The Physio Equine Solutions’ Clinic opened on August 1st, 2020 and has been a great addition to my practice. Now I can support equestrians who don’t have a horse or who would like an unmounted assessment in a traditional physical therapy clinic environment. The clinic is located at Shields’ Fields Farm in Woodbine, Maryland, just up the driveway from the barn. It features a massage table and a wide variety of physical therapy equipment and diagnostic tools, such as exercise balls, scales, exercise bands, and more. While I am still available for off-site mounted and unmounted evaluations, the clinic allows me to house all of the tools that I will need in one accessible site.
Launching a new clinic in the midst of a pandemic has had some drawbacks. According to the CDC, the coronavirus spreads from people who are in close contact with one another, meaning less than 6 feet apart. Respiratory droplets that are produced when someone is talking, breathing heavily, sneezing, and coughing can carry the virus to much further distances.
Unfortunately, physical therapy does require close contact. Regardless, we are continuing to provide services to equestrians of all experience levels at the PES Clinic. Our goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy, while still helping equestrians improve their health and fitness. In order to keep everyone safe, we are following the latest guidelines from the Center of Disease Control.
Masks are Required
Physical Therapy requires close contact and a hands-on evaluation. In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while still allowing my clients to get the most out of their physical therapy session, I require masks to be worn at all times while indoors. You are welcome to have your own mask as long as it is no less than three ply. If you do not have a three ply mask, not to worry, I will provide one for you. Since we are going to be in close proximity during the session, for both of our protection the use of surgical masks or a mask with a filter is recommended. If you are unable to wear a mask due to medical reasons, there is the possibility of conducting the session outside, weather permitting. Or, another option is to explore telemedicine sessions.
You won’t be alone in wearing a mask! Throughout the session, I will also be wearing a mask at all times. Masks are the best line of defense against COVID19. High-quality masks have been shown to block nearly all droplets between the size of 20 and 500 microns. These droplets spread the coronavirus when they are breathed in or come in contact with another human being.
Keep in mind that masks protect others more than they protect the wearer. As such, they are most effective when everyone wears a functional mask, not ones with valved openings or ones that are held away from the face. Masks must be worn appropriately– covering both the mouth and nose of the wearer.
Prior to your appointment, I will go through a list of questions regarding your health status and recent travels. These will only take a moment and are crucial in ensuring that everyone stays healthy and safe while at the PES clinic. Questions may include where you’ve traveled to recently, whether you’ve been feeling ill with fever or chills, cough or shortness of breath, or fatigue.
Feel free to ask your own questions regarding my health if you feel the need. I’m more than happy to discuss my own health status with clients who are interested in coming to the clinic. Please note that I will reschedule your appointment if I am feeling any symptoms related to COVID-19. Unless, of course, my fatigue is related to taking care of 10 horses!
When you enter the clinic, I will use a contactless thermometer to take your temperature prior to the session. Likewise, I will be taking my temperature prior to your arrival, so as to ensure we are both fever free.
Hand Washing and Sanitizing
In between clients, the PES Clinic will be thoroughly sanitized with strong disinfectants. All equipment used in the previous appointment will be wiped down with CDC recommended cleaners. Appointments will be spaced at least 30 minutes apart to allow for disinfecting to take place.
Not just the equipment will be thoroughly cleaned. Handwashing with an antibacterial soap will take place prior to each appointment. Feel free to ask me to use non-latex gloves during our session. Hand sanitizer for client use is also located outside the entrance to the clinic. Before our session starts, you will be asked to wash your hands with antibacterial soap. Everyone entering and exiting the clinic is encouraged to use the hand sanitizer before and after their appointment.
If either myself, my husband, or one of my clients becomes ill with COVID19 and has recently been into the clinic, I have a set of precautions in place to ensure that anyone with a possibility of infection is notified immediately.
If a person tests positive for COVID and has been in the clinic in the past two weeks, all appointments will be cancelled until I obtain a negative COVID test for myself and the clinic is appropriately disinfected. The client with an appointment directly following the infected person will be notified as well and encouraged to follow all CDC guidelines.
Since masks will have been worn by all parties, hands washed, and the clinic disinfected between appointments, risk of transmission will be low.
Stay Safe and Healthy
It is my goal to continue helping equestrians ride pain-free while also keeping everyone safe and healthy. I firmly believe that by following CDC guidelines, we can continue to safely provide physical therapy services to my clients who need them even during the pandemic.
If you have any questions regarding COVID19 and the Physio Equine Solutions Clinic, please reach out to me.