Hello Friends! I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Lori Vickers, Manager of Therapy Services at Gaylord Hospital in Connecticut. With over 27 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Lori always had that dream of being a doctor. While that was a path that she somewhat loved, there was another path that opened up her heart even more, physical therapy. With so much experience, she has seen a lot of changes at Gaylord and in the healthcare industry in general.
Length of stay and timeframes were two of the biggest changes that she acknowledged as affecting the industry. The length of stay for patients is almost a quarter of what it used to be when she began working in the field. One of the other major changes she addressed, and a main reason for the length of stay being greatly reduced is insurance. It is fascinating to know how much insurance once covered when it came to one’s length of stay in the hospital, whether you were a paraplegic, quadriplegic or had any other type of mobility disability. It should be noted that insurance is not the only reason why length of stays have been reduced. Technological advances have helped reduce the length of stay as well.
So while patients are heading home much quicker nowadays, this does not ensure that they are ready, mentally or emotionally, to return home. Lori acknowledged that while every patient is different and some may be more ready than others, there is so much more that we know about quality of life for people with disabilities and the endless positive possibilities that are out there for people to not only survive, but thrive. We now have support groups and chat forums online that can provide added support to people, even during their stay in the hospital. In addition, insurance still covers many outpatient services including mental health, so there is that bridge for people to help them in whatever transition they may be facing.
Lori also discussed how rewarding the physical therapy industry is and encourages those with and without disabilities to pursue careers in this industry if there lies an interest. It is a vastly growing industry and one that is certainly recession proof. We would like to thank Lori for her continued service to our community and wish her all the best as she continues to find new and innovative ways to enhance the quality of life for people with mobility disabilities.
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