uncertainty and the unknown of an invisible enemy.
It would be easy to write a standard “company response” to the Covid-19 outbreak. However, this comes more from the heart. We’re human too. We’re healthcare providers. We’re parents. We’re spouses. We’re brothers and sisters. It’s who we are. It’s what defines us. We take these roles seriously, although in times like these, our roles can sometimes feel disparate. Providing healthcare services that can be perceived as non-emergent can be a difficult place to operate and to try to explain to others in times like these.
As a healthcare entity, Axes is facing these challenges and uncertainties daily. By just the nature of physical therapy and occupational therapy, the concept of “social distancing” seems foreign to us. We heal through hands-on, personalized treatment techniques and the therapeutic alliance we develop with our patients. That occurs through the relationship we develop with our patients and it’s the “why” behind our decision to join this profession. We appreciate the opportunity to impact lives in a positive way and can feel helpless at times like these.
Physical/Occupational therapy and outpatient rehabilitation are deemed essential services and have been deemed by the CDC as part of the nation’s critical infrastructure, and therefore, exempt from the recent “shelter in place” statutes implemented in St. Louis City and surrounding regions. As such, our entire staff will continue to operate and care for patients recovering from their orthopedic conditions. We play a key role in improving the health and well-being of the population, reducing pain, and improving function.
Because the safety of the general public, and our employees is a #1 concern, we’ve taken additional precautionary steps to reassure those needing our care are coming into a safe environment:
- Prior to a PT/OT appointment, the patient will receive a phone call from the clinic. This will provide the patient an opportunity to share any concerns and personally speak with a therapist.
- Upon arrival, the patient is requested to complete a screening questionnaire, per the guidance of the American Physical Therapy Association. The questions on the form provide opportunities to identify “at risk” patients and to discourage attendance for those deemed “at risk”.
- We’ve taken aggressive and strict efforts to ensure clinic cleanliness and sanitation. In compliance with CDC and WHO, we are activity enforcing proper cleaning techniques and use of designated cleaning chemicals to neutralize the Covid-19 virus.
- We take frequent hand washing and sanitization between patients very seriously. This is a standard we’ve always held ourselves to. We’re requiring our patients to uphold the same standard.
- All visitors and family members will be asked not to attend patient visits and will be confined to our waiting areas. Similarly, vendors and students/volunteers are also restricted.
- We’ve implemented social distancing with the clinic setting.
- As always, our therapists are available to counsel and educate patients on their condition outside of physical attendance in therapy. We’ve always held to this standard and will continue to do so, whether over the phone or in a virtual environment.
All of us at Axes remain steadfast with our obligation to provide a safe healing environment for those of you in need of our services. We greatly appreciate each and every one of you and realize that we’re all in this together, and that together we’ll come out stronger in the end.
The Owners and Staff of Axes Physical Therapy