Therapy on the go
by Emmanuel Joseph
It’s a clinic unlike any other. As the name suggests, the newly-established Mobile Physical Therapy Clinic is one of pure convenience, where people who want to access its wide range of Rahabilitative services do not have to leave the comfort of their homes.
While most other physical therapy clinics, said owner and founder Dr. Tamisha Gittens, arrange their house calls around their in-clinic schedule, her mobile clinic served clients on their own time.
Even though there is a main clinic at Shady Side Complex, Graeme Hall Heights, Christ Church, Gittens told Barbados TODAY that her dedication to taking all the services found in the clinic out to people in need, separated her business from the others.
“Mobile because I go out to people to provide rehab services. And that is what it offers primarily. While most of the other clinics offer in-clinic services and then they also offer on-the-side, or after-hours mobile services or house calls, mine is primarily house calls,” pointed out the 29-year-old professional, who is also a member of the island’s Sports Medicine Committee.
She said she had a passion for making people better, and that her decision to cater mainly to people wherever they may be, would greatly benefit the elderly and disabled as well as low budget clients.
“(We offer) orthopedic services, which are muscles, pain because of muscles, whip lash injuries, fractures, joint replacements, neck and back pain, those type of things. There is neurological, persons with neurological problems such as strokes, spinal chord injuries, nerve injuries because of a cut or such thing,” added the doctor of physical therapy.
Gittens, who is also a member of the Barbados Physiotherapy Association, explained that when she goes to homes and hotels people can also benefit from rehabilitation for chest infections and cardiac and pulmonary problems.
“I also deal with amputees. Should you have had an amputation, I help retrain you to use a new limb or to function with your one limb or no limbs. Hydro therapy, we are also offering that, that has to do with the use of water, and ergonomic assessments,” she revealed.
“Let’s say you broke two feet and a hand and you live in St. Peter, it’s going to be hard for you to get in a car and come to therapy. So, you call in and I will come to you as often as you need me and at a time convenient to you, offering, most of all, convenience.”
At the moment, the new business is operated by Gittens alone, but her goal is to employ between four to five workers.
“Eventually, I would like it to be like an agency, where if you need home therapy, you call in and you get different therapists to come out to you — not just me. That’s a long term plan,” the member of the Barbados Association of Rehabilitative Therapists announced.
She explained that while her work was tiring and called for a lot of muscular exertion, one of the first courses during her studies taught them biomechanics, that is, how to use ones entire body rather than the muscles in ones hands.
“It’s using your entire body to maximise [results],” she added.
Gittens also informed this newspaper that she was told by her teachers she would need to buy expensive shoes considering the long hours of standing.
“I find that if I exercise, I don’t get as tired because I’m stronger and have more endurance,” she observed.
The physiotherapist added that although running the business on her own right now was challenging, she was happy to do it. She said she looked forward to the day when all physiotherapists would become autonomous, where people could simply walk off the street and be treated, rather than being referred by doctors as was the general practice at the moment.
Gittens revealed that there was a move worldwide for this to happen and it was likely to affect Barbados.
“I see between two and four people per day and operate six days a week, Sunday to Friday, but on Mondays and Thursdays, I extend my hours to about 7 p.m or 8 p.m. for people who are unable to access the services any earlier,” she added.
“So far the majority of people who come to the clinic are between ages 24 and 45, and those who I go to, are mostly over 60.”