What to Expect

At Dignity Health Physical Therapy, our team is here to help you return to work, athletics, hobbies and daily life should you suffer an injury.  

If you are preparing to begin your care at one of our local centers, here's what to expect.

Prior to your initial visit

Many patients come to us with a prescription or referral for physical therapy that was issued by their physician. This prescription is similar to what you take to the drugstore for medicine, and includes recommendations for treatment. If your physician gives you a referral, you are not obligated to receive physical therapy at a specific facility. You have the right to choose where you want to go. 

Even if you do not have a prescription or referral for physical therapy, in New Jersey, you are still able receive physical therapy. This is called direct access and it empowers you to be evaluated and treated by a licensed physical, occupational or speech therapist without a physician’s prescription. 

To find a center that is conveniently located near your home or work, please visit our center locator. Call the center of choice to speak with the patient service specialist and schedule your initial evaluation.

We will guide you through your first visit and introduce you to the physical rehabilitation process. We will also work to make the billing process as smooth as possible and ensure your questions are answered along the way. As a courtesy, our patient service specialists will review the plan benefits we receive from your insurance company and work with you on payment options, if needed.

Please contact your insurance company before your first appointment to confirm therapy services. It is important to understand the services covered and what you are responsible for paying out of pocket.

Your initial evaluation

For your therapy appointments, we recommend that you wear loose-fitting exercise clothing and sneakers for maximum comfort.

Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to complete your new patient registration forms, or take a few moments now to review and print them. Upon arrival at the center, the patient service specialist will greet you and review the forms. Additionally, the specialist will schedule your future appointments and collect the co-payment (if applicable) at each visit.

During this time you will also meet your physical or occupational/hand therapist who will evaluate your injury or condition, discuss your goals and specific needs and develop an individualized treatment plan. The length of your treatment plan and frequency of visits is based on your specific injury/condition, the physician prescription and the therapist’s recommended treatment plan.

Regularly scheduled appointments

At each visit, you will work with a member of our clinical team who will instruct and supervise your care. As you reach specific treatment goals, you will progress to new levels, treatments and exercises.

At the end of each visit, your therapist will answer any questions you may have. This is a terrific time to share your thoughts, revisit your goals and discuss any pertinent information with your therapist.

You may be provided with a home exercise program that compliments your plan of care. The home program is an important part of the healing process and will assist you in achieving your goals.

Throughout your care, communication between you, your therapist, your doctor and other individuals involved in your treatment is a vital piece of physical therapy. We want everyone to be up-to-date about the plan of care and how therapy is progressing. We’re all on the same team and together, we will work to achieve your goals.