Starting Teletherapy During a Pandemic
A guide for rehab practitioners – OT, SLP, PT, Behaviour. This is a difficult time in the world, so many things that are “normal” have changed. Check out below for tips and a checklist to make your transition to Teletherapy a bit easier. Just because times are hard right now doesn’t mean that starting Teletherapy has to be.
First – Growth Mindset Engaged!
- Believe in you! You are an incredible Therapist, you are the most important piece of this therapy puzzle. That has not changed.
- Get Excited, excitement and joy are contagious and it will show in your face.
- Remember your why? You got into therapy because of helping others and building relationships, that is still the most important.
- Be kind to yourself. This is new and like most new things it will feel a bit weird and awkward. It will get better and feel more comfortable.
Second – Connect with your Clients!
- Call them and just check in.
- Listen to their concerns and needs.
- Share the benefits of Teletherapy (Easier access, reduced cost – no travel, potential for increased frequency, psychological comfort, and flexibility).
- Plan ahead, send them a plan for the session with materials to gather.
Third – Learn your platform!
- Practice with a friend get familiar with the process.
- Understand the technical requirements for the system
- Know the troubleshooting tips and have the guide handy.
- With Therabyte App we offer personalized onboarding, training and troubleshooting guides for you and your clients.
Fourth – Setting up your home clinic
- Keep it simple to get started a computer, whiteboard and markers.
- Schedule – make sure that it matches your needs and your family. You can’t give from an empty cup. So start small and then build your way up.
Fifth – Teach the platform to your clients!
- Set up a practice session first with your client – give them a phone call and step through the onboarding process so they feel successful. Logging in to client portal, accessing the virtual meeting room, mute, cameras and how to screen share.
- Allow time for troubleshooting with their electronic equipment and home set up.
- When you encounter a problem, make sure to ask what device and browser they are using to ensure they are compatible with your platform.
Checklist prior to a session:
- Set up your materials (physical and virtual)
- Plug in computer
- Log into your platform or system
- Check your wifi or ethernet connection
- Check the camera and mic are working
- Close all application windows not needed (helps with video quality)
- Trouble shooting guide in hand
- List of materials ready for client to gather (send in chat on video)
- Have your documentation application open to take notes as you go.
- Get some water
- Use the bathroom
- Have fun!
- Connect with child and check in with parent
- Explain your plan for the session and share the material list to be gathered.
- Define the role the parent will have during different parts of the session.
- Set the tone – talk about the benefits of telehealth and what to expect during the session such as grabbing things or adjusting the camera.
- Carry out your plan
- Wrap up
- Point out the successes
- Discuss things learned with the parent that went well and to do different next time.
- Assign to-do’s and homework,
- State the plan for the next session
- Confirm the time.