How to use a Pilates Instructor as a Physical Therapy Tech or Aide

How to use a Pilates Instructor
All right, hey guys. What's up? My name is Stephen Dunn. I'm a physical therapist for 22 years, I'm the co-owner of CORE Therapy and Pilates in Austin, Texas and I am the founder of Pilates for PT’s. 


Today I want to share a coaching call that I had recently and it was with a guy who was a physical therapist who has got a Pilates reformer recently and also brought in a trap table brought and more equipment little by little. 


He is starting to build his pilates programming out of his physical therapy clinic. He's already gone through the pilates training himself (through Polestar) and has been incorporating it. In addition, he is teaching it to his patients in his plan of care with his physical therapy clients.


He just hired a girl that moved from out of state and he had some questions… He saidIve hired this girl, she's teaching one class. What do I do next? How do I get her busy? What's the plan?”

One thing that we discussed was how he can basically utilize this girl as a PT aide as a PT technician, not an assistant, but a tech or an aide

Many of us PT’s were once techs or aides at some point. I worked for five dollars an hour as a tech back in 1994 through 96 until I got into PT school. So I did it, but I did a very different type of tech job. I was doing hot packs and ultrasounds and pretty much just bringing people to rooms and doing the modalities and whatnot.

He was saying that she's working at a couple different pilates studios and at his PT clinic. Basically, he really likes her, he thinks she's great and he was asked “How do I get her busy enough to keep her with my place instead of her wanting to work at the other studios?

I told him as a physical therapist he has an advantage and he takes insurance. 

That's a situation that helps as well and his advantage is as a PT that takes insurance he can use this woman as a PT aide or technician to work with some of his clients to allow him to see more clients. 

It will allow him to do more evaluations, to push people over into the pilates program when someone has worked with a PT for say 20-30 minutes of you know hands-on, exercise progression for homework and then they spend the rest of the hour with a pilates instructor to do the functional training and the strength training.

Then all of a sudden that patient is really getting exposed to pilates. Then when the insurance cuts them off or when they've met their PT goals, they've had experience on the pilates reformer or pilates equipment that's going to typically promote them or push them to want to join some of the pilates programs that are offered.

So that's that was my advice to utilize her as an aide. Figure out a pay structure and she'll be working half hour sessions with these clients instead of full hour sessions and maybe some of them for full hours. It allows him to see more people, her to start seeing some people through insurance to actually help build the cash pilates side on the back end.

I wanted to go over that, I think that was with some valuable information.

I'm a cash clinic so I don't run my pilates instructors as techs because I let the client pay a different price for us. So my price is this (for PT) and their price is that (for Pilates). However, for 10-11 years I took insurance. I took two or three private insurances and in that time I utilized my wife, who's a pilates instructor and I utilized our staff as a PT technician.

I would generally see that patient part of the hour and the Pilates Instructor would see that patient part of the hour.  It would allow me to see more people. I was able to go from seeing one person an hour to seeing someone every 30 minutes.

So I'd see someone hands on 30 minutes, exercise progression for home and hand them over and then that pilates instructor was seeing someone every 30 minutes as well, but those clients were there for an hour, getting billed by the for the insurance for the hour.

That was my response to him, something to think about, something that would definitely make him different than the pilates studios that he's competing with for her her time and service. I just want to share that because I think that might be something that people haven't thought about.

A lot of people when I talk to them about these pilates programs they think they have to get certified themselves. 

Yeah I got certified and that was a big part of me building the program but I also know people and I'm trying to get some of my podcast right now who has built a program around hiring instructors and not doing the work themselves. So many ways to do it, there's many ways to do it.

I want to share that with you guys today, thanks for hopping on, those that did. If you have any questions or comments let me know.

 I'll talk to y'all later guys.

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